Bowfinger (1999)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  13 August 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 54,843 users   Metascore: 71/100
Reviews: 356 user | 136 critic | 33 from

When a desperate movie producer fails to get a major star for his bargain basement film, he decides to shoot the film secretly around him.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hal, Kit's Agent
Jerry Renfro
Sanchez (as Alejandro Patino)
Alfred De Contreras ...
Ramiro Fabian ...
Claude Brooks ...


Hollywood, today: Bobby Bowfinger, a run-down actor-producer-director, is reading a script which a friend has written. Completely convinced of its quality, he decides to take a last shot at fame and fortune. But the script is not that easy to sell, and a famous producer promises him to do it, but there is one condition: Kit Ramsey, Hollywood's number one star, has to be in it. So, Bobby tries his luck with Kit - who says no - and then decides to shoot the film himself. Together with the cheapest team available in Southern California, an aspiring beauty from Ohio, a diva who is just a little over the hill, a key-holding gofer from a major studio and a goon hired away from burger-flipping, Bobby sets out to shoot the science-fiction-film starring Kit Ramsey - who does not even know he's being filmed. Written by Julian Reischl <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The con is on. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sex-related material and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

13 August 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bowfinger's Big Thing  »

Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$18,062,550 (USA) (13 August 1999)


£3,552,760 (UK) (26 November 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:

| |


(Eastman Color)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Frank Martin decided to use the take of Heather Graham sitting on a suitcase waiting, which he had thought was a great shot, for Daisy's first scene in the film. See more »


A "bounce card" (light reflecting screen) is reflected in the window of Kit's car. See more »


[first lines]
Robert K. Bowfinger: Wow. Great script. Great script!
[to his dog]
Robert K. Bowfinger: Betsy? It's now or never. We are gonna make a movie.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the last credits roll, Kit's line, "I saved the world! I saved it," can be heard. See more »


References Touch of Evil (1958) See more »


There Is Always One More Time
Written by Kenneth W. Hirsh, Doc Pomus
Performed by Johnny Adams
Courtesy of Rounder Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

A sort of sillier modern day version of Ed Wood.
23 July 1999 | by (Dallas, TX) – See all my reviews

Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy team up to bring us this quirky comedy that's short on story but big on laughs. I attended a press screening of Bowfinger, not quite sure what to expect, and although I was amused by the silly antics, I felt as if the film's main goal was to make a statement or two about Hollywood and what it takes to get a movie made. First of all, while Eddie Murphy is in the film quite a bit, this is definitely Steve Martin's movie. I left the film feeling that Eddie was not much more than funny set dressing rather than being a star. Martin plays Bobby Bowfinger, a washed up film director who gets a script from one of his employees that he feels is great movie material. He soon realizes that the only way anyone will pick this film up is if he gets a big name star for the lead. His focus turns to Kit Ramsey, played by Murphy, who happens to be the hottest star in Hollywood. But Martin fails to get Ramsey behind the film, even though in some ways this is just the kind of script Ramsey wants. So Bowfinger decides he'll shoot the film's scenes with Ramsey, even though Ramsey doesn't realize he's in the shot, by having his actors walk up to him in public and say their lines as if they're playing out the scene. This works for a while, but soon Ramsey gets freaked out by all the strange behavior, and hides with his friends at the manipulative Scientology-like center, which is headed by Terance Stamp. In the meantime, Heather Graham's character, a struggling actress, begins to sleep with every member of Bowfinger's crew, including Bowfinger, in an attempt to increase the length of her scenes. With Ramsey in hiding, Bobby casts a look-alike to fill in for his scenes, only this guy, portrayed as the ultimate nerd by Murphy, can barely stand still much less play his scenes. The movie goes from one silly scenario to another without having much direction with the story, all the while keeping the audience amused. But I got the feeling I had seen all this before, with Tim Burton's Ed Wood, and once I reached the end of the film, I knew I had. So in closing, there's nothing really new here, and not a lot of story to analyze, but plenty of laughs. Bowfinger is an amusing and entertaining comedy, but I can't help but feel that it falls short of it's true potential. Not a bad film, but not a great one either.

12 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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