7.3/10
27,537
142 user 113 critic

Sweet and Lowdown (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 10 March 2000 (USA)
Trailer
2:02 | Trailer

On Disc

at Amazon

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

Director:

Writer:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A loser of a crook and his wife strike it rich when a botched bank job's cover business becomes a spectacular success.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Tracey Ullman, Hugh Grant
Comedy | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

When he discovers his adopted son is a genius, a New York sportswriter seeks out the boy's birth mother: a ditzy prostitute.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Mira Sorvino, Pamela Blair
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Suffering from writer's block and eagerly awaiting his writing award, Harry Block remembers events from his past and scenes from his best-selling books as characters, real and fictional, come back to haunt him.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Judy Davis, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A director is forced to work with his ex-wife, who left him for the boss of the studio bankrolling his new film. But the night before the first day of shooting, he develops a case of psychosomatic blindness.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Téa Leoni, Bob Dorian
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

In New York in 1928, a struggling playwright is forced to cast a mobster's talentless girlfriend in his latest drama in order to get it produced.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: John Cusack, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Tilly
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An insurance investigator and an efficency expert who hate each other are both hypnotized by a crooked hypnotist with a jade scorpion into stealing jewels.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Greg Stebner, Woody Allen, John Tormey
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Two alternating stories, one comedy and the other tragedy, about Melinda's attempts to straighten out her life.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Will Ferrell, Vinessa Shaw, Chiwetel Ejiofor
Celebrity (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The fortunes of a husband and wife differ drastically after they divorce.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Judy Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio
Comedy | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A New York girl sets her father up with a beautiful woman in a troubled marriage while her stepsister gets engaged.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Goldie Hawn, Julia Roberts
Comedy | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A middle-aged couple suspects foul play when their neighbor's wife suddenly drops dead.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Jerry Adler
Anything Else (2003)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Jerry Falk learns a lesson the hard way when he falls head over heels in love with a beautiful but flighty girl, Amanda.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Jason Biggs, Christina Ricci
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

When their best friends announce that they're separating, a professor and his wife discover the faults in their own marriage.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Woody Allen, Mia Farrow, Sydney Pollack
Edit

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
Steve Bargonetti ...
Musician Friend
Benjamin Franklin Brown ...
Musician Friend
...
Harry
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Emmet Ray sees Django Reinhardt for the first time at the gas station and faints, right behind the trees is the Nyack High School Football team. They were asked to be quiet during the filming of the scene and had a stop their practice a number of times. 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

Blanche: What do you think of when you play? What goes through your mind?
Emmet Ray: Yeah, that I'm underpaid. I think about that sometimes.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in This Filthy World (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

The Peanut Vendor
(1927)
Written by Moïse Simons (as Moises Simons)
English Lyrics by L. Wolfe Gilbert and Marion Sunshine
Performed by Howard Alden, Bucky Pizzarelli, Kelly Friesen, Ken Peplowski and Ted Sommer
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.


19 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Is this Sean Penn best performance? venaraujo
Guitarwork jeroenmoons
La Strada joshuayeary
Get a Gypsy Swing Guitarist to play the part: Johnny Depp dredzo
Full Screen or Widescreen chriskromer
A real person? Monkeyguy39
Discuss Sweet and Lowdown (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?