Kansas City (1996)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Music  |  16 August 1996 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 3,451 users   Metascore: 57/100
Reviews: 43 user | 31 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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Henry Stilton
Johnny O'Hara
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 ...


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


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


Crime | Drama | Music | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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


Official Sites:




Release Date:

16 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Канзас Сити  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Parts of the Ship bar were salvaged and later used in a Kansas City bar of the same name. See more »


While the music sessions were not strictly done as period pieces, the inclusion of the Gibson electric guitar jumped the gun by a few years. The ES-150 didn't go into production until 1936 and had a blade type pickup. See more »


Seldom Seen: You have to understand Sheepshan. He's a loser. And losers've got to be respected. They're the backbone of my business. They're my customers, and I take good care of my customers.
See more »


Featured in Altman (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

I found the movie very interesting
6 August 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The movie was obviously a musical satire of the political and social conditions in Americain that era (and to some degree today. Even if Altman did experience it first hand, he it he obviously did research and wrote as well as directed a movie that was right on the money. I found everyone's performance to be excellent and if you could not understand some of Belafontes lines it didn't detract from his role, nor did the performances of the rest of the cast as the movie was meant to make you think............as well as be entertained. As for a story line..........unless you know nothing of the past........it was right in your face.

10 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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