Bullets over Broadway
|Bullets over Broadway|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Woody Allen|
|Produced by||Robert Greenhut
J. E. Beaucaire
Charles H. Joffe
|Written by||Woody Allen
|Edited by||Susan E. Morse|
|Distributed by||Miramax Films|
Bullets over Broadway is a 1994 American crime-comedy film written by Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath and directed by Woody Allen. It stars an ensemble cast including John Cusack, Dianne Wiest, Chazz Palminteri, and Jennifer Tilly.
The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Allen and co-writer Douglas McGrath for Original Screenplay, Allen for Director and Tilly and Palminteri for Supporting Actress and Actor respectively. Wiest won Best Supporting Actress for her performance, the second time Allen directed her to an Academy Award.
In 1928, David Shayne (John Cusack) is an idealistic young playwright newly arrived on Broadway. In order to gain financing for his play, God of Our Fathers, he agrees to hire Olive Neal (Jennifer Tilly), the actress/girlfriend of a gangster. She is demanding and talentless, but her gangster escort Cheech (Chazz Palminteri) turns out to be a genius, who constantly comes up with excellent ideas for revising the play.
As the players prepare for opening night, Shayne is soon in over his head claiming Cheech's rewrites as his own, cheating on his partner Ellen (Mary-Louise Parker) with the show's seductive, alcoholic leading lady Helen Sinclair (Dianne Wiest), and facing his leading man, a compulsive eater (Jim Broadbent), beginning an affair with Olive.
- John Cusack as David Shayne
- Dianne Wiest as Helen Sinclair
- Jennifer Tilly as Olive Neal
- Chazz Palminteri as Cheech
- Mary-Louise Parker as Ellen
- Jack Warden as Julian Marx
- Joe Viterelli as Nick Valenti
- Rob Reiner as Sheldon Flender
- Tracey Ullman as Eden Brent
- Jim Broadbent as Warner Purcell
- Harvey Fierstein as Sid Loomis
- Stacey Nelkin as Rita
- Edie Falco as Lorna
- Benay Venuta as Adoring Theatre Patron
- Debi Mazar as Violet
- Małgorzata Zajączkowska as Lili
- Tony Sirico as Rocco
- Tony Darrow as Aldo
The film's title may have been an homage to a lengthy sketch of the same title from the 1950s television show Caesar's Hour; one of Allen's first jobs in television was writing for Sid Caesar specials after the initial run of the show. The film featured the last screen appearance of Benay Venuta. Allen cast her in a cameo role as a well-wishing wealthy theatre patron. She died of lung cancer months after the film opened.
Allen adapted the film as a stage musical, titled Bullets Over Broadway the Musical. The musical is directed and choreographed by Susan Stroman, produced by Julian Schlossberg and Letty Aronson, with a score from the American songbook using songs from the 1920s and 1930s. The new musical premiered on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on April 10, 2014. A staged reading was held in June 2013. The cast features Zach Braff as David Shayne, Brooks Ashmanskas, Betsy Wolfe, Lenny Wolpe, and Vincent Pastore. Marin Mazzie stars as Helen Sinclair, and Karen Ziemba appears as "Eden Brent." Musical supervisor Glen Kelly has adapted and written additional lyrics for songs including "Tain't Nobody's Bus'ness," "Running Wild," "Let's Misbehave" and "I Found A New Baby". The musical closed on August 24, 2014, after 156 performances and 33 previews.
Bullets over Broadway received a positive response from critics. The review-aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes reports 96% positive reviews, with the consensus "A gleefully entertaining backstage comedy, Bullets Over Broadway features some of Woody Allen's sharpest, most inspired late-period writing and direction."
Janet Maslin of The New York Times described the film as "a bright, energetic, sometimes side-splitting comedy with vital matters on its mind, precisely the kind of sharp-edged farce [Allen] has always done best." Todd McCarthy of Variety similarly called it "a backstage comedy bolstered by healthy shots of prohibition gangster melodrama and romantic entanglements" and wrote, "In its mixing of showbiz and gangsters, this is a nice companion piece to Allen's Broadway Danny Rose, and about as amusing." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times praised, "Bullets Over Broadway shares a kinship with a more serious film by Allen, Crimes and Misdemeanors, in which a man committed murder and was able, somehow, to almost justify it. Now here is the comic side of the same coin. The movie is very funny and, in the way it follows its logic wherever it leads, surprisingly tough."
Awards and nominations
- Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress – Dianne Wiest
- American Comedy Award for Funniest Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture – Dianne Wiest
- Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress – Dianne Wiest
- Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress – Dianne Wiest
- Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture – Dianne Wiest
- Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Female – Dianne Wiest
- Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Male – Chazz Palminteri
- Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress – Dianne Wiest
- Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress – Dianne Wiest
- National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress – Dianne Wiest
- New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress – Dianne Wiest
- Sant Jordi Award for Best Foreign Actor – Chazz Palminteri
- Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role – Dianne Wiest
- Society of Texas Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress – Dianne Wiest
- Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actress – Dianne Wiest
- Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor – Chazz Palminteri
- Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress – Jennifer Tilly
- Academy Award for Best Director – Woody Allen
- Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay – Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath
- Academy Award for Best Production Design – Santo Loquasto and Susan Bode
- Academy Award for Best Costume Design – Jeffrey Kurland
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs
- AFI's 10 Top 10 – Gangster Film
- BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay – Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath
- Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress – Dianne Wiest
- Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor – Chazz Palminteri
- Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement – Woody Allen and Douglas McGrath
- Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role – Chazz Palminteri
- Barbanel, Josh. "Selling a Tudor City Treasure", The Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2012
- Rooney, David (June 14, 2012). "Susan Stroman to Shepherd Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway' to Stage". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- Hetrick, Adam. "The Verdict: Critics Review Woody Allen Musical 'Bullets Over Broadway'" playbill.com, April 10, 2014
- Hetrick, Adam. "With Reading Underway, Woody Allen Musical 'Bullets Over Broadway' Will Test Legs in Fall Lab" Playbil, June 12, 2013
- Hetrick, Adam. "Zach Braff, Brooks Ashmanskas, Betsy Wolfe, Vincent Pastore Set for 'Bullets Over Broadway', Opening in April 2014" Playbill, June 27, 2013
- Hetrick, Adam. "Marin Mazzie Lands Coveted Leading Role in Woody Allen Musical 'Bullets Over Broadway' " playbill.com, December 5, 2013
- Hetrick, Adam. "Karen Ziemba Joins Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'; Casting Now Complete" playbill.com, January 9, 2014
- Gans, Andrew and Hetrick, Adam. "Curtain Comes Down on Woody Allen Musical Bullets Over Broadway " playbill.com, August 24, 2014
- Bullets Over Broadway at Rotten Tomatoes
- Maslin, Janet (September 30, 1994). "Film Festival Review; Allen's Ode to Theater and, as Always, New York". The New York Times. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- McCarthy, Todd (September 6, 1994). "Review: 'Bullets Over Broadway'". Variety. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- Ebert, Roger (October 28, 1994). "Bullets Over Broadway". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs Nominees
- AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot
- Bullets Over Broadway at the Internet Movie Database
- Bullets Over Broadway at AllMovie
- Bullets Over Broadway at Box Office Mojo
- Bullets Over Broadway at Rotten Tomatoes
- Where's Woody? in Boston Review: article discussing the Nietzschean influences in Bullets Over Broadway