IMDb > Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters (2006)

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Peter Bart (book)
Peter Bart (screenplay)
View company contact information for Boffo! Tinseltown's Bombs and Blockbusters on IMDbPro.
Hollywoods biggest talents explore what is the recipe for blockbuster, flops, and how absolute happenstance and controlled luck can make movie magic. | Add synopsis »
Nominated for Primetime Emmy. See more »
User Reviews:
Could have been incisive but ends up forgettable See more (9 total) »



Peter Bogdanovich ... Himself

Pierce Brosnan ... Himself

David Brown ... Himself

Charles Chaplin ... (archive footage)

George Clooney ... Himself

Francis Ford Coppola ... Himself (archive footage)
Bill Couturié ... Himself (voice)

Danny DeVito ... Himself

Richard Dreyfuss ... Himself

Robert Evans ... Himself

Jodie Foster ... Herself

Morgan Freeman ... Himself

Brian Grazer ... Himself

Peter Guber ... HImself

Daryl Hannah ... Madison / Ayla (archive footage)

Oliver Hardy ... (archive footage)
Willard Huyck ... Himself
Gloria Katz ... Herself

Buster Keaton ... (archive footage)

Sherry Lansing ... Herself

Stan Laurel ... (archive footage)

Simone Mareuil ... (archive footage)

Penny Marshall ... Herself

Steve McQueen ... (archive footage)

Sydney Pollack ... Himself

Robert Redford ... Johnny Hooker / Roy Hobbs / Denys George Finch Hatton (archive footage)

Leo Rossi ... Cliff 'Scorpion' Albrect (archive footage)

Tom Rothman ... Himself

John Singleton ... Himself

Steven Spielberg ... Himself (archive footage)

David Strathairn ... Edward R. Murrow (archive footage)

Charlize Theron ... Herself

Rudolph Valentino ... (archive footage)

Nia Vardalos ... Herself

Richard D. Zanuck ... Himself

J.J. Abrams ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Julie Andrews ... Maria (archive footage) (uncredited)

Rosanna Arquette ... Jody (archive footage) (uncredited)

Kevin Bacon ... Jack Swigert (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ingrid Bergman ... Alicia Huberman / Ilsa Lund (archive footage) (uncredited)

Halle Berry ... Jinx (archive footage) (uncredited)

Humphrey Bogart ... Rick Blaine (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ray Bolger ... Hunk / The Scarecrow (archive footage) (uncredited)

Timothy Bottoms ... Sonny Crawford (archive footage) (uncredited)

Marlon Brando ... Don Vito Corleone (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jim Broadbent ... Harold Zidler (archive footage) (uncredited)

Clancy Brown ... Captain Byron T. Hadley (archive footage) (uncredited)

Kate Capshaw ... Willie Scott (archive footage) (uncredited)

Glenn Close ... Alex Forrest (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jennifer Connelly ... Alicia Nash (archive footage) (uncredited)

John Corbett ... Ian Miller (archive footage) (uncredited)

Kevin Costner ... Lt. John Dunbar / Robin of Locksley (archive footage) (uncredited)

Russell Crowe ... Capt. Jack Aubrey / John Nash (archive footage) (uncredited)

Tom Cruise ... Himself / Ethan Hunt / Ray Ferrier (archive footage) (uncredited)

Geena Davis ... Dottie Hinson (archive footage) (uncredited)

Leonardo DiCaprio ... Jack Dawson (archive footage) (uncredited)

Michael Douglas ... Dan Gallagher (archive footage) (uncredited)

Michael Clarke Duncan ... John Coffey (archive footage) (uncredited)

Clint Eastwood ... Himself / William 'Bill' Munny (archive footage) (uncredited)

Joseph Fiennes ... Will Shakespeare (archive footage) (uncredited)

Laurence Fishburne ... Jason 'Furious' Styles (archive footage) (uncredited)

Harrison Ford ... Indiana Jones (archive footage) (uncredited)

Matthew Fox ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Judy Garland ... Dorothy Gale (archive footage) (uncredited)

George Gaynes ... John Van Horne (archive footage) (uncredited)

Cuba Gooding Jr. ... Tré Styles (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ruth Gordon ... Maude (archive footage) (uncredited)

Cary Grant ... T.R. Devlin / Roger O. Thornhill (archive footage) (uncredited)

Melanie Griffith ... Maria Ruskin (archive footage) (uncredited)

Alec Guinness ... Col. Nicholson (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bob Gunton ... Warden Samuel Norton (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jack Haley ... Hickory / The Tin Man (archive footage) (uncredited)

Mark Hamill ... Luke Skywalker (archive footage) (uncredited)

Tom Hanks ... Himself / Sherman McCoy / Jimmy Dugan / Forrest Gump / Jim Lovell / Paul Edgecomb / Chuck Noland (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ethan Hawke ... Jake (archive footage) (uncredited)

Charlton Heston ... Moses (archive footage) (uncredited)

Dustin Hoffman ... Michael Dorsey / Dorothy Michaels (archive footage) (uncredited)

Anthony Hopkins ... Dr. Hannibal Lecter (archive footage) (uncredited)

Tom Hulce ... Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (archive footage) (uncredited)

Samuel L. Jackson ... Jules Winnfield (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ben Johnson ... Sam the Lion (archive footage) (uncredited)

Gene Kelly ... Don Lockwood (archive footage) (uncredited)

Nicole Kidman ... Satine (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bert Lahr ... Zeke / The Cowardly Lion (archive footage) (uncredited)

John Leguizamo ... Toulouse-Latrec (archive footage) (uncredited)

Christopher Lloyd ... Taber (archive footage) (uncredited)

Robert Loggia ... MacMillan (archive footage) (uncredited)

Baz Luhrmann ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Madonna ... Mae Mordabito (archive footage) (uncredited)

Andrea Martin ... Aunt Vola (archive footage) (uncredited)

Marsha Mason ... Paula McFadden (archive footage) (uncredited)

Ewan McGregor ... Christian (archive footage) (uncredited)

Kylie Minogue ... The Green Fairy (archive footage) (uncredited)

Frank Morgan ... The Wizard of Oz (archive footage) (uncredited)

Carrie-Anne Moss ... Trinity (archive footage) (uncredited)

Chris O'Donnell ... Robin / Dick Grayson (archive footage) (uncredited)

Rosie O'Donnell ... Herself / Doris Murphy - 3rd Base (archive footage) (uncredited)

Peter O'Toole ... T.E. Lawrence (archive footage) (uncredited)

Haley Joel Osment ... Cole Sear (archive footage) (uncredited)

Al Pacino ... Michael Corleone (archive footage) (uncredited)

Gwyneth Paltrow ... Viola De Lesseps (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bill Paxton ... Fred Haise (archive footage) (uncredited)

Rhea Perlman ... Zinnia Wormwood (archive footage) (uncredited)

Brad Pitt ... Rusty Ryan (archive footage) (uncredited)

Randy Quaid ... Lester Marlow (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jonathan Ke Quan ... Short Round (archive footage) (uncredited)

Kathleen Quinlan ... Marilyn Lovell (archive footage) (uncredited)

Daniel Radcliffe ... Harry Potter (archive footage) (uncredited)

Christina Ricci ... Selby (archive footage) (uncredited)

Tim Robbins ... Andy Dufresne (archive footage) (uncredited)

Richard Roxburgh ... The Duke (archive footage) (uncredited)

Will Sampson ... Chief Bromden (archive footage) (uncredited)

Roy Scheider ... Police Chief Martin Brody (archive footage) (uncredited)

Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Julius Benedict (archive footage) (uncredited)

George C. Scott ... Gen. George S. Patton Jr. (archive footage) (uncredited)

Peter Sellers ... Chance the Gardener / Dr. Strangelove (archive footage) (uncredited)

Robert Shaw ... Quint (archive footage) (uncredited)

Cybill Shepherd ... Jacy Farrow (archive footage) (uncredited)

Eric Stoltz ... Lance (archive footage) (uncredited)

Meryl Streep ... Karen (archive footage) (uncredited)

Gloria Stuart ... Old Rose (archive footage) (uncredited)

Mena Suvari ... Angela Hayes (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jessica Tandy ... Daisy Werthan (archive footage) (uncredited)

Audrey Tautou ... Amélie Poulain (archive footage) (uncredited)

Uma Thurman ... Mia Wallace (archive footage) (uncredited)

John Travolta ... Vincent Vega (archive footage) (uncredited)

Mark Wahlberg ... Bobby Shatford (archive footage) (uncredited)

Denzel Washington ... Alonzo (archive footage) (uncredited)

Orson Welles ... Charles Foster Kane (archive footage) (uncredited)

Frank Whaley ... Brett (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bruce Willis ... Dr. Malcolm Crowe (archive footage) (uncredited)

Kate Winslet ... Rose DeWitt Bukater (archive footage) (uncredited)

Robin Wright ... Jenny Curran (archive footage) (uncredited)

Robert Zemeckis ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Catherine Zeta-Jones ... Marylin Rexroth (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Bill Couturié 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Peter Bart  book "Boffo!: How I Learned to Love the Blockbuster and Fear the Bomb"
Peter Bart  screenplay
Bill Couturié  screenplay

Produced by
Peter Bart .... executive producer
Bill Couturié .... producer
Alexis Ercoli .... associate producer
Timothy M. Gray .... co-producer
John Hoffman .... supervising producer
Charlie Koones .... executive producer
Sheila Nevins .... executive producer
Anne Sandkuhler .... producer
Original Music by
Todd Boekelheide 
Cinematography by
Stephen Lighthill 
Film Editing by
Mark Brewer 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Christian Pichler .... assistant director
Sound Department
James Jack .... sound recordist
Jack Norflus .... sound recordist
Camera and Electrical Department
Kyle Klutz .... electrician
Jacob Sauerbrey .... best boy electric
Music Department
Alex Lu .... score preparation
Deddy Tzur .... composer: additional music
Other crew
Kevin Goddard .... production assistant

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:75 min

Did You Know?

Morgan Freeman:[about "Bonfire of the Vanities"] When an airliner crashes, they say that it's usually caused by a series of mishaps.See more »
Movie Connections:
Features Jaws (1975)See more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Could have been incisive but ends up forgettable, 10 August 2006
Author: Cool Hand Luke from London, England

I found out about this 75 minute HBO doc in an issue of ASC. The article touted a bill of big Hollywood players; studio heads, producers and actors. I was intrigued so had to watch it.

I am very interested in how Hollywood works and read Variety/Screen/Premiere, and also check out IMDb's daily news. You get a sense of the workings of the big studios but rarely do studio heads lay it out on the table, and that is where you hoped Boffo! would be revealing.

Unfortunately it plays as some sort of AFI/Oscar ceremony montage of great Hollywood movies, past and present, with the interviewees giving very OBVIOUS quotes such as "rules are there to be broken" and "success and failure balances on a very fine line." Sure, if you're a fan of film, then surely you wanna hear anything Bogdanovich, Evans, Grazer and Guber have to say. But if you want to hear some revealing comments you better off sticking to the trades.

It seems the director wanted to avoid focusing on the flops. Heaven's Gate is not mentioned ONCE. Disasters like Cutthroat Island, Battlefield Earth, Gigli, The Avengers, The Postman and Town & Country are not mentioned, yet are prime material to devour and assess. You look at these films and the main reason they flopped was because of the egos behind them: Costner, Beatty, Travolta, Cimino, Harlin. Then you have the excess of Hollywood. The extravagance of their budgets and the ridiculous costs of marketing. Somehow these topics are barely talked about. Why not venture into The Cable Guy when Columbia went nuts and gave Carrey a 20 mill pay check and changed the film industry forever?

An interesting point was made that spending more money can sometimes be a safer bet, like with Troy. Sure, it cost one or two hundred million dollars to make, but it made back double because it seemed like a sure fire winner. Compare that with Training Day, Denzel winning the Oscar, costing maybe less than a third of Troy, yet not grossing nearly as much. But these passing comments are not delved into. It's almost as if there was no structure to the filming. Let's get as many big names as we can, ask them some questions, and see what we can get in the edit. It would have been more fruitful cutting the number of people in half and focusing on a few films as opposed to allowing them run riot with pointless anecdotes on the making of Jaws which any self respecting Hollywood fan would already know about! The importance of the script, of course, is mentioned. You know why? Because it's the first thing you learn at film school, because the most important part of a film is the STORY. Sure, there are exceptions. Bad stories have made lots of money, but in general, if you look at the most successful films in the history of film, you will see most of them consist of good storytellers telling good stories.

But it is all the other factors that Boffo! could and should have focused on.

There is a great moment when Morgan Freeman is asked about The Bonfire of the Vanities, and why it flopped (despite having the box office lifetime guarantee hallmark of Tom Hanks) and whether there was any sign during production. The great Freeman is very VERY delicate with his words, pausing for what seems like a whole minute before concluding; "when an airline crashes they say that it is mostly a series of mishaps...same thing." And that my friends is the closest you will get to any sort of directed criticism made in the entire film.

More prescient is the fact that Richard Dreyfuss harks on about the importance of the story and how filmmakers today have all this great technology but do not know how to use it. It just so happens he is conducting the interview, in glorious bloody makeup on the back-lot of Poseidon, 2006's first major summer SFX flop! So all in all a big disappointment, but still containing enjoyable nuggets if only because the likes of Clooney, Dreyfuss, Freeman and DeVito are as charismatic as ever!

On a side note, if anyone wants to see how stars should be lit then look no further. ASC member Stephen Lighthill did a sterling job and made everyone look fantastic.

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