Bullets over Broadway

Bullets over Broadway

Woody Allen (1994)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This is the final part of what might be called Woody Allen's "nostalgia" trilogy. Coming after his paeans to the movies (The Purple Rose of Cairo) and radio (Radio Days), it celebrates the heyday of New York's theatreland. As with the two earlier films, Allen remains behind the camera, giving his typically excellent ensemble cast its chance to shine in the spotlight. John Cusack and Jennifer Tilly snatch at this glorious opportunity with a shade too much enthusiasm. As the earnest playwright making his Broadway debut, Cusack is in the unenviable position of playing a role a younger Allen would almost certainly have taken himself, and he rather fumbles some classic Woodyisms. Tilly similarly fails to emerge from the shadow of Judy Holliday's Oscar-winning role in Born Yesterday despite adopting Holiday's nails-on-slate accent to play yet another mobster's moll forced to embrace culture. However, one of Allen's great strengths is his ability to create memorable minor characters and Bullets boasts two of his best in Cheech, the gangster with a poet's soul, and Helen Sinclair, an amorous, alcoholic actress. Dianne Wiest thoroughly deserved her best supporting actress Oscar for her performance as Sinclair, but Chazz Palminteri's Cheech is, perhaps, even more remarkable, and he was decidedly unlucky to come up against Martin Landau's sensational and, in the end, Oscar-winning turn as Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. Providing teasing insights into how Allen views his own body of work, this is essentially a debate about whether the artist's duty is to retain his own integrity or pander to popular taste. It's also darn good entertainment.


A writer in 1920a New York is offered the chance to get his new play staged - but the snag is, the gangster who's putting up the money wants his dim-witted girlfriend cast in the lead role. Woody Allen's comedy, starring John Cusack, Dianne Wiest, Chazz Palminteri and Jennifer Tilly.

Cast & Crew

David Shayne John Cusack
Cheech Chazz Palminteri
Helen Sinclair Dianne Wiest
Olive Neal Jennifer Tilly
Warner Purcell Jim Broadbent
Eden Brent Tracey Ullman
Julian Marx Jack Warden
Nick Valenti Joe Viterelli
Sheldon Flender Rob Reiner
Ellen Mary-Louise Parker
Sid Loomis Harvey Fierstein
Director Woody Allen
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Buena Vista International UKGuidance: Contains swearing. Available on: video and DVD
Comedy Drama