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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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. 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

Co-screenwriter Jeremy Pikser described the experience of working with Warren Beatty as frustrating. He was paid by the studio a lump sum per each draft produced and Beatty spent months working and reworking a single draft. Tired of being away from his family, Beatty's ego and the lack of pay, Pikser left the L.A. office where he and Beatty were writing the script to return to his family in L.A. The two finished the rest of the process via telephone and fax. See more »

Goofs

When Bulworth is ordering the hit, Vinnie's lips don't match his words. See more »

Quotes

Mimi: Can you play back that crispy crab cakes remark again?
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Crazy Credits

Last line of credits For: A.B., K.E.B.B., B.M.B., and I.I.A.B. See more »


Soundtracks

How Deep Can You Go
Written by Tony Randle
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User Reviews

 
Brilliant Warren Beatty Performance Overlooked by Oscar
1 January 2006 | by drednmSee all my reviews

In BULWORTH Warren Beatty gives one of his funniest and most outrageous performances. This sharp political satire is even more timely now than it was in 1998. This is a marvelously subversive movie on several fronts: politics, race, economics, Hollywood itself! Beatty stars as a fading senator from California who is so burned out he arranges for a large insurance policy and then hires a hit man. He's at the end of his rope personally and professionally. He's losing in a primary election to a young gun and has nothing left in his life. After days without sleep or eating he is dragged off to a rally at a Black church. He starts to read his "usual" speech but almost in a state of delirium he starts answering questions HONESTLY. He enrages the Black congregation with his brutal answers but somehow feels buoyant. Outside the church as the mobs surround him he runs into Halle Berry and her friends and they all take off in the limo.

This starts a voyage of discovery for Beatty. Of course at this point Beatty is also running from the hit man. His new honesty unleashes a desire to live. They arrive at a Black hip-hop club where Beatty drinks, smokes pot, and is transformed by the loud urban rap music. The dance scene with Beatty and Berry is remarkable.

Next stop is a speech at a fancy Hollywood hotel filled with film executives. Beatty makes many comments of how Jews run Hollywood, becomes rich, but turn out a crappy product. Next comes a debate with his political opponent, and finally an interview. The new Beatty parrots back much of what he has heard from poor Blacks but of course he has always known the truth. His sense of freedom from the back-room politics of Washington is exhilarating and his new voice reaches the masses of disenfranchised voters. His comments about the media and how it is controlled by corporate America is more apt now (during the Bush administration) than ever before.

Beatty is brilliant, and this ranks as one of his very best performances. Berry is actually good as well in her pre-movie star mode when she still bothered to act. Oliver Platt scores as the political aide. Paul Sorvino is a lobbyist for the insurance industry.

Jack Warden, Helen Martin, Don Cheadle, Christine Baranski, Florence Stanley, Laurie Metcalf, Sean Astin, Isaiah Washington, Nora Dunn, Joshua Malina, William Baldwin, Hart Bochner, Armelia McQueen, and Jackie Gayle co-star.

Filled with humor, political insights, and top-notch performances. This acid look at politics in Amerca is more timely now than ever. Bravo to Warren Beatty!


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