The Cotton Club

"Good"

The Cotton Club Review


Gangsters, tap dancers, and jazz musicians collide, in Francis Coppola's rather maligned tale of the famed Harlem jazz club during the Prohibition era.

Starring Richard Gere as a cornet player-cum-movie star (Gere even plays his own solos in the film) and Diane Lane as a kind of singer/hooker/kept woman, the film gets off to a wild start, throwing us into Coppola's archetypal world of violence and betrayal. Gere and Lane have an uneasy romance, the problem being they are low on the totem and the gangsters who control them wouldn't care for any such hanky-panky.

Alas, the film derails midway through, when Lane's character virtually disappears and the film detours deep into the mob scene and away from the "love" story. A subplot involving Gregory Hines (playing an ambitious tap dancer, wow!) has virtually nothing to do with the rest of the film. It comes off as tacked on because it is tacked on.

Coppola tries to make the movie seem real by imbuing it with a great soundtrack of jazz standards and appearances by actors playing the celebrities of the day (Jimmy Cagney, Gloria Swanson -- too bad none of the actors look the part). But in the end, the lack of a solid story is what takes The Cotton Club into nowhereland -- the main problem being not that the film is based on a book, but that it's based on a picture book.



The Cotton Club

Facts and Figures

Run time: 127 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th December 1984

Box Office Worldwide: $25.9M

Budget: $58M

Distributed by: Nelson Entertainment

Production compaines: Orion Pictures, PSO International, Totally Independent

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Producer:

Starring: as Dixie Dwyer, as Vera Cicero, as Owney Madden, as Dutch Schulz, as Vincent Dwyer, as Sandman Williams, as Lila Rose Oliver

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