MovieChat Forums > The Cotton Club (1984) Discussion > This is an amazing movie! probably in my...

This is an amazing movie! probably in my top10


This movie has amazing songs, a great story, and it is by far the best movie with Richard Gere...
I don't know why is this movie so underrated... why?


"Look at us...I'm frozen, you're dead...And I love you!"

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This is a very good movie. As to why it is underrated, there is a theory that Coppola's work post-Apocolypse Now is slated and that his work pre-Apocolypse Now is praised. This runs fairly true; Godfather I and II were rightly credited, as was The Conversation. However, the work post-Apocolypse Now was still of a very high quality. Godfather III is probably the most underrated movie of all time; obviously being part of a trilogy, it would be compared to the other two but should not only be compared to these two. As a stand-alone movie it was excellent, generating more emotion than most cinematic experiences. Cotton Club also generated feeling, sympathies and drama; it was brilliantly acted and wonderfully produced. Dracula and The Rainmaker also were films of excellent production; without doubt the former was the most visually stunning Dracula that has ever been produced and yet it was overlooked. The Rainmaker was a great movie; Matt Damon's second best role after Tom Ripley. Again, the film was under-appreciated.
Arguably, FFC could produce a film of the quality of Godfather I or II and this film would be rubbished merely for being post-A.N. I am of the opinion that along with the Godfather's this is true Coppola style. He is the master of gangster films. Scorcese's mafia flicks are certainly good and entertaining but there is something in the way that Coppola tells a crime story. The film sees the rise and fall of a big figure in the history of organised crime; Dutch Schultz, brilliantly portrayed by James Remar and the subtle appearance of 'il capo di tutti capi' Charley 'Lucky' Luciano. There is a romance to the way Coppola depicts a downfall - an end to an era - it is a slower experience a sort of decay, whereas Scorcese does it with an entertaining but unsympathetic bang. I agree with you; this is Gere's best movie. Nothing else comes close.


"Here's lookin' at you kid."

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Also, Coppola was originally not meant to direct this movie. Robert Evans had developed it, from buying the rights to the novel to hiring the screenwriter to hiring all the crew and cast, etc. But his financing fell through and so he told the producers that he would get Coppola to do it, but of course in classic Evans-fashion, he never told Coppola. Coppola says he was "suckered" into it, and because it was Coppola at the height of his popularity, there was a ton of press and when the movie tanked it was considered a huge dissapointment and got a lot of attention. The fact that CC is actually good is more a testament to the brilliant direction than anything else.

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Yeah my top 10 too...
I like it more then Godfather (123) and sometimes (mood is what counts here) more then Apocalypse now... and I realy hate Richard G. but he was not poaking my eyes in this role (I can't watch any other movies with him)...

And I also don't get it why it isn't treated like something realy great!

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I like very much ''The Cotton Club'' but Richard Gere's best movie is by far Malick's ''Days of Heaven'. Anyway, I don't like him neither.

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I saw Cotton Club when it came out and thought it a great movie, even though I can't stand Richard Gere. In my mind, Richard Gere has only ever done two great roles, American gigolo and this one.

Casting was spot on - who better to portray Sandman Williams than Gregory Hines, Bob Hoskins is always a delight, Diane Lane was perfect for the role of Vera. The love scene between Lane and Gere was very romantic, done with shadows and silhouettes if my memory serves.

Great film, very underrated. One of the best soundtracks I've ever heard.

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Gere and Diane Lane also made "UNFAITHFUL" together which I thought was great. DIANE LANE deserved her OScar for it.

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I haven't even heard of 'Unfaithful', I can't think why. Hmm, where was I 2002 again?

Unfaithful sounded interesting, though, so I'm looking forward to checking it out. Thanks for the tip, McCormack7!

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It was a fair size hit "Unfaithful" too (over $122 million at the box office!).

And DIANE LANE won an Oscar nod for BEST ACTRESS.

Check it out on IMDB. It's a great thriller!

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Just watched 'Unfaithful' - you're right, it is an excellent thriller. The chemistry between Diane Lane and Olivier Martinez was working really well, the sex scenes were so hot! Even Richard Gere managed not to be obnoxious.

Diane Lane performed her role beautifully, it's not easy to be an adulterer and still maintain the audience's sympathy. I think she managed that. Her performance would have been worthy of an Oscar, not just the nomination.


"Testosterone is a great equalizer. It turns all men into morons."

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I agree! I like "Unfaithful" as much as "The Cotton Club"!

I'd love to see Richard Gere and Diane Lane together again.

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Cotton Club is brilliant. The acting and dialogue are top-rate on all hands, the musical elements seamlessly blend into the film without stopping the movement of the story, and the film should be noted too for its wish to cover in many different aspects of the early gangster age and the "Harlem renaissance". Unlike many mob movies it brings in both black and white experience of the gangster world, and shows up the tensions of the age in an honest way.

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I must agree. The Cotton Club soundtrack is outstanding, Gregory and Maurice Hines are at the top of their game. Lawrence Fishburne reprised his role as "Bumpy" many years later in "Hoodlum." If you became interested in the goings of of the mob in the 1920'& 1930's, be sure to see Hoodlum. Many of the underworld mob figures mentioned in the Cotton Club are featured as well. Call me a sucker for romance, the scene at the end when Dixie is on his way to catch the train and Diane Lane is perched on top of her luggage waiting for him, I always cry.

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Rawkus1167 has some facts right but not others. Evans had a "coffee table" book about the Cotton Club era. With money he got from Adnan Khassoghi, he hired Mario Puzo to write a first draft. The first draft seemed to encompass all of Bob's problems with Ali having left him for Steve Mc Queen, and their son not being in his custody, it was set in the 20s and 30s. There was a novel, but it bears no resemblance to anything up on the silver screen. It took 9 months to even uncover any photos of the actual club, which had been raised in the 60s or 70s.

Bob was going to direct the movie. The movie originally was supposed to cost around 23 million and suddenly went up closer to 60 million after Francis came on board.. Bob lost his house twice on the film, and his brother Charlie got it back for him once and I think jack Nicholson the second time. After a couple of weeks of bounced checks from the production company, we insisted to have an armoured truck cash our checks moments after they were handed out

Francis and Bill Kennedy rewrote the Puzo script. Francis fired most of the crew and brought in many of his own people from Zoetrope, because he felt Bob's people would not be loyal to him.

The talent of the dancers and the production crew ie: Production Design and Costume Design, Choreographer,etc. also were responsible for the movie being good. While making the film we all referred to it as "All dressed up no place to go!" or the "Rotten Club." People had signs on their office doors with things like, "240th Day of Captivity", etc.

If you want to know what went on behind the scenes read "Designing Movies- Portrait of a Hollywood Artist." Due out next month from Greenwood Publishing Group.

If anyone should have been nominated for an Oscar� for that movie it would have been Milena Canonero who not only designed costumes for the teens, twenties, and thirties, she also designed show costumes, every day wear as well as evenng garb. That's like 6 different categories of wardrobe. And there was a huge cast to costume. Yet her work went unnoticed by the Academy or her peers in the Costumers union.




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We sent this account of events to Bob. Bet he disputes it. Beautiful photo of Anthea, who DID win for her movie work.
If the link doesn't come through, interested parties can email me.






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I agree, this is one of my favorite movies. I think people overlook it because when they heard Coppola, Puzo and mobsters, they were expecting the Godfather again, something deeply profound and serious. Instead they got one of the most entertaining tributes to 30's gangster films and jazz music ever made. This is how I would compare the two: Godfather=opera CC=jazz. People seem to overlook that this movie has one of the greatest soundtracks ever and puts to film some absolutely outstanding song and dance performances. The cinematography, lighting and set design are some of the best of the 80s. Also, Bob Hoskins, Fred Gwynne and James Remar are all outstanding. Oh, and Diane Lane looks stunning.

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[deleted]

Great movie, i love it.

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I love this movie and I agree that it is far underated.

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Agreed. The more I see it, the more I like it. What a cast, too!!!!

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[deleted]

So many great movies in the early 80s like this one. One day the era will be as respected as 39.

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An underappreciated film indeed. It's a sheer visual delight with the dancing and the shows.


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Please put some dashes above your sig line so I won't think it's part of your dumb post.

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I wouldn't put it in my top-ten, but I like it a lot. An underrated Coppola.

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I didn't like this movie at all, it was boring I thought and I love Richard Gere, definitely not one of his best movies at all. Internal Affairs, Days of Heaven and Primal Fear and probably Chicago are his best movies imo.

real human being and a real hero

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