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Hail, Caesar! (2016)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Music | 5 February 2016 (USA)
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A Hollywood fixer in the 1950s works to keep the studio's stars in line.

Directors:

Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Writers:

Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
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Popularity
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A Guide to the Films of the Coen Brothers

From Blood Simple to the new The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, we take a look at the offbeat stylings of Academy Award-winners Joel and Ethan Coen.

Dude, let's go bowling

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 12 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Josh Brolin ... Eddie Mannix
George Clooney ... Baird Whitlock
Alden Ehrenreich ... Hobie Doyle
Ralph Fiennes ... Laurence Laurentz
Scarlett Johansson ... DeeAnna Moran
Tilda Swinton ... Thora Thacker / Thessaly Thacker
Channing Tatum ... Burt Gurney
Frances McDormand ... C.C. Calhoun
Jonah Hill ... Joe Silverman
Veronica Osorio ... Carlotta Valdez
Heather Goldenhersh ... Natalie - Secretary
Alison Pill ... Mrs. Mannix
Max Baker ... Head Communist Writer
Fisher Stevens ... Communist Writer
Patrick Fischler ... Communist Writer
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Storyline

Hail Caesar! Follows a day in the life of Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer for Capitol Pictures in the 1950s, who cleans up and solves problems for big names and stars in the industry. But when studio star Baird Whitlock disappears, Mannix has to deal with more than just the fix. Written by Warren D'Souza

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Lights. Camera. Abduction.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some suggestive content and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Japan | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 February 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hail, Caesar! A Tale of The Christ See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,355,225, 7 February 2016, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$30,080,225, 26 April 2016

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$62,429,013, 29 April 2016
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The following members of the cast have appeared in film adaptations of Marvel Comics superheros: Josh Brolin appears respectively as Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and as Cable in Deadpool 2 (2018). Scarlett Johansson appears as Black Widow in "The Avengers" and its sequels. Wayne Knight appears as Microchip in Punisher: War Zone (2008). Christopher Lambert appears as Methodius in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011). Tilda Swinton appears as the Ancient One in Doctor Strange (2016). Channing Tatum has signed on to the title character in Gambit (2020). See more »

Goofs

Assuming the Communist Party USA was not backdating its membership cards, the year this film's story takes place is 1951. In a couple of scenes, Eddie meets Arthur Cuddahy at the Imperial Gardens restaurant. However, that business did not open until 1953. Before then, it was The Players restaurant. See more »

Quotes

Catholic Clergyman: It's the foundation of our belief that Christ is most properly referred to as the Son of God. It's the Son of God who takes the sins of the world upon himself, so that the rest of God's children, we imperfect beings, through faith, may enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Eddie Mannix: So, God is - split?
Catholic Clergyman: Yes! And no.
Eastern Orthodox Clergyman: There is unity in division.
Protestant Clergyman: And division in unity.
Eddie Mannix: I'm not sure I follow padre.
Rabbi: Young man, you don't follow for a very simple reason. These men are screwballs.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The movie's title "Hail, Caesar!" appears onscreen as the title of the biblical epic that Eddie is watching in dailies. See more »

Connections

References Brute Force (1947) See more »

Soundtracks

Song of India
Written by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Red Bone & Tommy Dorsey
See more »

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User Reviews

that old-time Hollywood religion
8 February 2016 | by mukava991See all my reviews

The Coen brothers return to the olden days of Hollywood with a witty and eye-pleasing comedy that recycles several legends familiar to antique movie buffs but mixes them up just enough to hold the interest.

"Hail, Caesar!" is set in 1951 at the height of the Red scare and Cold War, and follows a tough but sympathetic hands-on studio producer (Josh Brolin) whose responsibilities include, in addition to budget, casting and moral code enforcement, defusing potential scandals that could damage Capitol's reputation and box office. He also happens to be a by-the-book Catholic who regularly goes to a priest to confess minor sins like cigarette smoking.

There is not a single boring or bad performance by any of the huge cluster of actors. Clooney as the doofus leading man whose kidnapping drives much of the plot, gives an inspired performance. Alden Ehrenreich is impressive on all levels as the wholesome and good- natured singing cowboy. Allison Pill is the embodiment of classic pre-feminist womanhood as the pretty, positive, loyal, uncomplaining, blonde cupcake of a wife who maintains the home front for the rugged breadwinner Brolin.

Many characters loosely suggest real figures of the studio era: George Clooney = Clark Gable; Tilda Swinton as twin-sister gossip columnists = not only Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons (who were definitely not sisters) but also carrying a whiff of rival siblings Olivia deHavilland and Joan Fontaine, born of British parents in the Far East, who famously hated each other throughout their parallel star careers; Scarlett Johansson = Loretta Young who covered up her out-of-wedlock birth by disappearing for a few months and resurfacing with an "adopted" daughter; Ralph Fiennes = a British variation on director George Cukor who was rumored to have had sex with pre-stardom Clark Gable; Alden Ehrenreich = Roy Rogers (whom he actually resembles); Channing Tatum = a dash of Gene Kelly and a dab of Dick Powell. And others.

This is not the first Coen film to incorporate musical performance and begs the question, why doesn't this team make an all-out film musical? The Channing Tatum song-and-dance number, vaguely reminiscent of Busby Berkeley's "Shanghai Li'l" from "Footlight Parade" and Ehrenreich's pitch perfect warbling in a Western musical scene are high points.

Memorable and brilliantly written scenes include a theological roundtable of religious leaders assembled by Brolin to vet the production of the titular film-within-the-film, a "Ben-Hur"-ish epic about a Roman centurion's encounter with Jesus Christ (the scenes from which are stylistically dead-on perfect take-offs on the post-WW2 widescreen ancient epics); and a parallel gathering of Hollywood Communist Party screenwriters strategizing philosophically about ways to use dialectical materialism as a guide to insert Party propaganda into film scripts and hasten a new world (goof: a Communist refers to making a cash "contribution to the Comintern" which had been long dismantled by the time this film takes place); a fey director's frustrated attempts to coach the miscast cowboy actor's delivery of high-toned cocktail party dialogue.

Finally we are reminded that movie-going in studio-era Hollywood was a kind of organized religious experience; no matter what traditional religious practices moviegoers or producers may have observed, the paganism of the screen experience was an equal influence on their lives.


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