Get Shorty

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

Pretentious and sophisticated, GET SHORTY has some funny moments and you find yourself laughing in spite of yourself. In the film, Chili Palmer (John Travolta) is a Miami loan shark who's sent to collect on a gambling debt from film producer Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman). But fortunately for Harry, Chili loves movies even some of the B movies that Harry produces. After breaking into Harry's house, Chili and Harry talk, and Chili pitches him an intriguing story idea. Soon, Chili takes up with Karen (Rene Russo), who knows Martin (Shorty) Weir (Danny DeVito), the well-known actor. They plot to get Shorty in Harry's film. All sorts of shady characters come out of the woodwork in this film where timing and wits prove to be everything. Ending up producing movies with Harry, Chili soon discovers that loansharking has given him the perfect training ground for making movies. GET SHORTY offers a dramatic behind-the-scenes look at a conniving ruthless Hollywood where people con others to get what they want.

The downside of GET SHORTY is shown in graphic violence, in offensive language and in the portrayal of an immoral lifestyle. In several scenes, terrible beatings and two shootings occur which leave viewers wondering how anyone could even live through them. One violent scene shows a man giving Harry an extremely severe beating as he knocks over the desk and chair, then stomps his hands, leaving Harry with a broken neck and fractured hands. In another distressing scene, a man punches a woman in the face, giving her a bloody nose. Taking the Lord's name in vain innumerable times and using very obscene language leave a bad taste in the viewer's mouth. Why bandying the Lord's name about seems smart to Hollywood is beyond comprehension. Although couples are not shown having sex, two or three scenes show them in bed together. The movie contains no actual nudity, but some scenes have scantily clad women. The distasteful aspects of GET SHORTY far outweigh the humorous ones.

Preview Reviewer: Bonnie C. Harvey, Ph.D.
MGM/UA, 2500 Broadway St., Santa Monica, CA 90404-3061

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (10) times - Mild 3, Moderate 7

Obscene Language: Many (73) times - F-word 53, s-word 17, other 3

Profanity: Many (24) times - Regular 17 (JC, GD, C), Exclamatory 7

Violence: Several times - Moderate and Severe (severe beatings, one resulting in broken neck and fractured hands; man pushed down stairs, two shot and fall over high railing; woman punched in face)

Sex: None but implied few times in bedroom scenes

Nudity: None, but near nudity few times (scantily clad women)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times (suggestive comments)

Drugs: Alcohol drinking (social drinking) and cigarette smoking

Other: Hollywood's nonchalant look at amoral values; theme that end justifies the means

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Young adults

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