IMDb > Sweet and Lowdown (1999)
Sweet and Lowdown
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Sweet and Lowdown (1999) More at IMDbPro »


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Up 5% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Woody Allen (written by)
View company contact information for Sweet and Lowdown on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 March 2000 (USA) See more »
In the 1930s, fictional jazz guitarist Emmet Ray idolizes Django Reinhardt, faces gangsters and falls in love with a mute. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 11 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Wonderful Movie about Love, Genius and Great Jazz Guitar Playing See more (140 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Woody Allen ... Himself
Ben Duncan ... Himself

Daniel Okrent ... A.J. Pickman

Dan Moran ... Boss

Tony Darrow ... Ben

Chris Bauer ... Ace - Pool Player

Sean Penn ... Emmet Ray

Constance Shulman ... Hazel - Hooker #1

Kellie Overbey ... Iris - Hooker #2
Darryl Alan Reed ... Don

Marc Damon Johnson ... Omer

Ron C. Jones ... Alvin (as Ron Cephas Jones)
Steve Bargonetti ... Musician Friend
Benjamin Franklin Brown ... Musician Friend

James Urbaniak ... Harry
Vince Giordano ... Bass Player #1
Emme Kemp ... Jam Session Musician
Clark Gayton ... Jam Session Musician
Marcus McLaurine ... Jam Session Musician
Carolyn Saxon ... Phyliss

Brian Markinson ... Bill Shields
Drummond Erskine ... First Hobo
Joe Ambrose ... Second Hobo

Molly Price ... Ann
Joseph Rigano ... Stagehand (as Joe Rigano)

Denis O'Hare ... Jake
Dennis Stein ... Dick Ruth - Club Owner
Nat Hentoff ... Himself

Katie Hamill ... Mary

Samantha Morton ... Hattie

Kaili Vernoff ... Gracie
Carole Bayeux ... Rita - Opium Party Hostess
Paula Parrish ... Party Guest
Cory Solar ... Party Guest
Lexi Egz ... Party Guest

Yvette Mercedes ... Party Guest
Peter Leung ... Party Guest

John Waters ... Mr. Haynes
William Addy ... Master of Ceremonies
Dick Monday ... Chester Weems
Mary Stout ... Felicity Thomson - Amateur Singer
Dick Mingalone ... Birdman
Mr. Spoons ... Spoon Player
Carol Woods ... Helen Minton
Josh Mowery ... Movie Director
Fred Goehner ... William Weston
Eddy Davis ... Bass Player #2

Vincent Guastaferro ... Sid Bishop
Ralph Pope ... Panhandler

Douglas McGrath ... Himself
Jerome Richardson ... Club Musician
Earl P. McIntyre ... Club Musician
James Williams ... Club Musician
Frank Wess ... Club Musician (as Frank Wellington Wess)
Al Bryant ... Club Musician
Ray Garvey ... Club Manager
Sally Placksin ... Sally Jillian

Uma Thurman ... Blanche

Lola Pashalinski ... Blanche's Friend
Simon Wettenhall ... Jam Session Musician
Orange Kellin ... Jam Session Musician
Brooks Giles III ... Jam Session Musician

Anthony LaPaglia ... Al Torrio

Brad Garrett ... Joe Bedloe
Alfred Sauchelli Jr. ... Ned - Pool Player
Michael Peter Bolus ... Lynch - Bar Room Friend (as Michael Bolus)

Mick O'Rourke ... Holdup Man

John Patrick McLaughlin ... Holdup Man (as John P. McLaughlin)
Chuck Lewkowicz ... Police Officer
Rick Mowat ... Flat Tire Man
Ted Wilkins ... Gas Station Proprietor
Michael Sprague ... Django Reinhardt

Gretchen Mol ... Ellie
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Scott Beehner ... Jay (uncredited)

Gary Cowling ... Musician Friend (uncredited)
Michael Criscuolo ... Carnival Vendor (uncredited)

Stanley Crouch ... Himself (uncredited)
Anna Damergis ... Manicurist (uncredited)

Catherine Dudley-Rose ... Eavesdropper (uncredited)

Kenneth Edelson ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Eddie Eisele ... Rich Car Collector Who Sells Sean Penn the Packard (uncredited)

Alan Francis ... Party Guest (uncredited)

Rick Hickman ... Angry Townsman (uncredited)
Fiona Jones ... Farmer's Wife (uncredited)
Jon M. McDonnell ... Music Enthusiast (uncredited)

Trish McGettrick ... Patron (uncredited)
Maria Ottavia ... Mother and Family on Boardwalk (uncredited)
Adam Sietz ... John (uncredited)

John H. Tobin ... Bartender Serving Emmet (uncredited)

Directed by
Woody Allen 
Writing credits
Woody Allen (written by)

Produced by
Letty Aronson .... co-executive producer
J.E. Beaucaire .... executive producer
Richard Brick .... co-producer
Jean Doumanian .... producer
Charles H. Joffe .... co-executive producer
Jack Rollins .... co-executive producer
Cinematography by
Fei Zhao (director of photography) (as Zhao Fei)
Film Editing by
Alisa Lepselter 
Casting by
Laura Rosenthal 
Juliet Taylor 
Production Design by
Santo Loquasto 
Art Direction by
Tom Warren 
Set Decoration by
Jessica Lanier 
Costume Design by
Laura Bauer  (as Laura Cunningham Bauer)
Makeup Department
Stephen G. Bishop .... hair
Milton Buras .... hair
Robert Kushner .... wigmaker: Ira Senz
Eva Polywka .... makeup
Rosemary Zurlo .... makeup (as Rosemarie Zurlo)
Linda Lazar .... assistant makeup artist (uncredited)
Nicki Ledermann .... additional makeup artist (uncredited)
Sanja Milic .... additional makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Richard Brick .... unit production manager
Margo Myers .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lisa Janowski .... second assistant director
Richard Patrick .... first assistant director
Helen Rella .... dga trainee (as Helen Anne Rella)
Brian A. York .... second second assistant director (as Brian York)
Art Department
Mark Bachman .... sign designer
Frank Didio .... head carpenter
Peter Gelfman .... property master
Regina Graves .... assistant set decorator
Daniel K. Grosso .... leadman
Vincent Guarriello .... chief construction grip
Christian Halac .... art department assistant
Jon Kaloudis .... art department assistant
Hyun-joo Kim .... assistant art director (as Hyun-Joo Kim)
Beth Kuhn .... assistant art director
Glenn Lloyd .... graphics and research
Leonardo Mastrantoni .... shop assistant
Robin McAllister .... assistant property master
Jessica A. Milstein .... set decorating coordinator (as Jessica Milstein)
Ron Petagna .... construction coordinator (as Ronald Petagna)
Paul Robinson .... assistant art director
Cliff Schorr .... stand-by scenic artist
James Sorice .... master scenic artist
David Stein .... assistant art director
Margot Therre .... lead scenic artist
Josh Wick .... art department assistant
Greg Aharoni .... set dresser (uncredited)
Suzanne E. Cestare .... set dresser (uncredited)
Eric Cheripka .... property assistant (uncredited)
James Donahue .... scenic artist (uncredited)
William Durnin Jr. .... set dresser (uncredited)
Stephen Finkin .... set dresser (uncredited)
Ray Fisher .... set dresser (uncredited)
Tony Gamiello .... set dresser (uncredited)
Gilbert Gertsen .... set dresser (uncredited)
Gordon Gertsen .... set dresser (uncredited)
Greco .... set dresser (uncredited)
Linda Harvey .... carpenter (uncredited)
Ruth Katz .... set dresser (uncredited)
James McDonagh .... set dresser (uncredited)
Jeff Naparstek .... set dresser (uncredited)
Jane Patterson .... set dresser (uncredited)
Jeffrey Rollins .... props (uncredited)
Ari David Schwartz .... set dresser (uncredited)
Sound Department
Marko A. Costanzo .... foley artist (as Marko Costanzo)
Lee Dichter .... re-recording mixer: Sound One Corp.
Kate Eales .... assistant sound editor
Frank Graziadei .... recordist (as Frank J. Graziadei)
Robert Hein .... supervising sound editor
John Hirst .... playback
Bradford L. Hohle .... sound consultant: Dolby
Frank Kern .... foley editor
George A. Lara .... foley recording engineer (as George Lara)
Les Lazarowitz .... production sound mixer
Sylvia Menno .... dialogue editor
Glenfield Payne .... sound effects editor
Jay Peck .... foley artist
Bruce Pross .... foley editor
Neil Riha .... boom operator
Melanie Ryder .... assistant sound editor
Special Effects by
John Ottesen .... special effects coordinator
Ron Ottesen .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Scott David .... digital artist (as Scott Roscoe David)
Camille Geier .... visual effects producer
Thomas Rosseter .... visual effects supervisor (as Tom Rosseter)
Camille Eden .... visual effects production coordinator: ILM (uncredited)
Katrina Stovold .... digital plate restorator (uncredited)
Peter Bucossi .... stunt coordinator
Norman Douglass .... stuntman
Vic Bucossi .... stunts (uncredited)
David Shumbris .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
David E. Baron .... second assistant camera (as David Baron)
Bob Brennan .... best boy grip (as Robert Brennan)
John Clifford .... still photographer
Jack Coffen .... best boy electric
Michael Green .... camera operator
A. Lee Morris .... camera loader
Gary Muller .... first assistant camera
George Patsos .... key grip
Michael Proscia Jr. .... gaffer
Matt Chubet .... grip (uncredited)
Michael Gallart .... grip (uncredited)
Chris Hammond .... best boy electric (uncredited)
Wayne Paull .... additional camera operator (uncredited)
Douglas Pellegrino .... additional camera operator (uncredited)
Mark Proscia .... electrician (uncredited)
Chris Zizzo .... electrician (uncredited)
Casting Department
Sarah Allentuch .... casting assistant
Kristy Fitts .... extras casting associate (as Kristi Fitts)
Patricia Kerrigan DiCerto .... casting associate (as Patricia Kerrigan)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Patricia Eiben .... shop wardrobe supervisor
Barrett Hong .... wardrobe supervisor
Anastasia Leopold .... wardrobe tracker
Fionnuala M. Lynch .... extras wardrobe supervisor (as Fionnuala Lynch)
Jennifer Newman .... wardrobe assistant
Suzanne Pettit .... wardrobe supervisor
Heather Priest .... assistant costume designer
Elizabeth Roles .... wardrobe assistant
Bobby Frederick Tilley .... assistant costume designer
Jennifer Ingram .... costumer (uncredited)
Roseann Milano .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Margaret Morettini .... costume shopper (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Katherine Belsey .... post-production coordinator
Sheri Bylander .... assistant editor
Sara Corrigan .... assistant editor
Katy Kei Cunningham .... post-production assistant
Jennifer Lilly .... apprentice editor
John Dowdell .... hd colorist (uncredited)
Music Department
Howard Alden .... musician: solo guitar
James Chirillo .... musician: additional rhythm guitar player
Kelly Friesen .... musician: bass
Joel Helleny .... musician: additional trombone player
Dick Hyman .... music arranged by
Dick Hyman .... music conducted by
Dick Hyman .... musician: additional piano player
Walt Levinsky .... music recording supervisor
Carmel Malin .... musicians coordinator
Jill Meyers .... music clearances
Ken Peplowski .... musician: clarinet
Bucky Pizzarelli .... musician: rhythm guitar
Ted Sommer .... musician: drum
Byron Stripling .... musician: additional trumpet player
Roy B. Yokelson .... music recording engineer
Transportation Department
Edward Iacobelli .... transportation captain (as Ed 'Ack' Iacobelli)
Other crew
Leon Adair Jr. .... parking coordinator (as Leon Adair)
Howard Alden .... instructor: solo guitar
Michael Anthony .... location assistant
Abby Bailey .... assistant production accountant
David Brotsky .... location production assistant
Kay Chapin .... script supervisor
Lauren G. Chapin .... assistant to: Mr. Allen
Drew Dillard .... location manager
Kimberly N. Fajen .... production coordinator
Debora Fearon .... craft service
Alex Fernández .... set production assistant (as Alex Fernandez)
Ramsey Fong .... production secretary
Meredith Garlick .... assistant to: Mr. Brick
Sarah Garrett .... set production assistant
Jessica Glass .... location production assistant
Amanda Ladd Jones .... payroll accountant (as Amanda Ladd)
Pietro Lorino Jr. .... production accountant
Shuping Lu .... interpreter for: Mr. Zhao (as Shuping Lu Roman)
Colin MacLellan .... set production assistant (as Colin A.J. MacLellan)
Michael McBrien .... location assistant
Patrick McMahon .... set production assistant
Kiersten Pilar Miller .... set production assistant
Christie Mullen .... location assistant
Yasmine Mustaklim .... assistant accounting
Kim Noble .... location assistant
Bucky Pizzarelli .... instructor: rhythm guitar
Bing Rao .... interpreter for: Mr. Zhao
Jason Rubenstein .... set production assistant
Salvatore Savo .... office assistant
Andy Segal .... pool consultant (as Andy Seigel)
Kate Siamon .... location production assistant
Jennifer Silverman .... assistant production coordinator
Ted Sommer .... instructor: drums
Carl Turnquest Jr. .... projectionist
Steven Weisberg .... location assistant
Will Wilder .... assistant parking coordinator
Tom Yeager .... assistant location manager
Martin Zeichner .... video dailies
Marc Baron .... photo double: Sean Penn (uncredited)
Marc Baron .... stand-in: Sean Penn (uncredited)
Eric Brown .... production assistant (uncredited)
Guy Efrat .... location scout (uncredited)
Maggie Engelhardt .... office production assistant (uncredited)
Sarah Rae Garrett .... production assistant (uncredited)
Danielle Giovanniello .... production assistant (uncredited)
Tudor Jones .... production assistant (uncredited)
Timothy Klein .... Stand In: Tony Darrow (uncredited)
Timothy Klein .... stand in: Brian Markinson (uncredited)
Thomas Maxwell .... production assistant (uncredited)
Christie Mullen .... location scout (uncredited)
Valerie Haller .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank
Robert C. Janiszewski .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank: County Executive of Hudson County, New Jersey
Greg Johnson .... the producers gratefully acknowledge and wish to thank
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some substance abuse
95 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

"Sweet and Low-Down", by George Gershwin, is a song on the soundtrack of Woody Allen's Manhattan (1979).See more »
Factual errors: During the Hollywood sequence, Emmet's band is backing a black vocalist. In the 1930s, musicians on film were, with extremely rare exceptions (e.g., Benny Goodman's quartet), strictly segregated. There's no way a white band would be playing behind a black woman.See more »
Emmet Ray:First time I had sex, 7 years old.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in This Filthy World (2006)See more »
It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)See more »


What brand of guitar was Sean using for his performance in 'Sweet And Lowdown' ?
See more »
12 out of 16 people found the following review useful.
Wonderful Movie about Love, Genius and Great Jazz Guitar Playing, 5 August 2007
Author: zippyflynn2 from Los Angeles, United States

As Woody Allen said of Sean Penn after working with him on this film "(Sean's) a tremendous actor". And he displays his tremendous talent in playing the role of Emmett Ray, jazz guitarist, a genius at his craft, rather a disastrous dope in all other aspects of his life.

Then there's Samantha Morton who is brilliant in her portrayal of sweet, adorable Hattie, a cute mute young woman whose simple needs and wants, along with her lack of narcissism and inability to spew out mind numbing volumes of bulls+t banter obscure her deep strength and savvy intelligence. Those that value pure, sweet, unassuming kindness will find her irresistibly lovable.

Emmett only really knows one thing, how to play guitar like no one else in the world, with the exception of the one person he idolizes to the point of hysteria: Django Reinhardt. He's obliviously inept at just about everything else in his life, especially his feelings, to the point where he doesn't know real, rare, wonderful love when it's right next to him. Sean is able to make Emmett so very likable, even in his worst of behavior. He excels at what he does best, bringing real human depth and qualities to his craft that exceptionally few actors are or have been capable of doing.

This film is much like the character of Hattie, deceptive in its initial appearance and of a substantially better quality than you may first think. It seems like a light, cute little story largely due to its entertaining presentation and lack of dramatic pretense but there is significant texture and reality to this work of art. Emmett is perhaps the greatest guitar player in America and has so many of the essential ingredients for huge success: drive, ambition, presentation, wardrobe, personality, yet he tends to sabotage himself frequently and never gets the lucky break needed to put him at the top. True he could probably do rather well if he didn't p+ss away such volumes of cash but he never gets the type of success that the best supposedly deserve and is so wrought with money it won't disappear in the most extravagant lifestyles.

Emmett also makes the tragically universal mistake of believing bullsh+t, both his and society's. He thinks the money and possessions and trophy girlfriends are what happiness are all about. His one saving grace is his love and respect for his craft but can this alone keep him from making a disaster of his life? He discovers all too painfully that the beautiful woman with the sophisticated, witty repartee, whom all the other men drool over, has an extremely high price tag of impenetrable, cold blooded narcissism. And though Emmett acts for the most part like a shallow dope, trying to hide and deny that besides being a genius he is a painfully sensitive man in desperate need of sweet, nurturing love, he still makes way too many foolhardy decisions. He is blind to the fact that the women who use sweetness merely as a tool of manipulation are the last thing he, or anyone else with a shred of decency, need or deserve.

This is a great film and story and you can also enjoy a very pretty picture of life in the 1940's while you watch it.

Apparently there was an obscure jazz guitarist named Emmett Ray but even if there wasn't, this is not really a fictionalized account. Certainly not in the sense of capturing the essence of character, love and genius. As he has done so marvelously before and since, Woody Allen masterfully captures an immensely watchable slice of life that most of us will only have an opportunity to witness with this fine offering. For the film itself as well as the two stellar leads this is will go into my relatively short list of wonderful, favorite films.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (140 total) »

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