The lives of various characters intersect in 1920s Harlem, at the renowned jazz venue the Cotton Club. Handsome horn player Dixie Dwyer falls for Vera, the stunning girlfriend of famous gangster Dutch Schultz. But Dixie aspires to a career in Hollywood, imitating Schultz on-screen.
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This movie has everything. Great music, rounded subplots, Nicolas Cage and Lawrence Fishburne as freakin' hoods! Even the bad guys are unnerving. It feels like a jazzier 'The Untouchables', than 'The Godfather' - you can blame that on the eighties. But you're basically in for a good time with this one.
Magical story from the 1920s in Harlem, with the background of the gangsters' time. Both Richard Gere and Diane Lane fully display their acting virtues. The music is awesome, I loved all that jazz. However predictable, the script flows nice and easy. Of course I won't tell you about the ending; allow me just to say that it turns out to be Disney-like. The movie is not so dramatic. I even laughed from time to time!
A film that suffers from the systemically inscribed to its logic flaw of Hollywood, namely a proclivity to subsume role to celebrity. Thus, the then stellar cast, with the exception of the fine Diane Lane, is relegated to a prop, ready to be consumed amidts an admitedly attractive art direction and good dance and musical acts. Way below 'One from the Heart' it quickly turns into an empty artifice despite the effort.
35mm, re-rating. What a sadness to review certain films after so many years and only discover the will that in a certain period formed us, namely the politic of authors. Coppola, in this film, failed the synthesis that with the Godfathers had found (especially with the second tomo) and above all did not find the musicality he so much sought (and made seminal in "One From the Heart"). An often amateurish movie.
(encore version) Includes the black stories cut from the original film, ultimately adding depth to the narrative and doing justice to a very important part of New York history. The film as a whole still doesn’t quite work, but the experience is more emotionally resonant, and the viewing more gratifying. Encore includes more dance numbers, more people hanging out, more “life” in and around the club. (cont'd)
Wonderful entertainment, a super-artificial, cheesy and fast paced look at every single gangster cliche the genre had accunulated over 50 years, jazzed up Coppola's acument with set - pieces, and the originality of the supporting performances. Were there so many bold gangster musicals in the 80's that we could afford to throw this gem away? Best in show: Gwynne, Hines and Hopkins
For all of the flaws (sadly, the lead performance from Gere is one of them), this is a film that rattles along at a great pace, features some gorgeously choreographed shots, and has a cast list that also includes Gregory Hines, Diane Lane, James Remar, Bob Hoskins, Fred Gwynne, Nicolas Cage, and many other familiar faces. And the scene involving Hoskins, Gwynne and a watch is simply wonderful.