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Get Shorty

The Mob Is Tough. But It's Nothing Like Show Business. 

Year: 1995 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Ultra-hip Tarantino-esque crime film based on an Elmore Leonard (who's he?) novel.

John "Try and forget Look Who's Talking Now" Travolta plays Chili Palmer - a gangster who fancies himself as a Hollywood bigshot, and who gets the opportunity to "pitch" his story when he is sent to retrieve some stolen money in the land of stars and cigars. When he gets there he gets involved with z-movie producer Harry Zimm (Hackman) and his leggy girlfriend (Russo). A dedicated film buff, Chili has aspirations of being involved in the making of his very own film, whilst Dolores (Russo) wants the chance for better roles. Get Shorty charts Chili's multifarious route to success, evading a gangster from his past (Dennis Farina) and finally managing to convince big star Martin Weir (DeVito) to take a part in his pet movie.

As a kind of bastard child of True Romance and The Player, this is a comic view of Hollywood, less acerbic than Robert Altman's picture, less violent than the Tarantino and Scott collaboration, Travolta has got back his cool, Russo adds the sexy glamour and Hackman gets to be the fall guy. Scott Frank adapts Leonard's novel with care and skill - mixing the wit and danger to great effect. Ex-cinematographer Barry Sonnenfeld (he photographed Raising Arizona and De Vito's Throw Momma From The Train, as well as directing The Addams Family and its far-more-hilarious sequel) brings in his usual dry, edgy humour that is well suited to the subject matter. The film was a sleeper sucess at the box office and is well worth a look.

Malcolm Cook

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Screenings of this film:

1996/1997 Autumn Term (35mm)
1996/1997 Autumn Term (35mm)