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City of Hope (1991)

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An intersecting tale with a multitude of characters living lives which, in one way or another, revolve around an old apartment block scheduled to be demolished.

Director:

John Sayles

Writer:

John Sayles
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5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vincent Spano ... Nick Rinaldi
Stephen Mendillo ... Yoyo
Chris Cooper ... Riggs
Tony Lo Bianco ... Joe Rinaldi
Joe Morton ... Wynn
Charlie Yanko Charlie Yanko ... Stavros
Jace Alexander ... Bobby
Todd Graff ... Zip
Scott Schutzman Tiler Scott Schutzman Tiler ... Vinnie (as Scott Tiler)
John Sayles ... Carl
Frankie Faison ... Levonne
Gloria Foster ... Jeanette
Tom Wright ... Malik
Angela Bassett ... Reesha
David Strathairn ... Asteroid
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Storyline

City of Hope is a portrait of a typical middle-sized American city of the present day. The crux of the story is an old apartment block which stands in the way of a major commercial development. Joe Rinaldi is the building contractor who owns the buildings, and is being pressured to torch them to permit the development to occur. His estranged son, Nick, soon becomes a pawn in the power politics of the city. Corrupt Mayor Baci and policeman O'Brien are determined to push the development, while idealistic city councilman Wynn soon finds himself torn between what he knows is right and what his black constituents want. Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and a scene of sensuality | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 November 1991 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A remény városa See more »

Filming Locations:

Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,264,910
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes one Oscar winner: Chris Cooper; and three Oscar nominees: David Strathairn, John Sayles and Angela Bassett. See more »

Quotes

Wynn: All the problems we're hearing about tonight, the unemployment, the drugs, the street crimes, those will always be the highest when they people have the least education. So you'll can pay now or you can pay later. I mean if you have a brain tumor you wouldn't shop around for the cheapest surgeon you'll look for the best and that's what we're voting on tonight: the best for our children. Or do we sell out their futures for few tax cuts? Thank you.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Directors (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

Takes On Too Much
5 May 2015 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

In this movie, ambition overreaches result, and the usually clear-sighted John Sayles flounders. There are moments of brilliance, as when the camera turns sharply to pick up new threads in the sprawling interweave of city intrigue that composes the central theme. But the sprawl ultimately proves too unwieldy for even Sayles' considerable talent. I only wish he had succeeded. The backdoor machinery of city politics needs sensitive treatment of the kind Sayles can deliver. But the script falters and the characters seldom rise above uninteresting stereotype. If its true that too many cooks spoil the soup, it's also true that too many soups spoil the cook, no matter how versatile the latter. Here, director-producer-writer-actor Sayles simply raises more urban issues than he deals with effectively: police corruption, brutality, racism, homophobia, kick-backs, drugs, influence peddling, organized crime, with a symbolic love story thrown in - in short, the whole 9 yards that keeps cities operating. Unfortunately, the end result is a force field that pulls apart rather than brings together, making the whole effort appear pointless.

Too bad, because such unconventional scope requires unconventional methods of the type Sayles attempts. But I'm not sure it's possible to force such a life-sized tapestry into an ordinary two-hour time frame. Perhaps something on the order of a Godfather trilogy with a central focus on the Nicky character would accommodate the filmmaker's expansive vision. Trouble is, political mavericks and independents like Sayles seldom get the financing necessary for following through. Looks like he may be consigned to work the fringes in the brilliant and committed fashion of Matewan and Eight Men Out, for which there is nevertheless always an audience.


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