7.3/10
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Sweet and Lowdown (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 10 March 2000 (USA)
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In the 1930s, jazz guitarist Emmet Ray idolizes Django Reinhardt, faces gangsters and falls in love with a mute woman.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 1 win & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ben Duncan ...
Himself
...
A.J. Pickman
...
Boss
...
Ben
...
Ace - Pool Player
...
...
Hazel - Hooker #1
...
Iris - Hooker #2
Darryl Alan Reed ...
Don
Marc Damon Johnson ...
Omer
...
Alvin
Steve Bargonetti ...
Musician Friend
Benjamin Franklin Brown ...
Musician Friend
...
Harry
Vince Giordano ...
Bass Player #1
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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:

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Release Date:

10 March 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Woody Allen Fall Project 1998  »

Box Office

Budget:

$29,750,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$94,686 (USA) (3 December 1999)

Gross:

$4,196,621 (USA) (19 May 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 Emmet Ray (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: Wanna go to the dump and shoot some rats?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The 76th Annual Academy Awards (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Abide with Me
(1847)
Lyrics by Henry F. Lyte (as Henry Francis Lyte)
Music by William H. Monk
Performed by Mary Stout
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The type of film Woody Allen does very well
2 October 2000 | by (Tucson AZ) – See all my reviews

In my opinion, there is more than one type of Woody Allen film. There is the antic lunacy of films like Bananas and Sleeper, the serio-comic "serious" film with "meaning", like Annie Hall, Husbands and Wives and Deconstructing Harry and then there are what I think are Woody Allen's "love notes", if you'll bear with the expression, films like The Purple Rose of Cairo, Bullets Over Broadway and Sweet and Lowdown, films as a general rule that are period pieces (generally the '30's or thereabouts) that are basically mash notes from Allen to something Allen particularly cares about, such as jazz in Sweet and Lowdown (specifically jazz guitar and Django Reinhardt). The score is great, which is typical for a Woody Allen film. Allen does these little films vey well and they are almost always worth watching. Sean Penn plays a self-centered, egotistical creep with talent. I will leave any further interpretations regarding the preceding statement to the Gentle Reader. Why he was nominated for an Oscar escapes me. Samantha Morton, on the other hand, gives a sweet, if almost one-note, performance, which basically sums up the movie: worth the time and effort to watch, but a one-note film. If you like this side of Woody (and I do), this is worth seeing.


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