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on September 21, 2002
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe no poll has ever been made about which one is most deemed as Woody Allen's masterpiece by far. I once thought that we seemingly tend to pick whichever we can best relate to, but recently when I had a chance to sit down and watch five of his movies all over again -- "Annie Hall", "Manhattan", "Hannah and her sisters", "Bullets over Broadway", "Mighty Aphrodite" -- I realized that any of us could easily relate to at least something in each of those great films. That would define Allen's genius when it comes to directing (romantic or un-romantic?) comedies. When it comes to casting, though, "Bullets over Broadway" must be the best of all, featuring the finest performance of every actor. Not only the credit must go to those in lead roles (John Cusack -- who played Woody Allen's would-be character, Dianne Wiest, Jack Warden, Jennifer Tilly), but the supporting cast was superb as well (with Tracy Ullman as Eden, Chazz Palmenterri as Cheech, Rob Reiner as Flender, Mary-Louise Parker as Ellen, and Stacey Nelkin -- Allen's ex-girldfriend -- as Rita). This film was perfect in each of its scenes, but if I had to pick my favorite one, it would be the final dialogue between Cusack, Parker, Reiner and Nelkin. I don't remember having heard in any other comedy a dialogue that's so hilarious and so thought-provoking at the same time.
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on February 18, 2002
It's always all or nothing with Woody Alan. Either the film is brilliant, hilarious and wonderful (as this is) or tedious and flat (Celebrity or that Godawful Everyone Says I Love You). This film flat out makes me laugh hysterically. If you are a theatre buff--add even ten more enjoyment points!
It has a great sense of time and place---thirties Broadway that is just wonderful. What a thrill to see NYC circa 1933
with a great thirites soundtrack including Toot Toot Tootsie.
From Diane Wiest's over the top self absorbed Talullah Bankhead type actress ( Academy award winning performance) to Jennifer Tilly's hysterical mob girl to James Broadbent's nervous actor who just can't stop eating to Chaz Palmentiri's sensitive gangster (also an Academy Award)...this is a hoot and a half! Just can't stop laughing from this film. When I'm down, I watch it and it's a pick me up.
Lots of great surprises--Harvey Fierstein, Rob Reiner,
and other classic character actors in minor roles. This is one of Woody's best! Some of the funniest lines to ever come off an hors dourve tray. See this one. The plot is very surprising and outrageous and lovers of black comedy will
As for some of Woody's other good ones, see Radio Days or Mighty Aphrodite, Broadway Danny Rose or Hannah and Her Sisters. Avoid at all costs Deconstructing Harry and Sweet and Lowdown and the aforementioned Celebrity and Everyone Says I love you.
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on May 10, 2001
These last two words were what SHOULD have been added to the last line of the film to make this excellent movie even better. John Cusack, in one of his better roles, plays an aspiring playwright during the 1920s, and considers himself to be a great one--although he later learns that he really isn't. Like his Marxist-inclined intellectual friend Flender (Rob Reiner, looking very much the part), Cusack thinks that art is of supreme importance, perhaps even more important than human life itself. Discussing art in a Greenwich Village cafe, Reiner gives the analogy of a burning building: if you could rush in and save only one of two things--a human being or the last known copy of Shakespeare's works, which would you save? His answer, of course, is Shakespeare's works. Why say such a horrible thing? Because to intellectuals, art "lives." You'd have no right to "deprive the world of this great art" just to save the life of "an anonymous human being," he says. Cusack agrees. But this belief is put to the test when in order to save a work of art, gangster Cheech (well-played by Chazz Palmentieri) actually commits murder. Cusack then realizes that no work of art is worth a human life after all. At this point, Cusack says, "I'm NOT an artist."
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on September 16, 1999
As a die hard Woody Allen fan, I can honestly state that this is one of his best efforts. The characters are so incredibly good (dare I say delicious?) and the actors who bring them to life are equally exquisite. From Dianne Wiest ("Don't speak...Don't speak") to Jennifer Tilly ("Hey, Venus, where's that hooch?") to Chaz Palmentieri("You don't write the way people talk")to John Cusack ("I think I'll go now and get the psychiatric help I need"). The rest of the cast is equally marvelous, especially Tracey Ullman. She really is nothing short of brilliant in everything she does. This movie is just a delight throughout. It is truly droll and clever, never once loosing it's intelligence. The attention to detail is admirable, so much so that the film seemingly leaps out at you from the screen. I've seen this film more times than I care to mention and each time I find myself enjoying it more. Only Woody Allen could have devised such an ironic plot twist. He is, without question, the O. Henry of the cinema. One final note: No one, and I mean no one, can make New York seem more fabulous and intoxicating than Mr. Allen. All his films are love letters to this the greatest of American cities. This is to the person who accused Woody Allen of preaching through the Rob Reiner character: Give me a major break. He was spoofing the tendency of some over-indulgent artists to dramatize and take himself too seriously. Sometimes a cigar, my friend, is just a cigar. Don't read so much into things. It can sometimes get you into trouble.
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on January 25, 1999
One of the best features about "Bullets over broadway" is its start studded cast. John Cusack and Chazz Palminteri did a splendid job .Cusack is a writer of the theater who is anxious to get his play on broadway while Palminteri is a bodygaurd who actually turned parts of the play around to make it great. Diane Weist , Jennifer Tilly and Tracy Ullman stood out even more as actresses (not to be forgotten that Weist won an academy award for her role in the film)."Bullets" does not included Allen as an actor but dos capture his brilliance as a writer and director. This movie is one of his more serious efforts and yet its a film that can often be seen more than once . For viewers who dont know much about the theater its a great opportunity to learn about the stereotypes of the theater industry . This critically aclaimed film is to be considered one of Woody Allen's best pictures so far.
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on April 22, 1999
Bullets over Broadway has to be one of Woody Allens most enjoyable films. If you Love a Mixture of Gangsters and Comedy then this film is certainly for you. His imagination and creativity never ceases to amaze me, its hard to up into words the brilliance of this film. Yet again Allens cracking script is one of his best and it is suported wonderfully by a cast to die for, including John Cusack, Meg Tilly and the excellant Dianne Weist in an Oscer winning role. Allen proves yet again that he is one of Americas best Writer/Directer, and if this Film doesn't conferm that then nothing ever will.
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on January 12, 2000
This is a very entertaining film about the theater business and its uncomfortable relationship with artists but, beneath all the surface fun is a deep yet subtle examination of what an "artist" truly is. Allen manages to show quite convincingly that artistry is not about wearing the right beret and living in Greenwich Village--it's about how far you'll go for your vision. Chazz Palmintieri is brilliant as the thug who'll go so far, he'll even shoot a bad actress. Never before has the artist been so originally and hilariously portrayed.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon April 17, 2011
Not deep, but very, very funny. Wonderfully written and splendidly acted, especially by Diane Wiest in a wild, very different role. John Cusack does his usual extremely
solid work as the straight man holding it all together

Amazing 1930s production design by Santo Loquasto.

The film has a nice dark edge to off set its wacky, farcical tone. The very end is a bit sappy, but it also leaves the film with an interesting moral complexity. Not quite
great Woody Allen, but extremely good Woody Allen -- which means great by most filmmaking standards.
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on November 29, 1998
This movie is my all-time favorite. Anyone who has participated in the theater will appreciate the accurate portrayal of theater stereotypes. Those who aren't interested in theater will love the humorous lines and mobster action scenes that occur throughout the movie. The best thing about this movie is that you can watch it repeatedly and discover something new every time!
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on May 17, 2004
And funny. Great casting, great script, funny dialogue and good directing. The wonderful thing about this whole flick -- Woody Allen decided NOT to be in it. One of his better decisions he's made in years. (Thanks for giving us a break and breather from your repeatible and stale roles Woody!) Don't miss this little-known gem.
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