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Sweet and Lowdown (1999)

7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 24,957 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 140 user | 110 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

In the 1930s, fictional jazz guitarist Emmet Ray idolizes Django Reinhardt, faces gangsters and falls in love with a mute.

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Title: Sweet and Lowdown (1999)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Himself
Ben Duncan ...
Himself
...
A.J. Pickman
...
Boss
...
Ben
...
Ace - Pool Player
...
...
Hazel - Hooker #1
...
Iris - Hooker #2
Darryl Alan Reed ...
Don
...
Omer
...
Alvin (as Ron Cephas Jones)
Steve Bargonetti ...
Musician Friend
Benjamin Franklin Brown ...
Musician Friend
...
Harry
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Storyline

A comedic biopic focused on the life of fictional jazz guitarist Emmett Ray. Ray was an irresponsible, free-spending, arrogant, obnoxious, alcohol-abusing, miserable human being, who was also arguably the best guitarist in the world. We follow Ray's life: bouts of getting drunk, his bizzare hobbies of shooting rats and watching passing trains, his dreams of fame and fortune, his strange obsession with the better-known guitarist Django Reinhardt, and of course, playing his beautiful music. Written by Martin Lewison <mlewison@utk.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

jazz | train | rat | gangster | 1930s | See All (39) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some substance abuse | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 January 2000 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Woody Allen Fall Project 1998  »

Box Office

Budget:

$29,750,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,708 (Sweden) (29 September 2000)

Gross:

$13,708 (Sweden) (29 September 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Mono)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The guitar that 'Sean Penn' plays in the movie is a Selmer Maccaferri of about 1932 (though it seems likely that it's a reproduction of the rare instrument and not an original) This is the same kind of guitar played and made famous by Django Reinhardt. See more »

Goofs

The guitar that Emmett destroys at the end of the movie is (thankfully) not a genuine Selmer Maccaferri. The shattered fragments clearly show a bolt-on neck. The genuine instruments used a bolt during construction, but this bolt was removed before the guitar was completed, leaving an empty hole. (The instrument actually destroyed was a disposable prop created by Michael Dunn.) See more »

Quotes

Emmet Ray: I didn't ask your opinion. I'm just telling ya how it's gonna go.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #26.192 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Mystery Pacific
(1936-7)
Written by Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli
Performed by Howard Alden, Bucky Pizzarelli and Kelly Friesen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Proof that Sean Penn can really act
9 September 2004 | by (Virginia) – See all my reviews

The two movies that come to mind when I think about Sean Penn and his acting ability are not Mystic River and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. They are Carlito's Way and Sweet & Lowdown. In both of these movies, he immerses himself in the characters, while in most of his other movies, including the art house hits like 21 Grams and Hurly Burly, he plays more or less the same type of person. Sweet and Lowdown has Penn playing a self-absorbed classical guitarist who obsesses over a world-renowned guitarist much in the way Woody Allen obsesses over things in his other movies. Woody himself shows up as a commentator (this, like Zelig, is presented in mock documentary fashion). It is amusing, if slight (and a sign of things to come in 2000-2002, with Small Time Crooks, Curse of the Jade Scorpion and Hollywood Ending). Samantha Morton won a justified Oscar nomination, but Uma Thurman and Gretchen Mol are wasted (Uma got second billing over Sean Penn, and is hardly in the movie!) Not a Woody Allen masterpiece, but fans could do worse.


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