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Get Shorty Details


A gangster is looking to get away from crooked deals and double-crossing people but ends up in the movie business anyway in this comic crime story. Chili Palmer (John Travolta) is a Miami-based loan collector for the mob trying to collect a gambling debt. His assignment takes him to Hollywood to collect money from Harry Zimm (Gene Hackman), a mildly sleazy producer of low-budget horror movies. Although Chili intends to hurt Harry if necessary, he takes a certain liking to him and an even keener interest in Karen (Rene Russo), Harry's girlfriend, whom Chili recognizes from Harry's grade-B monster epics. It seems Harry has a script that he feels is Academy Award material, and he could get the project off the ground if he could get the right actor for the lead -- say, the well-respected but egocentric (and diminutive) Martin Weir (Danny DeVito). Chili thinks he has a feel for the movie business and decides to see what he can do to persuade Weir to get behind the project. Chili soon finds himself hip deep in the film industry, which at least puts him in contact with a higher grade of scumbags than he's used to. But Chili isn't the only criminal Harry's been dealing with; he's been obtaining financing from Bo Catlett (Delroy Lindo), a drug dealer with a highly uncertain temperament. An intelligently constructed crime story and a hilarious look at the absurdities of the film business, Get Shorty was based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard; Leonard based Chili on a real-life former gangster of his acquaintance, though Chili's model never worked in Hollywood. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:October 20, 1995


Awarded by
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Scott Frank Best Screenplay 1995 Nominee
Hollywood Foreign Press Association John Travolta Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy 1995 Winner


John Travolta
as Chili Palmer
Gene Hackman
as Harry Zimm
Rene Russo
as Karen Flores
Danny DeVito
as Martin Weir
Dennis Farina
as Ray "Bones" Barboni
Delroy Lindo
as Bo Catlett
James Gandolfini
as Bear
David Paymer
as Leo Devoe
Bette Midler
as Doris
Jacob Vargas
as Yayo Portillo
Fred Scialla
Jack Conley
as Agent Dunbar
Jon Gries
as Ronnie Wingate
Harvey Keitel
as Himself
Vito Scotti
as Manager At Vesuvio's
Carlease Burke
as Rental Car Attendant
Rebeca Arthur
as Las Vegas Waitress
Zack Phifer
as Ivy Restaurant Maitre D'
Ralph Manza
as Fred The Barber
Alfred Dennis
as Ed The Barber
Bernard Hocke
as Agent Morgan
Ron Karabatsos
as Momo
Linda Hart
as Fay Devoe
Barry Sonnenfeld
as Doorman
Renee Props
as Nicki
Patrick Breen
as Resident Doctor
Bobby Slayton
as Dick Allen
Penny Marshall
as Herself
Miguel Sandoval
as Mr. Escobar
David Groh
Greg Goossen
as Duke, Man At The Ivy
John Cothran, Jr.
as Agent Curtis
Alex Rocco
as Buddy (Martin Weir's agent)
Martin Ferrero
as Tommy Carlo


Barry Sonnenfeld
Danny DeVito
Michael Shamberg
Stacey Sher
Scott Frank
Elmore Leonard
Book Author
Donald Peterman
John Lurie
Composer (Music Score)
Karyn Rachtman
Musical Direction/Supervision
Jim Miller
Peter Larkin
Production Designer
Steve Arnold
Art Director
Graham Place
Susan Ringo
Associate Producer
Barry Sonnenfeld
Executive Producer
Leslie Rollins
Set Designer
Erin Kemp
Set Designer
Don Coufal
Sound/Sound Designer
Jeff Wexler
Sound/Sound Designer
Alan B. Curtiss
First Assistant Director
Doc Duhame
Jophery Brown
Eric Mansker
Mark Riccardi
Debra Zane
Michelle Buhler