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 ...
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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>
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 »
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 »
If my mother was alive, she'd cut your balls off. Woman went right to the point. She never, ever missed a beat.
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Maybe "Kansas City" is not one of the best works of Robert Altman. In fact, when we think about Altman we always remember some great moments of him like "Mash", for instance. But Kansas City is a act of courage. Indeed, I think that the gangster era and the first days of jazz are not the kind of theme Altman is really concerned; but he does fine here, with a interesting and sometimes funny plotline and the background music is really remarkable. However, the main problem here is the cast. Although Jennifer Jason Leigh is a good actress, she is far-fetched and unconvincing as Blondie. Just Miranda Richardson hits the target, with a "nuts" performance of Mrs. Stilton.
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