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Kansas City (1996)

 -  Crime | Drama | Music  -  16 August 1996 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 3,182 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 42 user | 32 critic | 23 from Metacritic.com

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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Title: Kansas City (1996)

Kansas City (1996) on IMDb 6.2/10

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3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Henry Stilton
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Johnny O'Hara
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Johnny Flynn
...
Babe Flynn
...
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:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 August 1996 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

AUD 61,051 (Australia) (1 November 1996)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Robert Altman grew up in Kansas City. 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: He's got a lot of customers.
Blondie O'Hara: Those aren't customers, those are voters. They ship 'em from all over the state. Each of 'em vote ten, twelve times. Used to get their names outta the cemetary, but I don't even think they bother anymore.
Johnny Flynn: [to crowd of men] You'll be exercising your God-given right to vote. However, you'll be voting the way I tell you to vote, and as many times as I tell you. That understood? Understood? Shut up!
Carolyn Stilton: Democrats do that?
Blondie O'Hara: Democrats? They're what they're paid to be. This is ...
See more »

Connections

References Hold Your Man (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Belafonte Fine, Music Even Better--But Central Miscasting Dooms It!
14 March 2013 | by (Corning, California) – See all my reviews

Like the films of Orson Welles, Federico Fellini or Woody Allen, there's almost always a reason to watch, even if the completed whole doesn't quite add up to the sum of it's parts. Kansas City fits that bill for me.

Altman weaves his usual rich tapestry of lives affected by history in a city alive with jazz and political chicanery, and Kansas City is worth watching for the unexpectedly mesmerizing performance by Harry Belafonte as "Seldom Seen," mobster boss.

The jazz on display is equally dazzling, but just when your mind is settling into some rich, heady music, the film cuts back to the deadly, mannered, whiny performance turned in by Jennifer Jason Leigh; when most film fans recall the disaster that became Godfather III, the director's indulgence of the lackluster performance turned in by Sofia Coppola comes to mind; Leigh's performance similarly affects the tone of Kansas City, and since she is the protagonist, the film's interest flags with her director-free indulgence in some kind of method acting that fails to evoke much but self-indulgence.

In short, Kansas City is well worth a look for superb mise-en-scene,for the music and atmosphere, but is deeply frustrating for it's central performance.


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