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The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)

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1:34 | Trailer
The lives of two struggling musicians, who happen to be brothers, inevitably change when they team up with a beautiful, up-and-coming singer.

Director:

Steve Kloves

Writer:

Steve Kloves
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Jack Baker
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Susie Diamond
Beau Bridges ... Frank Baker
Ellie Raab Ellie Raab ... Nina
Xander Berkeley ... Lloyd
Dakin Matthews ... Charlie
Ken Lerner ... Ray
Albert Hall ... Henry
Terri Treas ... Girl in Bed
Gregory Itzin ... Vince Nancy
Bradford English Bradford English ... Earl
David Coburn ... Kid at Vet
Todd Jeffries ... Theo
Jeff Nowinski ... Hotel Masseuse (as Jeffrey J. Nowinski)
Nancy Fish ... Laughing Bar Patron
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Storyline

The Fabulous Baker Boys, a Seattle-based duo piano lounge act performing cheesy jazz renditions of pop standards, is comprised of thirty-something brothers Frank and Jack Baker. Older Frank, married with two children, is the controlling business manager, front man and sole programmer of the playlist. Younger Jack is the carefree one without commitments to anything or anyone, including women, he who has had a long string of one night stands, most specifically with cocktail waitresses. Jack's strongest commitments are to his aging dog, Eddie, and to Nina, the lonely adolescent who lives in the apartment above his with her single, constantly dating mother. Jack's commitment to Nina is because of her unwavering commitment to him. The Baker Boys' act is becoming stale and outdated, and as such their ability to hold onto what gigs they are able to get is getting more difficult. So Frank comes up with the idea of hiring a singer to beef up the act. After thirty-seven failed auditions, they ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

For 31 years it's been just the Fabulous Baker Boys... but times change.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 October 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Fabulous Baker Boys See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,313,815, 15 October 1989

Gross USA:

$18,428,904

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$18,428,904
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Madonna was originally approached for the role of Susie Diamond that went to Michelle Pfeiffer. Madonna turned it down because she thought that the plot was "too mushy." See more »

Goofs

When the little girl comes in through the window and tells Susie she "came down to walk Eddie", she goes out the door without the dog leash. The leash is clearly visible hanging on a peg right next to the door. See more »

Quotes

Susie Diamond: Oh no, not the goddamn Luau Lounge again!
Frank Baker: What's the matter with the Luau Lounge? They don't salt their peanuts?
Susie Diamond: Singing 'Feelings' knee-deep in paper orchids and plastic tiki lamps is not exactly my idea of a fun evening.
Frank Baker: Fun? Who promised you fun? We get paid, remember!
See more »

Connections

References Winter Kills (1979) See more »

Soundtracks

Ten Cents a Dance
Performed by Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeff Bridges & Beau Bridges
Written by Richard Rodgers & Lorenz Hart
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Backstage Blues
27 July 2003 | by harry-76See all my reviews

After playing small club gigs for over 15 years, the "Baker Boys" finally come to grips with some realities.

"Susie" comes into their act and lives. She's a former "escort" and blues singer, whom they hire to rejuvenate their somewhat tired act.

This she does, in more ways than one.

"The Fabulous Baker Boys" is an accurate and frank depiction of musicians' lives-on-the-road. It reveals what happens after the audience goes home and the musicians retire to their nice hotel rooms.

But after years, one nice hotel room is the same as another. Likewise, their music routines can become as stale as leftover tobacco smoke in their vacated clubs.

Jeff and Beau Bridges execute some the finest work of their careers in this film. Likewise, Michelle Pfeiffer equally supports them, as well as does her own singing.

Dave Grusin and John Hammond's soundtrack piano renditions are excellent, as is Peggy Holmes' choreography for Ms. Pfeiffer. Sydney Pollack was wise to financially support this production as executive producer.

Writer director Steven Kloves came up with a winner here, marred only by some general slow pacing and an ambiguous though appropriate ending.

"The Fabulous Baker Boys'" reputation continues to grow and be appreciated by more audiences, through cable and DVD distributions. It signifies a rare glimpse at backstage life-on-the-road of musicians who so enrich our lives, yet are all too often taken for granted.


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