Hollywood Shuffle

Hollywood Shuffle

Cast: Anne-Marie Johnson, Starletta DuPois, Helen Martin


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Alternately bitingly and bitterly funny, The Hollywood Shuffle gets a fair MGM DVD release. Robert Townsend's directorial debut may have helped kick off the African-American comedy boom of the 1990s, but it has aged better than many movies that followed in its wake. Made on a shoestring budget, The Hollywood Shuffle doesn't exactly boast lush productionSee more details below


Alternately bitingly and bitterly funny, The Hollywood Shuffle gets a fair MGM DVD release. Robert Townsend's directorial debut may have helped kick off the African-American comedy boom of the 1990s, but it has aged better than many movies that followed in its wake. Made on a shoestring budget, The Hollywood Shuffle doesn't exactly boast lush production design, but the DVD's widescreen transfer is clean and the audio track is well balanced. Townsend self-financed much of the movie and it would be interesting for a future DVD to include an audio commentary by him and co-writer Keenan Ivory Wayans, who went on to launch the In Living Color TV show.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Daniel Weizmann
This courageous independent comedy -- produced, written, directed, and famously financed by star Robert Townsend with the use of multiple credit cards -- explores the trials of a young African-American actor looking for work in stereotype-happy Hollywood. Cowritten with Keenen Ivory Wayans (I’m Gonna Git You Sucka, Scary Movie), Hollywood Shuffle tweaks a system that seeks "blackness" as a marketable commodity, one defined in white terms. Townsend's send-ups of blaxploitation movies -- Jive-Time Jimmy's Revenge and Attack of the Zombie Street Pimps -- have both humor and underlying power. For all the film's great gags, Townsend successfully reveals the ethical dilemma central to contemporary African-American actors: Play yet another caricature, or sign on for work at the post office. Despite its shoestring budget, Hollywood Shuffle succeeds on a much higher level than, say, director Spike Lee's similar exploration of Hollywood stereotyping, Bamboozled. Perhaps that's because Townsend renders his film with so much heart, hope, and some solid belly laughs.
All Movie Guide - Brian J. Dillard
This indie underdog mined the discontent of black Hollywood for parody and laughs earlier and better than Keenen Ivory Wayans's I'm Gonna Git You Sucka! or Spike Lee's Girl 6. Less lightweight than the former and less muddled than the latter, Robert Townsend's directorial debut glorifies the power of the celluloid dream machine even as he interrogates the ways it shortchanges black performers and audiences. Despite its richness, though, Hollywood Shuffle isn't an altogether successful film. The numerous movie spoofs, from escaped slaves and undead pimps to soul-brother action heroes, tend to run on longer than they should. The jheri-curl jokes have dated poorly, while the pervasive homophobia is all too typical of post-Eddie Murphy African-American comedy. Hollywood Shuffle remains a vital piece of filmmaking, however, because its broad humor is leavened with sympathetic characters and considerable vitriol. An accomplished supporting actor by the time he made this film, writer/director Townsend clearly knows the Hollywood system he skewers. He therefore saves his funniest and most barbed jokes for his portraits of condescending casting directors and back-stabbing fellow actors. Such performers as Starletta DuPois, Helen Martin, Anne-Marie Johnson, and David McKnight lend dramatic heft and real poignancy to the script's ideals-vs.-paychecks conflict. The picture's shoestring budget may show in every frame of borrowed film, but such production constraints only add urgency to Hollywood Shuffle's message.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby Digital, monaural]

Special Features

Original theatrical trailer; English: mono; Spanish: mono; French & Spanish subtitles

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Townsend Bobby Taylor,Jasper,Sam Ace,Speed
Anne-Marie Johnson Lydia/Willie Mae/Hooker #5
Starletta DuPois Bobby's Mother
Helen Martin Bobby's Grandmother
Craigus R. Johnson Stevie, Bobby's Brother
Dom Jack Irrera Writer
Paul Mooney NAACP President
Lisa Mende Casting Director
Robert Shafer Commercial Director
John Witherspoon Mr. Jones
Ludie Washington Tiny
Keenen Ivory Wayans Donald/Jerry Curl
Gregory "Popeye" Alexander Pimp
Sarah Katie Coughlin Sitcom Girl Friend
Tommy Morgan Actor
Howard Allen Actor
Beverly Brown Actor
Marc Figueroa Sitcom Father,Client #2
Brad Sanders Batty Boy
David McKnight Uncle Ray
Don Reed Maurice
Kim Wayans Customer in Chair
Conni Marie Brazelton Hooker
Lorrie Marlow Hooker #2/Reporter
Sena Ayn Black Receptionist
Roy Fegan Jesse Wilson,Slave #2,Zombie
Jesse Aragon Audition Actor/Student #1/Punk
Verda Bridges Audition Actor/Bessie/Hostage
Bobby McGee Audition Actor/Zombie Pimp/Eddie
Rusty Cundieff Audition Actor/Slave #1/Zombie
Carl Craig Audition Actor/Basketball
E.J. Murray Actor in Audition
Nancy Cheryl Davis Audition Actor,Hooker
Tony Edwards Audition Actor/Eddie Murphy
Grand L. Bush Mandingo Ricky Taylor/Hood #5
Richard Cummings Slave #3/Hood #1
Michael Smith Student #2/Zombie Pimp
Michael Conn Teacher #2/Police Detective #1
Jimmy Woodard Advance Student/Basketball
Franklyn Ajaye Body Guard #1
Damon Wayans Body Guard #2/Willie
Michael Colyar Body Guard #3
Donald Douglass Basketball Player/Eddie Murphy
Christopher Jackson Punk #1
Jim Beaver Postal Worker
Wren T. Brown Picketer #2
Steven Fertig Agent #2
Myra J. Picketer #1
Steve W. James Hood #3
Lydia Nicole Make-Up Woman
Nancy Scher Client #1
Nick Stewart Cookie's Father
Le Tari Rudy
Eugene Robert Glazer Director

Technical Credits
Robert Townsend Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Gregory "Popeye" Alexander Songwriter
Sheree Brown Songwriter
Bruce Cecil Songwriter
Carl Craig Executive Producer,Production Manager
Peter Deming Cinematographer
Donald Douglass Choreography
Melba Farquhar Art Director,Production Designer
W.O. Garrett Editor
Udi Harpaz Score Composer
George James Hopkins Songwriter
Steve James Stunts
Morris O'Connor Songwriter
Patrice Rushen Score Composer
William Shaffer Sound/Sound Designer
Keenen Ivory Wayans Screenwriter

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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Main Title/Line! [4:00]
2. "I'm On My Way" [3:50]
3. The Audition [4:35]
4. Black Acting 101 [6:06]
5. Winky Dinky Dawgs [3:49]
6. Sneakin' In The Movies [10:35]
7. An Eddie Murphy Type [2:39]
8. A Winky Future [2:58]
9. What If? [3:34]
10. A Black Noir [:45]
11. Jerry Curl Showdown [6:30]
12. Work At A Post Office [5:48]
13. "Always Uncle Tom" [3:26]
14. More Jive On The Set! [5:55]
15. Sky's The Limit [5:01]
16. End Credits [4:27]

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