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Cotton Club (Widescreen)

Richard Gere , Gregory Hines , Francis Ford Coppola    R (Restricted)   DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 49.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Description

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The Cotton Club is routinely eclipsed by the controversies that surrounded its tumultuous production, but the film itself offers abundant pleasures that should not be overlooked. If Apocalypse Now represents the triumph of director Francis Coppola's perilous ambition, then The Cotton Club represents the ungainly glory of uncontrolled genius, as brilliant as it is out of its depth. As an upscale homage to classic gangster films it's frequently astonishing, cramming a thick novel's worth of plot and characters into 129 minutes, gloriously serviced by impeccable production design, elegant cinematography, and stylistic flourishes that show Coppola at the top of his game.

What The Cotton Club lacks is cohesion. As written by Coppola and novelist William Kennedy (then enjoying the peak of his critical acclaim), the movie struggles to exceed the narrative scope of The Godfather, but its multiple early-'30s plot lines fail to form any strong connective tissue. It's three (or four) movies in one, with cornet player Dixie Dwyer (Richard Gere, playing his own jazzy solos) drifting from one story to the next--loving a young, ambitious vamp (Diane Lane, with whom Gere shares precious little chemistry), enjoying the success of a hotshot hoofer (Gregory Hines), and protecting his brazen bother (Coppola's then-newcomer nephew, Nicolas Cage) from the deadly temper of mob boss Dutch Schultz (James Remar). Bob Hoskins and Fred Gwynne also score big in grand supporting roles, but The Cotton Club is perhaps best appreciated for its meticulous re-creation of Harlem's Cotton Club heyday, and the brilliant music (Ellington, Calloway, etc.) that brought rhythm to gangland's rat-a-tat-tat. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Where Crime Lords Rub Elbows With The Rich And Famous! Studio: Tcfhe/Mgm Release Date: 06/23/2009 Starring: Diane Lane Nicholas Cage Run Time: 129 Minutes Rating: R Director: Francis Ford Coppola

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars own it if you love jazz Oct. 8 2006
Format:DVD
i have seen this movie multiple times and its mostly for the glorious music and the homage to 30s style film noir. its worth owning for the music and the costuming alone.im not a huge fan of richard gere or diane lane and this is not nicholas cages best performance.what makes this movie, is gregory hines and some of the other dancers and their amazing dancing and james remars brilliant itchy twitchy performance of dutch schultz.even the sappy happy ending doesnt spoil it. and my late mother in law, who had seen cab calloway in his hey day as a young girl said the gentleman who played him couldve been his identical twin as to voice and style.a thoroughly enjoyable movie that you will get pleasure out of every time you watch it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Moments of Greatness Only Nov. 12 2003
Format:DVD
I think the biggest problem is the casting. Richard Gere and Diane Lane did a wonderful job together in the recent film Unfaithful but in Cotton Club they seem more like big brother and precocious little sister. Gere plays a Hollywood actor and he is just too smooth with his little moustache and greased back hair--one moment he is smooching with Diane Lane, the next moment he is onstage playing trumpet, the next hes talking tough to a ruthless killer. Its like hes supposed to be some kind of Harlem Renaissance Man. I think at this phase in his career Gere was not so popular because people perceived him as being kind of conceited and this role just seems crafted for a guy who adores himself. Nowadays he comes across as a much more appealing type of fellow but then the self love was just annoying. Diane Lane was a wonderful child actress but in this role she is not a child anymore and not quite a woman yet either. The awkwardness of the Gere-Lane relationship hurts the film considerably. Plus when your lead just isn't Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro and its a mob picture you feel disappointed. Gere is not a mob guy, he's too sophisticated to play mob roles, and he knows it.
Additionally what happens on-stage at the Cotton Club really takes us out of the drama that is happening off-stage. By the time each musical number ends you almost forget what the film is about. There are so many characters(Bob Hoskins, Fred Gwen, Nic Cage, Joe Dallesandro) saying so many things and yet no one character ever grabs our attention and so its hard to care what each character is plotting to do. Its possible to watch this film and not really know who the main character or what the main plot line is. The writing is that obscure.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Great movie finally available on a so-so DVD July 11 2001
Format:DVD
The lines between jazz, bootlegging and race are blurred in Francis Ford Coppolas's wonderful 1984 feature set during the late 20's and early 30's in Harlem, NYC at the world famous Cotton Club. At long last, MGM has finally released The Cotton Club on its "Contemporary Classics" series. What this means is that die hard fans will get a reasonably priced DVD in the widescreen format but with virtually no extras included. MGM is notorious for being stingy on their DVDs. The theatrical trailer is included. You can watch the film in French or read French or Spanish subtitles. Nice hard case but only a card listing the cast and a brief description of the film, no booklet. As for deleted scenes: well, there aren't any. Unless you included a brief shot during the trailer or an exchange between Vince (Nick Cage) and Dixie (Richard Gere) in which Dixie asks "Why were you fighting niggers?" when he said "Why were you fighting the coloreds?" in the earlier version. This is not a restored version and the color has tinges of red from fade in indoor scenes, a few light scratches also visible. Still, one of the best movies ever. Wonderful musical scenes and a terrific cast featuring Gere, Diane Lane, Bob Hoskins, Lonette McKee, and Gregory and Maurice Hines. Usually ragged on for costing too much (it lost money in the theatre and was the most expensive film for its time) but for first time viewers (and there are a lot of you out there), I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. A must have for lovers of the film, but we can only hope a restored director's cut DVD with some of the many scenes that were cut from the film along with some commentary from the pricipals will be released in the future. Until then, enjoy this version and be wowed for 2 hours and 9 minutes.
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3.0 out of 5 stars OK, so it's not The Godfather Jan. 17 2001
By Lily
Format:VHS Tape
There have been many criticisms of this movie: that it favors style over substance, that it has too many conflicting storylines, that it slides all over the place without any real character development. I don't disagree. But, that being said, I still like this movie an awful lot. It is packed with talent from end to end, not just the proclaimed stars of the picture, but other little surprises that turn up from time to time. Look for Tom Waits in a bit part that takes place within the Cotton Club, Laurence Fishburne (credited as Larry) as a stylish and dangerous member of black organized crime, and Jennifer Grey as Nicholas Cage's perpetually dim and semi-clad young wife. Diane Lane is as lovely as can be, and really seems to convey the singleminded amorality of her teenaged character, determined to get some security for herself, and the conflict created when she is forced to confront the growing madness of her keeper, mobster Dutch Schultz, and her love for Gere's character of Dixie Dwyer. The music and dance numbers are as good as you've heard, and the sets and costumes beautiful and believable. I think that one problem with this movie may have been the era in which it was released, when a 2-hour movie was still considered extraordinarily long. It does have the jerky, confusing feel of a movie that's been too heavily cut. Perhaps if it had been made today, audiences would be willing to sit through three hours of the intricate plot development that so complex a story really needs. Let's hope a director's cut is released someday.
All in all, this is worth a look, or several, despite its rather considerable flaws.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
It is still great movie,since I saw it more than 10 years ago.I recommend it. Five stars.What else to say?You watch it!
Published 21 months ago by Elena Tchernova
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying Fun
There was enough tap and dance to keep my creative spirit satisfied and smiling wide. The poetic drama was wonderful and the singing was quite entertaining as well. Read more
Published on May 19 2004 by "cathycathycathy"
3.0 out of 5 stars Skip the movie, get the soundtrack!
Like many of Coppola's movies, Cotton Club is great to look at and listen to, but the storytelling falls flat and lacks coherency. Read more
Published on March 14 2004 by Douglas Millhoff
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my personal favourites.
This movie is brilliant and fascinating from beginning to end. It's so romantic, stylish and beautiful. Read more
Published on Dec 8 2003 by MarianaP
1.0 out of 5 stars Defective DVD?
Has anyone else had a problem with this DVD? I've rented two different copies of the DVD, and neither one has worked in my DVD player. I can never get past the menu screen. Read more
Published on Sept. 15 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, But Lacking Something
I think this film is very good, but it is lacking something. It takes place in the late 1920's and early 1930's (Right before the great depression. Read more
Published on Dec 16 2002 by Brian Kessler
4.0 out of 5 stars THE ROARING 20's!
I liked this film. I especially liked Duke Ellington's piece,(The Mooche,) in the beginning of the film. Read more
Published on July 19 2002 by Evelyn O. Simon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great music, acting, production
This is one of Coppola all time greats. A must for any jazz fan. The sound track is also a must have. Read more
Published on May 26 2002 by "dma333x2"
4.0 out of 5 stars And, Tom Waits.
Under-appreciated movie, and Tom Waits does his usual top-notch work in a very small role. What more can you ask, along with all the other compliments here?
Published on May 16 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A misunderstood Club
Francis Ford Coppola is a film director that will surely get more recognition in the years to come. His first films had great reviews, but afterwards it was more modish to belittle... Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2001 by Roberto Roman L.
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