A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters by affecting the rhythms and speech of hip-hop music and culture.

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kimberly Deauna Adams ...
Vinny Argiro ...
...
...
Ernie Lee Banks ...
Leroy (as Ernie Banks)
Amiri Baraka ...
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Constance Bulworth
...
...
...
...
Brandon N. Bowlin ...
Mongo Brownlee ...
Henchman #3
...
...
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Storyline

Senator Jay Bulworth is facing speculation-induced financial ruin, so he puts out a contract on his own life in order to collect a large, new insurance policy for his family. Living each moment on borrowed time, he suddenly begins spouting raw, unfiltered--and sometimes offensive in word but satirical in spirit -- thoughts to shocked audiences and handlers in the speech of hip-hop music and culture. His newfound uninhibitedness and new relationship with Nina carry him on a journey of political and spiritual renewal. Written by Stuart Hoffman

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Brace yourself. This politician is about to tell the truth!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 May 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tribulations  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$141,816 (USA) (15 May 1998)

Gross:

$26,525,834 (USA) (4 December 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Warren Beatty was described by writing partner Jeremy Pikser and biographer Peter Biskind as so insecure about his script that he went to former collaborator Elaine May with the script. She told him it wasn't any good but Beatty suspected that because May was writing the script to a rival political satire, Primary Colors (1998) that she was looking out for her own interests. See more »

Goofs

When Nina is talking on a cell phone in Davers' garage, we hear a dial tone when the other party hangs up on her (cell phone networks don't use dial tones). See more »

Quotes

Darnell: I say, you ain't no real nigger, IS you?
Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth: [stoned] Is YOU a real nigger?
Darnell: You callin' me nigger, motherfucka? Don't call me a NIGGER, moth'fucka!
Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth: Would you prefer "motherfucker," motherfucker?
See more »

Crazy Credits

For the song "Bulworth Breakdown", the title character Jay Bulworth is credited as a writer and performer. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Jay Leno Show: Episode #1.4 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

How Come
Written by Wyclef Jean (as W. Jean), Youssou N'Dour (as Y. N'Dour), Canibus (as G. Williams),
Jerry 'Wonder' Duplessis (as J. Duplessis)
Performed by Youssou N'Dour and Canibus
Produced by Wyclef Jean and Jerry 'Wonder' Duplessis (as Jerry 'Te Bass' Duplessis) and Canibus
Youssou N'Dour appears courtesy of the Work Group
Canibus appears courtesy of Universal Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Getting In Touch With Your Inner Homey
23 January 2007 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Warren Beatty's Bulworth is one devastating satire on the political scene of the Clinton years. Sad to say things really ain't gotten any better here.

J. Billington Bulworth, Democratic Senator from California at one time rising liberal star has had to tack mighty heavily to the right in order to keep his office. Even at doing that he's facing a heavily financed rightwing opponent.

With defeat staring him in the face and no home life so to speak with both he and his wife pursuing the opposite sex, Bulworth just decides to chuck it all. His friends in the insurance industry are writing him one whopping life insurance policy and Bulworth hires a hit man to do him in.

Of course no with nothing to lose our U.S. Senator who before mouthed the political platitudes and nostrums we get from our elected officials at voting time, now starts telling some uncomfortable truths. Lack of sleep and some controlled substances produce a rapping U.S. Senator who along the way picks up some black groupie types with Halle Berry. The consequences of all these hijinks you'll have to watch Bulworth for.

One friend has compared it Network and there are certainly some similarities. I think Bulworth should be seen back to back with Robert Redford's The Candidate. If you'll remember Redford was the idealistic liberal who trimmed his sails through the advice of his hired spin doctors and got himself elected U.S. Senator from California. His Bill MacKay was wondering what he does then at the end of that film. I think Bulworth provides some answers as to a possible direction MacKay might have taken.

Warren Beatty wrote a witty script and a mean rap. Director Beatty gets some good performances by his cast and best in the supporting cast is his aide Oliver Platt who sees his whole career going down the tubes. There's a peculiar symbiotic relationship between Capitol Hill staffers and their bosses. They serve at the pleasure of, but at the same time a good one can make himself pretty valuable to his boss. Platt's such a guy, his character is quite authentic.

Remember watch Bulworth back to back with The Candidate.


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