Bloodhounds of Broadway (1989 film)

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Bloodhounds of Broadway
Directed byHoward Brookner
Written byHoward Brookner
Colman deKay
Damon Runyon (stories)
Produced bySamuel Benedict
Chris Brigham
Howard Brookner
Colman deKay
Kevin Dowd
Lindsay Law
CinematographyElliot Davis
Edited byCamilla Toniolo
Music byJonathan Sheffer
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • November 3, 1989 (1989-11-03)
Running time
93 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$4 million
Box office$43,671

Bloodhounds of Broadway is a 1989 American ensemble period comedy film based on four Damon Runyon stories: "The Bloodhounds of Broadway", "A Very Honorable Guy", "The Brain Goes Home" and "Social Error".[2] Directed by Howard Brookner, it stars Matt Dillon, Jennifer Grey, Anita Morris, Julie Hagerty, Rutger Hauer, Madonna, Esai Morales and Randy Quaid.[3] Madonna and Jennifer Grey perform a duet, "I Surrender Dear", during the film. Madonna earned a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Supporting Actress for her performance in the film, where she lost to Brooke Shields for Speed Zone.[4]

Bloodhounds of Broadway was Brookner's only feature-length film; he died shortly before the film opened. The film was recut by the studio and Walter Winchell-esque narration was added.[2] The film received negative reviews. Six months following its theatrical release, the film was televised as a presentation of PBS's American Playhouse on May 23, 1990.


Broadway, New Year's Eve, 1928. A muckraking reporter, Waldo Winchester, frames four major stories during the wild New Year's Eve of 1928.

We meet the players in a diner. The Brain, a gangster with multiple girlfriends, is accompanied by a gambler named Regret (after the only horse he ever placed a winning bet) and an outsider who (with his bloodhounds) is being treated to a meal. Feet Samuels (so named because of his big feet) is in love with a showgirl named Hortense Hathaway, who is tossed out of the diner because of an unsavory reputation. Feet plans to have one wild night before committing suicide, having sold his body in advance to a medical doctor.

Harriet MacKyle, a sheltered but friendly socialite, makes arrangements with a smooth-talking fixer for a big party that night at her estate, where many of the players will later attend. She has an interest in the exciting but dangerous criminal element. A girl selling flowers comes in after Feet makes a full payment of a debt to the Brain, so the Brain offers $5 for a 5-cent flower, telling her to keep the change. But before he can leave, a hitman for the Brooklyn Mob stabs him. The wounded Brain tells his men to take him "home." Unfortunately, his many girlfriends refuse to allow him in for various reasons.

Feet gets involved in a high-stakes craps game. With considerable luck, he wins a massive payoff of money and jewelry. Regret suggests they find another game, but Feet reveals his plan to kill himself. Regret tries to talk him out of it, but Feet, sworn to see his last promise fulfilled, is adamant. Regret dials up the reporter, who is now at MacKyle's party, and asks him to talk to Hortense (his niece) and get her to realize Feet is smitten with her.

Hortense must try to persuade Feet that she wants to quit her life as a lounge singer, move to New Jersey and raise a family. Regret, meanwhile, continues to be the world's unluckiest gambler, but showgirl Lovey Lou is in love with him anyway.



Principal photography of the film began on December 24, 1987 and completed on February 10, 1988.[5] It was filmed in four cities in New Jersey: Union City, Newark, Jersey City and Montclair.[2]


Bloodhounds of Broadway received negative reviews from critics. Produced on a budget of $4 million, the film grossed less than $44,000 in its limited release.


  1. ^
  2. ^ a b c Harmetz, Aljean (1989-11-01). "A Director's Race With AIDS Ends Before His Movie Opens". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-16.
  3. ^ "Bloodhounds of Broadway Review". Movies & TV Dept. The New York Times. Baseline & All Movie Guide. 2013. Archived from the original on 2013-10-08. Retrieved 2012-01-11.
  4. ^ Wilson, John (2005). The Official Razzie Movie Guide: Enjoying the Best of Hollywood's Worst. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 0-446-69334-0.
  5. ^ Bloodhounds of Broadway production details at

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