The Cotton Club (1984) - Crime, Drama, Music

Hohum Score



Meet the jazz musicians, dancers, owner and guests (e.g. gangster Dutch Schultz) of The Cotton Club in 1928-30s Harlem.

IMDB: 6.5
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Richard Gere, Gregory Hines
Length: 127 Minutes
PG Rating: R
Reviews: 8 out of 98 found boring (8.16%)

One-line Reviews (67)

A bold attempt to capture a fascinating era .

But what little story there is, lacks coherency and is hard to follow.

This enjoyable film is from a novel written by Jim Haskins and credits' Francis ford Coppola of 'The Godfather' fame as screenwriter and Director.

I went to one of their parties once and was shocked how boring it was, as everyone ate guacamole and discussed Debbie Harry for hours.

Coppola is in top form; his greatest strength is that even the peripheral characters are riveting.

Evocative, graphic and a soundtrack that sets the pace.

The other day I went to see "Chicago" (very good, and enjoyable).

The film is, however a feast for the eyes with stunning art direction, cinematography and editing.

It is funny, sad, violent, poetic but also enormously entertaining and isn't that what the movies are all about?

Instead we have pointless sub- plots that add nothing and subtract a lot.

Coppola, as in The Godfather, shows a stunning talent for casting the right person for a given part, and a better cast film than this would be difficult to find.

so all fluff and no story doesn't help win this film any kudos...

The music is powerful, costumes stunning, the women beautiful, the gangsters heavy and menacing.

While not a completely bad film, the highly energized film is rather bland, and the strong cast is not able to live up to its complete potential.

Yet, the mood and the main characters kept an entertaining movie going.

When they weren't, I just enjoyed it.

However, many notable smaller roles for Gregory Hines (and his brother), Bob Hoskins, Laurence Fishburne and others who make it well worth watching.

The feuds between the mobsters is intriguing and the action scenes never fail to excite.

The score by John Barry is amazing,beautiful,haunting and intense and truly matches the film's style and tone.

A Wonderful Moody Take on a Fascinating Era .

Accurate and Entertaining .

The violence in the film is horrific and at times dark and very unexpected coming out of nowhere and Coppola goes back to the violence and style of his early Gangster films The Godfather I and II with The Cotton Club.

While individual performances are stunning, one senses that despite the writing power behind the story line---William Kennedy, Francis Coppola, Mario Puzo---the thing was written by a committee that could not decide if it wants to make a crime flick or a musical.

The film's highlights include the marvelous interplay between Bob Hoskins (Owney Madden) and Fred Gwynne (reminding one of a sort of hoodlum version of "Mutt and Jeff") and some terrific musical numbers (even if they were truncated) like "The Hoofer's Club" tap dance, McKee's terrificallly staged "Ill Wind" and the Hines brothers thrilling song-and-dance to "Crazy Rhythm.

all for the sake of a dumb, dreary story .

Entertaining and never boring, The Cotton Club excels at making the audience feel unsafe (just like the actual characters in the movie) and it's at least in my mind, a moderate success.

Gangster films are a dime a dozen and I thought that both Gere and Lane were somewhat bland as the movie's leads and James Remar's(Dutch Schultz) and Nicholas Cage's (Mad Dog Dwire) performances were a little cartoonish and over-the-top.

The fact that many of the gangsters existed in real life makes it all the more exciting.

The film is visually stunning.

Mr. Gere is a bland presence amid all the violence around him.

It is interesting pretty much as a view of the period, and in detail as directed by Francis Ford Coppola, it is as stunning as his earlier cult musical, "One From the Heart".

Still, after a first viewing, and like with most other films from the director (and, damned if I say it, the producer too), I wouldn't pass it up again on a viewing late at night; it's one of the more shamelessly entertaining pictures of the mid 80s.

I was checking the clock constantly due to the slow pace and scattered story.

Coppola hired William Kennedy at the last minute to make intense script rewrites.

The Cotton Club was splendid and most enjoyable.

They were fascinating characters.

Because so much time is spent developing these uninteresting characters who are played by unimpressive actors, the part of the story that's actually interesting and fun is pushed to the sidelines.

Mr. Coppola made a visually stunning film that focus on the old days in the famous Harlem night club that was the place where a lot of black stars got their start in show business.

I think a very enjoyable normal length feature could have been built around the Hines Brothers and Sandman's romance with Lila Rose (Lonette McKee), a young dancer trying to "pass" for white to further her career.

The result is a fascinating, excursion through the Jazz age, complete with colorful dance routines, Tap dancing duos and orchestral classics such as Cab Calloways' (Larry Marshals) 'Minnie the Moocher.

' Particularly enjoyable were the Hines brothers and their tap dancing.

The film is centered around the nightclub of the title, a fashionable Harlem nightspot where blacks are welcome only on stage, entertaining the white customers.

While the film has been improved in many areas, it still has the same issues the original release had: There's too many characters and sub-plots to keep on top of; the plot of the film gets convoluted and hard to follow; the central theme of the relationship between brothers is hanging on by a thread; and most of the performances are two-dimensional.

Elegant but empty .

Visually it is stunning.

", but the answer was a confusing explanation of myoneural plates and I gave up trying to understand.

This movie will provide an entertaining introduction to, or revisiting of, the life of at least one section of society during the Great Depression.

The scenes inside the club are really exciting, though.

The Cotton Club is evocative, not narrative.

Diane Lane is gorgeous, Gere is very good, James Remar will chill your blood and Bob Hoskins and Fred Gwynne are particularly entertaining.

However, many of the secondary plots were uninteresting and/or badly done.

Nevertheless, what did emerge was enjoyable for the dancing and if you really don't care about the characters or who they are and why they are doing what they do, then you have a visually attractive and entertaining two hours.

Or, better yet, just skip the DVD and just get the STUNNING soundtrack on CD.

(One of the Nicolas Brothers who was involved with Ms. Dandridge played by Gregory Hines) as well as someone familiar with other fictionalized elements of realities placed strategically in the film for dramatic purposes (My favorite being the George Raft Story as portrayed by Richard Gere), I felt the film was enormously entertaining and important.

Although I do think the film was not up to ffc's standards, I do believe it to be an accurate portrayal of the era, and, moreover, an entertaining film.

It's a film that is beautiful and visually stunning and is filled with great style and substance that is memorable and powerful.

Enjoyable film, should have been longer.

But the best scene in "Cotton Club" is when the gorgeous Lonette McKee takes the stage to sing a stunning version of "Ill Wind.

He could have trimmed it down and made a stylized period film with an intimate feeling (kind of like "Rumble Fish"), but instead this film is closer to the Coppola of "Peggy Sue" and "Tucker" – big flashy production with nice period cars, costumes, music and a good character performance or two (Martin Landau in "Tucker", Bob Hoskins in "Cotton Club") but essentially empty exercises in high-concept film-making for the masses.

The Musical and dance sequences in the film are excellent,stylish and done in such a flawless way that is beautiful and exciting.

Richard Gere and Diane Lane are the lead actors, but I felt their performances were rather bland.

This is one of the worst movies of all times.

Fascinating picturesque and passionate drama .

It's difficult to follow characters who have no power and little chance of gaining it.

Will The Dull White Leads Please Sit Down.

Roger Ebert said that despite the movie having such a troubled birth, "what difference does that make when the result is so entertaining?

Gregory Hines together with brother Maurice Hines provide some snappy tap dancing, some of which is improvised.