6.3/10
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44 user 33 critic

Kansas City (1996)

Robert Altman's jazz-scored film explores themes of love, crime, race, and politics in 1930s Kansas City. When Blondie O'Hara's husband, a petty thief, is captured by Seldom Seen and held ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Henry Stilton
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Johnny O'Hara
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Johnny Flynn
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Babe Flynn
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Nettie Bolt
Jeff Feringa ...
Addie Parker
A.C. Tony Smith ...
Sheepshan Red (as A.C. Smith)
Martin Martin ...
'Blue' Green
Albert J. Burnes ...
Ajia Mignon Johnson ...
Pearl Cummings
...
Rally Speaker
Tawanna Benbow ...
Rose
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Storyline

Robert Altman's jazz-scored film explores themes of love, crime, race, and politics in 1930s Kansas City. When Blondie O'Hara's husband, a petty thief, is captured by Seldom Seen and held at the Hey Hey Club, she launches a desperate plan to release him. She kidnaps the wife of a powerful local politician in an attempt to blackmail him into using his connections to free Johnny. Despite this being election time, he risks exposure by putting the political machine into action to free Johnny and thereby save his wife. Mrs. Stilton, meanwhile, has befriended Blondie and is impressed by her love and devotion to Johnny, especially in contrast to her own loveless marriage. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Kansas City, 1934. Anything could happen here. One night it did.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, and for some violence and drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Канзас Сити  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$432,183 (USA) (16 August 1996)

Gross:

$1,292,527 (USA) (13 September 1996)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Altman gathered together some of the greatest living jazz musicians, put them on a set representing the Hey Hey Club and asked them to play period material in the style of the Kansas City jazz giants like Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. He filmed this separately after he had done the fictional plotline, and then intercut it with the narrative. See more »

Goofs

When Governor Guy Park is telephoned about the kidnapping, he suggests notifying the state police. Missouri has no state police (only Highway Patrol). See more »

Quotes

Carolyn Stilton: [after being forced to reveal the pet names she and her husband use] What a terrible invasion of privacy!
Blondie O'Hara: Yeah, ain't it?
See more »

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User Reviews

pretty good movie with amazing music
18 June 2004 | by (Key West) – See all my reviews

I happen to like this film... apparently quite a bit more than most people. I even still have a copy of it on VHS somewhere. First and foremost is the music. Absolutely INCREDIBLE old time jazz. The best scene to me is clearly the 'battle' between the sax players at the club. The music in the club throughout the movie and the background score during the non-club scenes is about as good as it gets. And I'm not really a huge jazz guy though I have always liked the Miles Davis - John Coltrane type stuff. This is my favorite non - Angelo Badalamente (sp?)film score. Seriously, see this flick just for the music alone.

And, see it for Miranda Richardson who is AWESOME in this movie. I think she really steals the show in this one. J. Jason Leigh is solid and plays the part of a not too bright, not very successful midwest girl decently. Also, Harry Belafonte is great as Seldom Seen and he just looks and sounds the part so well. Steve Buscemi, Dermot Mulroney and the woman who plays J. Jason Leigh's sister are all quite good in supporting roles, and Michael Murphy is perfect for the part of the slightly confused, yet somewhat powerful husband to the kidnapped Richardson character.

The clothes, cars, and look of the film is nicely done (cmon it IS an Altman picture!!!) and really does make you feel as if you are in Missouri circa 1935-1940. Add to that a slightly twisted ending and you have a really good and def. underrated film that I really want to see again... on DVD this time to REALLY crank up the music scenes. I give Kansas City 7.5/10


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