Bulworth

Overview

Warren Beatty directed, co-produced with Pieter Jan Brugge, co-scripted with Jeremy Pikser, and stars in this political satire, a comedy drama about a U.S. senator who decides to start speaking the truth. Despondent California senator Jay Bulworth Beatty, up for re-election, is disillusioned by the usual campaign banalities; his marriage to Constance Christine Baranski seems equally hollow. In the midst of a nervous breakdown, Bulworth goes without sleep or food for three days and takes out a ten-million-dollar ...
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Overview

Warren Beatty directed, co-produced with Pieter Jan Brugge, co-scripted with Jeremy Pikser, and stars in this political satire, a comedy drama about a U.S. senator who decides to start speaking the truth. Despondent California senator Jay Bulworth Beatty, up for re-election, is disillusioned by the usual campaign banalities; his marriage to Constance Christine Baranski seems equally hollow. In the midst of a nervous breakdown, Bulworth goes without sleep or food for three days and takes out a ten-million-dollar insurance policy on himself while arranging his own assassination. Drinking during a return to Los Angeles, Bulworth is scheduled to speak at an African-American church in South Central L.A. Once there, he tosses aside his prepared speech, startling both the audience and his campaign manager, Murphy Oliver Platt, by improvising truthful remarks instead of the familiar rhetoric. These loose-cannon salvos gain the attention of an attractive young woman, Nina Halle Berry. Bulworth finds an exhilaration with this new freestyle approach, and after shocking a gathering in Beverly Hills with further fulminations, Bulworth invites Nina and her girlfriends into his limo. During a spaced-out sojourn at one of South Central's more frenzied after-hours clubs, Bulworth gains respect for hip-hop culture. Still reeling from insights gained by this nightlife, he arrives the next day for a fundraising function at the Beverly Wilshire, startling everyone with a diatribe delivered in the intonations of a rap artist. His interest in Nina and his new optimistic outlook on life give Bulworth a sense of elation and a will to live. He phones to call off the hit, but the gears have been set in motion. After an assumed hitman turns up during a church appearance, Bulworth flees, and Nina offers him a safe-house hideout at the home of her family, veterans of the civil rights movement. Here Bulworth goes through the final steps in his transformation -- making a Kennedy-styled connection with the disenfranchised as he tunes in to forgotten memories of the '60s. Outfitted in homeboy clothing, the born-again Bulworth heads for a TV station to unleash even more caustic comments on the American political scene.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
As co-producer, co-writer, director and star, Warren Beatty puts his political and comedic cards on the table in his pungent satire of the 1990s political system in Bulworth. As a corrupt California senator rejuvenated by telling it like it is, love for enigmatic Halle Berry, and immersion in African American pop culture, Beatty pokes fun at his own image as an aging rebel-turned-Establishment figure while critiquing the state of American politics in the Bill Clinton era. Inspired by Amiri Baraka's metaphorical griot, Bulworth's shift to expounding the truth in rap becomes a spectacle of deeply serious comedy as he takes aim at the corporate control of politics, and race/class divisions. Oliver Platt's frantic spin doctor, Laurie Metcalf's C-SPAN reporter, Don Cheadle's reformed drug baron, Paul Sorvino's insurance executive, and Christine Baranski's jaded political wife further underline the humorously pointed message about political and media hypocrisy. A rare Hollywood film in its overtly confrontational stance, Bulworth provoked debate over racial stereotyping and ideological intent, but critics, black and white, were also impressed by Beatty's boldness as well as the excellent performances, polished production and sharp wit. As co-writer with Jeremy Pikser, Beatty earned his 14th Oscar nomination for Bulworth's screenplay.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/16/1999
  • UPC: 086162109171
  • Original Release: 1998
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20TH CENTURY FOX
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Warren Beatty Jay Bulworth
Halle Berry Nina
Don Cheadle L.D.
Oliver Platt Dennis Murphy
Paul Sorvino Graham Crockett
Jack Warden Eddie Davers
Isaiah Washington Darnell
Joshua Malina Bill Feldman
Christine Baranski Constance Bulworth
Richard Sarafian Vinnie
Amiri Baraka Rastaman
Sean Astin Gary
Laurie Metcalf Mimi
Wendell Pierce Fred
Michele Morgan Cheryl
Ariyan Johnson Tanya
Graham Beckel Man with Dark Glasses
Nora Dunn Missy Berliner
Jackie Gayle Macavoy
George Furth
Helen Martin Nina's Mother
Technical Credits
Warren Beatty Director, Original Story, Producer, Screenwriter
Pieter Jan Brugge Producer
Milena Canonero Costumes/Costume Designer
Frank Capra III Asst. Director, Co-producer
Thomas D. Causey Sound/Sound Designer
Robert Jones Editor
Jeanne McCarthy Casting
Ennio Morricone Score Composer
WIlliam F. O'Brien Art Director
Jeremy Pikser Screenwriter
Lauren Shuler-Donner Executive Producer
Rick Simpson Set Decoration/Design
Vittorio Storaro Cinematographer
Dean Tavoularis Production Designer
Victoria Thomas Casting, Co-producer
Dianne I. Wager Set Decoration/Design
Billy Weber Editor
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