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Bamboozled (2000)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 7,908 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 183 user | 53 critic | 32 from Metacritic.com

A frustrated African American TV writer proposes a blackface minstrel show in protest, but to his chagrin it becomes a hit.

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Title: Bamboozled (2000)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Sloan Hopkins (as Jada Pinkett-Smith)
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Thomas Jefferson Byrd ...
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Dot
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Susan Batson ...
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Mau Mau: Big Blak Afrika (Julius Hopkins)
M.C. Serch ...
Mau Mau: 1 / 16th Blak (as MC Serch)
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Canibus ...
DJ Scratch ...
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Storyline

Dark, biting satire of the television industry, focusing on an Ivy-League educated black writer at a major network. Frustrated that his ideas for a "Cosby Show"-esque take on the black family has been rejected by network brass, he devises an outlandish scheme: reviving the minstrel show. The hook: instead of white actors in black face, the show stars black actors in even blacker face. The show becomes an instant smash, but with the success also comes repercussions for all involved. Written by N. Cognito <nobody@noplace>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Starring the great negroe actors

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

23 February 2001 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

It's Showtime  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$190,720 (USA) (6 October 2000)

Gross:

ESP 5,010,100 (Spain) (29 June 2001)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The two award ceremony scenes are parodies of two real award recipients whom Spike Lee has publicly criticized: the first, where DelaCroix is fumbling around and yelling "Show me the money!", is a jab at Cuba Gooding Jr.'s enthusiastic victory speech for winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor; the second scene, in which DelaCroix becomes a teary-eyed brown-noser to Matthew Modine, is a shot at Ving Rhames' Golden Globe victory in which he gave teary-eyed kudos to Jack Lemmon. See more »

Quotes

Honeycutt: Niggas is a beautiful thang.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers wish to thank ... New York Production Locals ... See more »

Connections

References The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Blak Iz Blak
Written by Ron Lawrence, Mos Def (as Dante Smith), Canibus (as Germaine Williams),
M.C. Serch (as Michael Berrin), Craig muMs Grant (as Craig Grant), Charli Baltimore (as Tiffany Lane),
, Gano Grills and DJ Scratch (as George Spivey)
Performed by Mau Maus
Featuring Mos Def, Canibus, Charli Baltimore, M.C. Serch (as MC Serch),
DJ Scratch, Craig muMs Grant (as Mums) and Gano Grills
Mos Def appears Courtesy of MCA Records
MC Serch appears Courtesy of Serchlight/Warlock Records
Canibus appears Courtesy of Crazy World/Universal Records
See more »

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User Reviews

fascinating failure
4 June 2005 | by (San Francisco, US) – See all my reviews

first, the criticisms:

the acting is bad. the camera-work is only competent. the narrative is weak.

now the praise: my jaw dropped a number of times during the viewing. I couldn't believe I was watching an American movie. more so than other movies, bamboozled is entirely a result of entertainment. the world the movie depicts is centered on a TV network (entertainment producers and distributors), the narrative within the movie looks at entertainment (they're making a TV show!), and there is the film itself (which is entertainment).

but the things the actors say! if there is such a thing as a monolithic white America and a monolithic black America, many many lines that spike wrote can NOT be said in polite company.

and the events that transpire! the very idea of a c.2000 minstrel show is enough to provoke discussion and examination. the non stop barrage of highly charged race signifiers (speech, clothes, ideas, the blackface fabrication and application, etc) contributed to a very specific tone of outrage and cynicism. so it's fascinating because it's brilliantly done. but it's a failure because it's not quite a movie. could spike really have intended to make a satire of a movie, where the story of the movie is to make a satire on TV?

in short, the (often intense) reaction this movie engenders is worthwhile in itself. however, the movie feels to me like an intentioned, crafted harangue, which lowers its worth as entertainment, and establishes itself as a diatribe.


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