6.2/10
18,013
74 user 63 critic

Mad City (1997)

PG-13 | | Crime, Drama, Thriller | 7 November 1997 (USA)
Trailer
0:31 | Trailer

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A disgruntled security guard holds a school trip group hostage, while a news reporter forms a bond with him.

Director:

Costa-Gavras

Writers:

Tom Matthews (screenplay), Tom Matthews (story) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Sam
Dustin Hoffman ... Brackett
Mia Kirshner ... Laurie
Alan Alda ... Kevin Hollander
Robert Prosky ... Lou Potts
Blythe Danner ... Mrs. Banks
William Atherton ... Dohlen
Ted Levine ... Lemke
Tammy Lauren ... Miss Rose
William O'Leary ... CTN Junior Executive
Raymond J. Barry ... Dobbins
Lucinda Jenney ... Jenny
Akosua Busia ... Diane
Ebbe Roe Smith ... Bartholomew
Bingwa Bingwa ... Nat Jackson
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Storyline

Sam Baily, upset over losing his job, takes a natural history museum hostage. Max Brackett, journalist, is in the museum when this occurs, and gets the scoop. The story spreads nation wide, and soon it is all anyone talks about. The story itself is the news, not the reason why or the real people behind it. Written by <freckles@vivid.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One man will make a mistake. The other will make it a spectacle. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for depiction of a hostage situation, including violence and brief language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 November 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cuarto poder See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,649,742, 9 November 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,556,196, 11 January 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The woman who plays the cop with the shotgun in the trailer is Teresa O'Kane, author of the book Safari Jema, A Journey of Love and Adventure from Casablanca to Cape Town. See more »

Quotes

Max Brackett: I think they'd want to know.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Sides
Written by Chuck D (as Chuck D) and Gary G-Wiz (as Gary G. Wiz)
Produced by Gary G-Wiz
Performed by Chuck D
Courtesy of Mercury Records and Def Jam Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a show of life
12 November 2000 | by Mickey KnoxSee all my reviews

MAD CITY is exciting and thrilling from the first scene.

A talented success-hunting reporter is sent by his boss to a totally not interesting job: to do a story about a museum with financiary problems. Upset and defeated, DUSTIN HOFFMAN's character goes there and has the chance of running into what will prove to be the story of his life: a guy enters the museum and takes everyone inside hostage. It's a smart movie, just because it debates themes that can only lead to smart scenes. Probably the best thing about MAD CITY are the actors: Travolta and Hoffman are great in their roles and they add an extra-value to the movie by the way they act.

What if you really need money to support your family and you just got fired? How far are you able to go to get your job back? Far enough to enter a museum and threat the owner with a gun? Surely. But what if by mistake you do something that you can't get out from? That's Travolta's situation.

What if all your life you aimed for a great story that will totally change everything about you? How far are you able to go? Far enough to play the victim's life in your hands an organise a live show from which you practically doom him to death? That's Hoffman's situation.

The plot grows rapidly and it's very convincing. And the ending is the only one possible.

Costa-Gavras does a great job with this movie and manages to mantain balance between the characters and the action. Good job. Vote: 8 out of 10.


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