6.8/10
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230 user 117 critic

Bulworth (1998)

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A suicidally disillusioned liberal politician puts a contract out on himself and takes the opportunity to be bluntly honest with his voters by affecting the rhythms and speech of hip-hop music and culture.

Director:

Warren Beatty

Writers:

Warren Beatty (story), Warren Beatty (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 19 nominations. See more awards »

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Director: John Junkerman
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kimberly Deauna Adams Kimberly Deauna Adams ... Denisha
Vinny Argiro Vinny Argiro ... Debate Director
Sean Astin ... Gary
Kirk Baltz ... Debate Producer
Ernie Lee Banks ... Leroy (as Ernie Banks)
Amiri Baraka Amiri Baraka ... Rastaman
Christine Baranski ... Constance Bulworth
Adilah Barnes ... Mrs. Brown
Warren Beatty ... Jay Bulworth
Graham Beckel ... Man with Dark Glasses
Halle Berry ... Nina
Brandon N. Bowlin Brandon N. Bowlin ... Bouncer #2
Mongo Brownlee Mongo Brownlee ... Henchman #3
Thomas Jefferson Byrd ... Uncle Rafeeq
J. Kenneth Campbell ... Anthony
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Storyline

Senator Jay Bulworth is facing speculation-induced financial ruin, so he puts out a contract on his own life in order to collect a large, new insurance policy for his family. Living each moment on borrowed time, he suddenly begins spouting raw, unfiltered--and sometimes offensive in word but satirical in spirit -- thoughts to shocked audiences and handlers in the speech of hip-hop music and culture. His newfound uninhibitedness and new relationship with Nina carry him on a journey of political and spiritual renewal. Written by Stuart Hoffman

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Brace yourself. This politician is about to tell the truth! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive strong language and some drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 May 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tribulations See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$141,816, 17 May 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$26,525,834, 6 December 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Twentieth Century Fox See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Notable American politicians, government administrators, and political figures referred and/or featured in the film included Democrat President Bill Clinton, Democrat Vic-President Al Gore, Bob Dole, Ross Perot, Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, Alan Simpson, Democratic New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley (1979-1997), Colin Powell, Clint Eastwood, George Bush, Huey P. Newton, Robert F. Kennedy, Democrat President John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King. See more »

Goofs

The man who hands Bulworth a joint at the bar completely alters the direction he's facing and his visual expression in a split second as the shot changes. See more »

Quotes

Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth: It's up to the people to decide what the state of California and the nation will do.
[starts rhyming]
Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth: Ooh, what we'll do, the nation we'll do. It's up to you, what'll we do / What we'll do, well, it's up to you
[starts rapping]
Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth: You know, it ain't that funny, you contribute on my money/ You make a contribution, and you get a solution/ As long as you can pay, I'm gonna do it all your way/ Yes, the money talks and the people walk.
[Tanya puts some background rap music]
Sen. Jay Billington Bulworth: Yeah!/ Now, let me hear you say...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

For the song "Bulworth Breakdown", the title character Jay Bulworth is credited as a writer and performer. See more »

Connections

Features Blacula (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

U Turn
Written, Performed and Produced by Chris Haynes
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Come on, let me hear that dirty word - SOCIALISM!
13 June 2016 | by pzivojinovicSee all my reviews

A politician has nothing left to lose.. so why not speak the truth? Warren Beatty's Senator Jay Bulworth lays down the smack: the reason the working man (in this movie, the working class is cleverly disguised as hip-hop mavens) doesn't have a voice, is he doesn't have the sway or monetary bullocks to *buy* a voice. Words aren't worth a penny unless you're worth billions. And of course, from the first instant, this divine fool's failure is certain and imminent: Big Business, what with its grimy fingers perpetually immersed in the U.S. Government's proverbial tub of crunchy Jif, would never allow a politician like Bulworth to succeed, at the risk of the working class' newfound capacity to leech the power from the insurance companies and tire manufacturers.

Beneath the sometimes dark comedy, Bulworth has a lot of insightful and painful comments to may about our often hypocritical and ineffectual government. These observations are made satirically, but effectively. This is not a heavy-handed work. One thing that hampered Bulworth at the box-office was its portrayal of the man in the black community. People didn't get it. They were offended, especially many liberal white people. Beatty was in no way making fun of African-Americans by showing a very streetwise group. His point, which I thought was fairly obvious, was that many people will behave in an antisocial way in a society that is largely indifferent and often hostile towards them. I think that's almost a no-brainer. Bulworth is that rare politician who has soul. I agree that Warren Beaty's rapping was sub par, but who cares? "Bulworth" makes a powerful statement that in order to transcend problems of crime, poverty, racism, and political corruption we are going to have to take a cold hard look at who we really are and what is really happening around us. Accepting other people particularly from different racial and economic backgrounds has to be more than just an insincere speech act. It must be an act of good will that is grounded in practical reality.

Overall rating: 8 out of 10.


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