Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Movie and DVD Reviews: The best and not-so-best movies available on DVD, and whatever else catches my eye.

Mimsy Review: Bullets Over Broadway

Reviewed by Jerry Stratton, May 24, 1999

John Cusack (Better Off Dead, Gross Point Blank) plays a Broadway writer in New York in this prohibition-era comedy from Woody Allen. He refuses to “lighten up” or otherwise prostitute his work, ensuring that no one will produce it, until his agent gets him backing from a mafia leader. The one catch: the mafioso’s girlfriend must have a “major part” in the play.

DirectorWoody Allen
WritersWoody Allen, Douglas McGrath
Movie Rating5
Transfer Quality7
Overall Rating6
  • Letterbox

A good but not great movie, with a twist ending. The production values are very good, and the DVD is wonderfully transferred. The set design appears to be very authentic. The plotline is filled with ideas, keeping Allen from focusing indepth on any one of them. David Shane (Cusack) is saddled with a woman who can’t act to save her life, and demands Julian Marx (Jack Warden) to get once-great actors and actresses who are, unknown to him but known to Julian, on their way down. On the way, his lead actress (Dianne Wiest as Helen Sinclair) seduces him, he ends up taking writing cues from a mob hitman, and he directs a hit play, thus failing his life-long dream of being misunderstood in his own time.

Rob Reiner (Spinal Tap, All in the Family) has an interesting small part, and Tracy Ullman is one of the lead actresses in the play within the movie.

Recommendation: Rent

DirectorWoody Allen
WritersWoody Allen, Douglas McGrath
ActorsJohn Cusack, Tracey Ullman
Spoken languageEnglish
More links