Bullets Over Broadway

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Bullets Over Broadway‘ is the 23rd film written and directed by Woody Allen.

Woody Allen said in Manhattan that art is what living is for. But is it worth killing for? That’s the big question at the heart of this delightful film. Full of humour and crazy characters, but also deeply resonate and with big ideas. It has a style and substance that is part of all his best works – of which this film can count as one of them.

John Cusack stars as David Shayne, a struggling playwright who agrees to take some mob money from gangster Nick Valenti (Joe Viterelli) to put on his latest play. The catch, he has to cast Valenti’s floozy girl, Olive Neal (played wonderfully by Jennifer Tilly), and overseen by her bodyguard Cheech (Chazz Palminteri). When Cheech turns out to have a flair for theatre, everyone’s plans start spiralling out of control.

‘Bullets Over Broadway’ News Stories (show all)

Screenshots

Awards & Nominations (show all)

FilmAcademy AwardsGolden GlobesBAFTASWGA
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Cast & Crew

  • Dianne Wiest returns, in her fifth and final appearance in a Woody Allen film.
  • John Cusack also returns, having appeared in Shadows And Fog.
  • Tracey Ullman‘s first appearance in an Allen film. She would return for Small Time Crooks.
  • Parker Posey was up for a role (likely Olive, played by Jennifer Tilly), but lost out. She would eventually work with Allen in Irrational Man.

Trivia

  • The film’s title was taken from Sid Caeser sketch. Allen used to be a writer for Caesar, and asked for permission to use the title.
  • Allen’s first film after leaving the studio system, and was privately funded by Sweetland Films, a production company set up by Allen’s (then) lifelong friend Jean Doumanian. Initially a three picture deal, Sweetland would fund 11 projects for Allen in all, but the relationship would end badly in 2002.
  • The first Allen film to be distributed by Miramax Films, the groundbreaking indie company founded by the Weinsteins.
  • In 2014, this film was adapted as a big budget Broadway Musical. It ran for four months, but was ultimately closed after just over 100 shows.

Locations (show map)

  • The theatre used throughout the film is the Belasco Theatre (111 West 44th Street and 6th Avenue, New York).
  • Mob boss Nick Valenti appears to live at the Edison Hotel (228 West 47th Street and 7th Avenue)
  • Cheech is quizzed by mobsters in the stables of the Claremont Riding Academy (175 West 89th Street)
  • The Three Deuces Nightclub is the New Yorker Hotel (481 Eighth Avenue). It was also used in Radio Days.

Trailer

Gallery

3 Comments

  1. I saw Bullets Over Broadway for the third time the other night. Every time I see it, I’m glad that Chazz Palmenterri shoots Jennifer Tilly to put us out of our misery. She is one of the most obnoxious characters Woody Allen has ever written. Not that Helen “Don’t talk, don’t talk” Sinclair is much better. Ugh!

    This film gets generally positive reviews and while I generally loathe to criticize Woody Allen’s films, this isn’t one of his best in spite of the Academy Awards won.

    The idea of making the gangster the talented artist and making the playwright vacant of ideas if not of talent was a strong conceit and the costumes, set design, and cinematography are all good. But it doesn’t rank high on my list of favorite Woody Allen films.

    1. Hey Peter. Thanks for all the comments. Always interesting to hear. I am considering a way of doing a big fan ranking of all the films. Not sure how but i hope you can get involved.

  2. Hello William. That sounds interesting. I would like to be involved somehow.

    By the way, your website is a genuine treasure chest. I have been a Woody Allen fan for nearly my entire life and have seen nearly all of his films more than twice. I marvel at his talent and delight in how his films make me feel. My favorite films, of course, are those in which he appears. He always makes me smile.

    When I was younger I thought of WA as our American Shakespeare because his films can be divided into comedies and tragedies and because he has made so many. Of course, there may be some who might scoff at the comparison but I’m speaking as an unabashed die-hard admirer of his films and writing.

    Your website has given me additional insights into his films and has only added to the pleasure of being warching his movies. Thanks so much for creating it.

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