6.3/10
3,918
42 user 34 critic

Kansas City (1996)

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A pair of kidnappings expose the complex power dynamics within the corrupt and unpredictable workings of 1930s Kansas City.

Director:

Robert Altman
3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jennifer Jason Leigh ... Blondie O'Hara
Miranda Richardson ... Carolyn Stilton
Harry Belafonte ... Seldom Seen
Michael Murphy ... Henry Stilton
Dermot Mulroney ... Johnny O'Hara
Steve Buscemi ... Johnny Flynn
Brooke Smith ... Babe Flynn
Jane Adams ... Nettie Bolt
Jeff Feringa Jeff Feringa ... Addie Parker
A.C. Tony Smith A.C. Tony Smith ... Sheepshan Red (as A.C. Smith)
Martin Martin Martin Martin ... 'Blue' Green
Albert J. Burnes Albert J. Burnes ... Charlie Parker
Ajia Mignon Johnson Ajia Mignon Johnson ... Pearl Cummings
Tim Snay ... Rally Speaker
Tawanna Benbow Tawanna Benbow ... Rose
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Storyline

Robert Altman's jazz-scored film explores themes of love, crime, race, and politics in 1930s Kansas City. When Blondie O'Hara's husband, a petty thief, is captured by Seldom Seen and held at the Hey Hey Club, she launches a desperate plan to release him. She kidnaps the wife of a powerful local politician in an attempt to blackmail him into using his connections to free Johnny. Despite this being election time, he risks exposure by putting the political machine into action to free Johnny and thereby save his wife. Mrs. Stilton, meanwhile, has befriended Blondie and is impressed by her love and devotion to Johnny, especially in contrast to her own loveless marriage. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Kansas City, 1934. Anything could happen here. One night it did.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Music | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, and for some violence and drug use | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fine Line

Country:

France | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 August 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Канзас Сити See more »

Filming Locations:

Kansas City, Kansas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$432,183, 18 August 1996, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,353,824, 22 September 1996

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,500,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Harry Belafonte improvised or wrote most of his own dialog. See more »

Goofs

When Governor Guy Park is telephoned about the kidnapping, he suggests notifying the state police. Missouri has no state police (only Highway Patrol). See more »

Quotes

Blondie O'Hara: Can I have my husband back now?
Seldom Seen: How do you want him, in a box or a sack?
See more »

Connections

Features Hold Your Man (1933) See more »

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User Reviews

pretty good movie with amazing music
18 June 2004 | by dblaa2000See all my reviews

I happen to like this film... apparently quite a bit more than most people. I even still have a copy of it on VHS somewhere. First and foremost is the music. Absolutely INCREDIBLE old time jazz. The best scene to me is clearly the 'battle' between the sax players at the club. The music in the club throughout the movie and the background score during the non-club scenes is about as good as it gets. And I'm not really a huge jazz guy though I have always liked the Miles Davis - John Coltrane type stuff. This is my favorite non - Angelo Badalamente (sp?)film score. Seriously, see this flick just for the music alone.

And, see it for Miranda Richardson who is AWESOME in this movie. I think she really steals the show in this one. J. Jason Leigh is solid and plays the part of a not too bright, not very successful midwest girl decently. Also, Harry Belafonte is great as Seldom Seen and he just looks and sounds the part so well. Steve Buscemi, Dermot Mulroney and the woman who plays J. Jason Leigh's sister are all quite good in supporting roles, and Michael Murphy is perfect for the part of the slightly confused, yet somewhat powerful husband to the kidnapped Richardson character.

The clothes, cars, and look of the film is nicely done (cmon it IS an Altman picture!!!) and really does make you feel as if you are in Missouri circa 1935-1940. Add to that a slightly twisted ending and you have a really good and def. underrated film that I really want to see again... on DVD this time to REALLY crank up the music scenes. I give Kansas City 7.5/10


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