5.7/10
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Sunset (1988)

Tom Mix and Wyatt Earp team up to solve a murder at the Academy Awards in 1929 Hollywood.

Director:

Blake Edwards

Writers:

Rod Amateau (story), Blake Edwards (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... Tom Mix
James Garner ... Wyatt Earp
Malcolm McDowell ... Alfie Alperin
Mariel Hemingway ... Cheryl King
Kathleen Quinlan ... Nancy Shoemaker
Jennifer Edwards ... Victoria Alperin
Patricia Hodge ... Christina Alperin
Richard Bradford ... Captain Blackworth
M. Emmet Walsh ... Chief Marvin Dibner
Joe Dallesandro ... Dutch Kieffer
Andreas Katsulas ... Arthur
Dann Florek ... Marty Goldberg
Bill Marcus Bill Marcus ... Hal Flynn
Michael C. Gwynne ... Mooch
Dermot Mulroney ... Michael Alperin
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Storyline

Whilst making a silent film about the life of the legendary lawman Wyatt Earp, veteran actor 'Tom Mix' (Bruce Willis) discovers that the real Earp ('James Garner') is on the film set as a technical advisor. The two become friends, but when a murder takes place, the two become partners and set about tracking down the killer. Written by Jonathan Broxton <j.w.broxton@sheffield.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They broke every rule, loved every woman, took every risk and solved the most shocking murder in the history of Beverly Hills. And it's all true. Give or take a lie or two.


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The script was based on an unpublished book by film and television director Rod Amateau, who is credited for the film's story. See more »

Goofs

After drawing his gun, Tom Mix's gun is in his holster and in his hand at the same time throughout the gunfight at his ranch. See more »

Quotes

Tom Mix: I fell in love with a beautiful woman who believed a man was not a complete lover unless he knew how to tango.
Cheryl King, Owner of Candy Store: She didn't give you much choice.
Tom Mix: I took lessons for years.
Wyatt Earp: And what was this young lady's vocation?
Tom Mix: She was a tango instructor.
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Crazy Credits

The final frame of the picture freezes, and the following text appears: "And this is how it really happened. Give or take a lie or two." See more »

Connections

References Singin' in the Rain (1952) See more »

Soundtracks

Black And Tan Fantasy
Performed by Duke Ellington and the Duke Ellington Orchestra
Courtesy of RCA Records
See more »

User Reviews

 
AN OFFBEAT AND UNUSUAL FILM FOR BLAKE EDWARDS
26 April 2001 | by KatMissSee all my reviews

Blake Edwards' "Sunset" has the misfortune of following a series of films that are among his all time best: "10", "S.O.B.", "Trail of the Pink Panther" (a surprisingly cohesive film considering the circumstances; see my review for more details), "Victor/Victoria", "The Man Who Loved Women" (an underrated film), "Micki and Maude", "A Fine Mess" and the remarkable "That's Life!" By comparison, "Sunset" is a weak film.

But it is a good Blake Edwards film and good Edwards ("Blind Date", "Curse of the Pink Panther") is much better than horrible Edwards ("Switch", "Bring Your Smile Along", "Justin Case"). "Sunset" is Edwards' attempt at a risky genre, film noir, which if handled wrong, gives us films such as "Palmetto". When handled right, the results can be very entertaining.

"Sunset" is indeed very entertaining. It has laughs, but they're not important here. The atmosphere is what's important here and Edwards drenches us in it. And his casting of James Garner and Bruce Willis is inspired and right. They work wonderfully together and it is a testament to Garner and Willis as actors that they are so utterly believable as Wyatt Earp and Tom Mix, respectively. The bigger surprise here is Willis, who has a fresh faced charm that he doesn't show all that much anymore. I had forgotten what a solid actor he really is beneath that cliched "ACTION STAR" persona.

What prevents "Sunset" from approaching greatness is that Edwards is weighed down by the plot. He wants to create a complex mystery and he achieves that. But after getting to know such rich and likable characters, I really wish he had just forgotten about the plot and focus on them. All of his very best films are about character. Look at the list in the beginning. Each and every one of those films has characters we care about and he wisely forgets about resolving the plot. He observes and that's how he gets our attention (and laughs where appropriate). I only wished he had remembered. Luckily, his next film "Skin Deep" remembered that.

I still recommend "Sunset", if only for the charm of Willis and Garner and that wonderful atmosphere. This isn't a great film, but you just can't resist smiling at the end.

*** out of 4 stars


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Details

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 April 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Catalina See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,031,678, 1 May 1988

Gross USA:

$4,594,452

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,594,452
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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