4.8/10
736
13 user 4 critic

Stars and Bars (1988)

R | | Comedy | 18 March 1988 (USA)
A British art expert travels across America in order to purchase a rare Renoir painting in the South but comes across some crazy characters in the process.

Director:

Pat O'Connor

Writers:

William Boyd (novel), William Boyd (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Daniel Day-Lewis ... Henderson Dores (as Daniel Day Lewis)
Harry Dean Stanton ... Loomis Gage
Kent Broadhurst ... Ben Sereno
Maury Chaykin ... Freeborn Gage
Matthew Cowles ... Beckman Gage
Joan Cusack ... Irene Stein
Keith David ... Eugene Teagarden
Spalding Gray ... Reverend T.J. Cardew
Glenne Headly ... Cora Gage
Laurie Metcalf ... Melissa
Bill Moor Bill Moor ... Edgar Beeby
Deirdre O'Connell ... Shanda Gage
Will Patton ... Duane Gage
Martha Plimpton ... Bryant
Rockets Redglare Rockets Redglare ... Peter Gint
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Storyline

Young Englishman Henderson Dores (Daniel Day-Lewis), yearning to give up his genteel British ways and be a bold and brash American, gets his chance when his New York firm sends him south to acquire a Renoir painting from Loomis Gage (Harry Dean Stanton), the eccentric head of an unusual family.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Englishman in New York See more »

Filming Locations:

Clarkesville, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$111,987
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A rejected score was composed by Elmer Bernstein See more »

Connections

Features The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Indian Love Call
(uncredited)
Music by Rudolf Friml
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto A. Harbach
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Very uneven, but not without some good points
6 June 2007 | by mnpollioSee all my reviews

A very strange fish-out-of-water comedy with straight-laced stiff-upper-lip British art dealer Daniel Day-Lewis sent down South to try to purchase a priceless painting from kooky patriarch Harry Dean Stanton and contending with the various family lunatics. The tone of the film is quite uneven and the comedic moments are more mildly amusing rather than laugh-out-loud funny. Other films and books have done both the "normal guy out of his depth" and lampoon of the Southern Gothic family more expertly, but that is not to indicate that the film does not have some memorable moments. Some of the supporting performances are well done, particularly Maury Chaykin's obnoxious Elvis-garbed bully son and Martha Plimpton, as the sex-crazed teenager, who accompanies Day-Lewis on his trip. Unfortunately, others like Joan Cusack, Glenne Headley, Will Patton and Laurie Metcalf are either stuck with overly broad roles or limited screen time. Pat O'Connor's direction is rather clumsy and rough resulting in a film that moves in starts and stops, and misses the mark more often than not. Arguably the most interesting reason to see the film is Day-Lewis himself. Usually he plays straight dramatic roles filled with sweaty angst, it is rare to see him in a comedy, much less playing such a well-intentioned, discombobulated dweeb. He is surprisingly appealing and throws himself body and soul into the part, even when the film does not remotely deserve such consideration. It is a shame that he has refrained from doing much comedy, because he does show some skill in frantic slapstick moments - whether running around a hotel trying to prevent the meeting of two women or escaping from gangsters buck naked after being forced to strip. Not to digress, but Day-Lewis' surprising full frontal nude scene during the strip and escape is certainly another plus for any fans of his as, much like comedy, nudity is something he rarely does in his dramas.


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