6.4/10
61,556
368 user 146 critic

Bowfinger (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 13 August 1999 (USA)
When a desperate movie producer fails to get a major star for his bargain basement film, he decides to shoot the film secretly around him.

Director:

Frank Oz

Writer:

Steve Martin

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
6 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two con men try to settle their rivalry by betting on who can swindle a young American heiress out of $50,000 first.

Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Steve Martin, Michael Caine, Glenne Headly
L.A. Story (1991)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

With the help of a talking freeway billboard, a wacky weatherman tries to win the heart of an English newspaper reporter, who is struggling to make sense of the strange world of early 1990s Los Angeles.

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: Steve Martin, Victoria Tennant, Richard E. Grant
Roxanne (1987)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The large-nosed C.D. Bales is in love with the beautiful Roxanne; she falls for his personality but another man's looks.

Director: Fred Schepisi
Stars: Steve Martin, Daryl Hannah, Rick Rossovich
HouseSitter (1992)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Con artist Gwen moves in to Newton's empty home without his knowledge and begins setting up house, posing as his new wife.

Director: Frank Oz
Stars: Steve Martin, Goldie Hawn, Dana Delany
The Jerk (1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An idiotic man struggles to make it through life on his own in St. Louis.

Director: Carl Reiner
Stars: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Catlin Adams
Holy Man (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Eddie Murphy stars as an over-the-top television evangelist who finds a way to turn television home shopping into a religious experience, and takes America by storm.

Director: Stephen Herek
Stars: Eddie Murphy, Jeff Goldblum, Kelly Preston
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Martin ... Bowfinger
Eddie Murphy ... Kit Ramsey / Jiff Ramsey
Heather Graham ... Daisy
Christine Baranski ... Carol
Jamie Kennedy ... Dave
Barry Newman ... Kit's Agent
Adam Alexi-Malle ... Afrim
Kohl Sudduth ... Slater
Terence Stamp ... Terry Stricter
Robert Downey Jr. ... Jerry Renfro
Alejandro Patiño ... Sanchez (as Alejandro Patino)
Alfred De Contreras Alfred De Contreras ... Martinez
Ramiro Fabian Ramiro Fabian ... Hector
Johnny Sanchez ... Luis
Claude Brooks Claude Brooks ... Freddy
Edit

Storyline

Forty-nine year old Bobby Bowfinger is the owner/president of a Hollywood-based production company, Bowfinger International Pictures. The company has yet to produce a film, Bobby's personal net worth is virtually zero, and the company only has $2,184 to its name, $1 invested into it personally by Bobby every week since he first decided he wanted to make a movie when he was a child. Bobby believes his fortunes will change when his accountant Afrim changes hats and writes a science-fiction alien invasion screenplay that Bobby thinks all studios will clamor for and has Oscar written all over it. He has a small stable of followers who support his vision in being part of this movie, which eventually includes Daisy as the lead actress, she a stereotypical small town girl looking to make it big in Hollywood. Having just arrived in town, she does not know her way around the Hollywood system,... except on her proverbial back. Bobby is not averse to telling bald-faced lies in his singular focus... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They're going to lie, cheat and steal - but in a nice way. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sex-related material and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Universal

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 August 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bowfinger's Big Thing See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$18,062,550, 15 August 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$66,384,775

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$98,625,775
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TV)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Eastman Color)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The poster behind the desk of Bowfinger, is for his film titled "The Yugo Story". That is a reference to the Steve Martin film L.A. Story (1991). See more »

Goofs

A "bounce card" (light reflecting screen) is reflected in the window of Kit's car. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Robert K. Bowfinger: Wow. Great script. Great script!
[to his dog]
Robert K. Bowfinger: Betsy? It's now or never. We are gonna make a movie.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the last credits roll, Kit's line, "I saved the world! I saved it," can be heard. See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD "deleted scenes" section contains a much longer version of the "this script, this masterpiece" scene which in a Martin monologue explains why an accountant would write a sci-fi script. His first script, about the exciting world of accounting, was rejected in favor of something that at least has aliens in it. The title is "Star Wars," but that will have to be changed. Another scene features the most avant-garde dry-cleaning place you'll ever see, explaining better the "Kit's dry cleaning" material later on. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Yes Man (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

After Hours
Written by Daniel May
Performed by Daniel May
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/Master Source
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A great comedy for people who love the movies
15 August 1999 | by Rerun-2See all my reviews

"Bowfinger" is one of the funniest movies I have seen in years. It works because it allows the laughs to build from the way the characters play off each other's personalities, without becoming puppets of the script. It is for people who love the movies as well, because that's what it's really about; how the movie industry works on such unlikely coincidences, and how the truly desperate are sometimes successful against their own natures.

The movie is basically about a group of folks who want desperately to make a movie, to break into the big time. They are led by Bobby Bowfinger, of "Bowfinger International Productions", a hack film "studio" in a ramshackle office in an L.A. suburb. Bowfinger is the right man to head this team; he's unscrupulous, infinitely resourceful, and isn't daunted by the fact that his budget will come from the dollars he saved up each week since he was a kid, stashed in a box in his attic. He collects his film crew from illegal immigrants trying to cross the border.

His accountant has just written a script about aliens hiding in raindrops. Don't ask, just watch the movie. The movie is called "Chubby Rain". Bowfinger wants Hollywood's leading action star, Kit Ramsey, to play the lead. As Ramsey, Eddie Murphy turns out one of his best performances. Ramsey is wildly egotistical and emotionally unstable to a fault. He is a member of "Mind Head", one of those many Scientologist-like groups, where he goes often to discuss his many insecurities and paranoid fears, like that of, of course, aliens.

Naturally, Ramsey refuses to be in the picture. That doesn't stop Bowfinger. He comes up with a clever, if risky, idea: follow Ramsey around, shoot him surreptitiously from a distance, using his own actors to play their parts with him, without Ramsey's knowledge. This leads to many very funny scenes in which Ramsey comes to believe his paranoid fantasies about aliens are in fact real, while the actors in the movie praise Ramsey's "style".

Eventually, a stunt double is needed for certain scenes, and a Ramsey look alike, named Jiff, is brought on board. Jiff is an entirely unique character, played also by Murphy as a slow-witted innocent with a sheepish grin and a nasal voice. He is lovable and yet annoying at the same time, to Murphy's credit, and a great movie character.

I liked a lot of things about the movie, especially the eye it has for the way Hollywood works. I really enjoyed a scene early on where Bowfinger stages a phony call with a car phone in a restaurant to create an opportunity to pitch his script to a high-powered executive played by Robert Downey, Jr. Downey is surprised to see the cord dangling from Martin's phone; he may not take him seriously, but he's not likely to forget meeting him.

I also liked the way Ramsey complains to his agent about not having a catch phrase the way white action stars have. His agent points out a scene where he pushes a guy named Cliff off a cliff. "That's too cerebral for an audience," shouts Ramsey. "We're making a movie, not a film!" He points out that in the script he is reading, the letter "k" appears a number of times that is exactly divisible by three, so "KKK" appears "486 times!"

What is best about the movie is the way Bowfinger goes for broke, improvising all the way. He proceeds with a determination fueled by the insane notion that this scheme could actually work. You have to respect the chutzpah of someone who wants to succeed that badly, even if he bends a few rules along the way.


37 of 49 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 368 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed