Bullets Over Broadway

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -2

Struggling playwright David Shayne (John Cusack) gets the opportunity to stage his latest play. A respected producer offers David the chance to direct with one string attached. The money for the play comes from a gangster who wants his untalented girlfriend, Olive (Jennifer Tilly), to be a main character. Olive comes to the rehearsals with Cheech (Chazz Palminteri), a bodyguard and killer for the gangster. As rehearsals progress, Cheech begins to offer David suggestions that greatly improve the play. The female lead of the play, Helen Sinclair (Dianne Wiest), an often married Broadway star, raves about the changes and credits David. Wanting to stay out of the limelight, Cheech lets David take the credit, but begins to have ownership feelings about the play. Cheech wants his version of the play to do well and Olive's lack of talent is hurting it. But will David compromise on Olive to keep the gangster's money backing the play? Cheech takes things into his own hands to solve the problem. Written and directed by Woody Allen, this sometimes humorous look behind the scenes of getting a play produced is almost old-fashioned entertainment.

Set in the 1920's, the film focuses on the dilemma of an artist wanting recognition. David struggles at first, but then compromises his ideals to get a chance on Broadway. Although David knows the mechanics and techniques of writing plays, Cheech has a natural talent. Cheech doesn't want the fame, but wants the play to succeed after he's rewritten it. Unlike David, Cheech won't compromise on producing a good play. But Cheech's solution is violent. There are several shootings, which set the time period and the gangster involvement, but they aren't graphic. As in most Woody Allen films, promiscuity is more prevalent than violence. Although David is living with his girlfriend in Greenwich Village, Helen entices him into an affair. Olive, a one-time chorus girl, is living with the gangster, but begins an affair with the leading man, and David's girlfriend has an affair with a writer friend. Although there is no graphic intercourse or nudity, sex is frequently implied by dialogue. The dialogue is also peppered with several unnecessary profanities and numerous obscenities. While the plot entertains, the language shoots down a favorable rating.

Preview Reviewer: Paul R. Bicking
Miramax Films, 18 E. 48th St., Ste. 1601, NY, NY 10017

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 (15) times (f-word 7, s-word 6, other 2)

Profanity: Several (7) times - Regular 7 (GD, J, C)

Violence: Several times - Moderate (shootings, but not graphic)

Sex: None

Nudity: Near nudity several times (men and women in underwear)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times (intercourse suggested by dialogue; couples hug/kiss as sexual enticement)

Drugs: Alcoholic beverages condoned; cigarette smoking

Other: Unmarried couples living together; taking undue credit

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Older teens & adults

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