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Kansas City Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

The jazz world of 1930s Kansas City serves as the backdrop for an offbeat story of kidnapping, political corruption, and organized crime in director Robert Altman's loving but unsentimental look at his childhood hometown. The film's intricate story is triggered by petty thief Johnny O'Hara (Dermot Mulroney), who aims for a big score by trying to rob notorious crime boss Seldom Seen (Harry Belafonte), only to end up Seen's captive. In fear for her husband's life, Johnny's wife Blondie (Jennifer Jason Leigh) decides to take action. Following an eccentric personal logic, she takes as a hostage the wife of a prominent local politician, in hopes of getting the woman's husband to help; unfortunately, he is on the road with an upcoming presidential campaign, putting a major hitch in Blondie's plans. The film moves freely among its idiosyncratic characters in an overt attempt to mimic the improvisational structure of 1930s jazz. Indeed, many of the film's most important sequences take place in Seldom Seen's club, with contemporary jazz greats imitating the period's master musicians and Harry Belafonte shining as the magnetic, menacing Seen. The central narrative never achieves the seemingly effortless integration of Altman's greatest works, but those who share Altman's obvious passion for the period and its music will find much to admire. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi

  • Release date:August 16, 1996

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
New York Film Critics Circle Harry Belafonte Best Supporting Actor 1996 Winner
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Hal Willner Best Music Score 1996 Winner

Cast

Jennifer Jason Leigh
as Blondie O'Hara
Miranda Richardson
as Carolyn Stilton
Harry Belafonte
as Seldom Seen
Michael Murphy
as Henry Stilton
Dermot Mulroney
as Johnny O'Hara
Steve Buscemi
as Johnny Flynn
Brooke Smith
as Babe Flynn
Jane Adams
as Nettie Bolt
Brooke Smith
as Babe Flynn

Crew

Robert Altman
Director
Robert Altman
Producer
Robert Altman
Screenwriter
Frank Barhydt
Screenwriter
Oliver Stapleton
Cinematographer
Hal Willner
Composer (Music Score)
Geraldine Peroni
Editor
Stephen Altman
Production Designer
Richard L. Johnson
Art Director
Matthew Seig
Co-producer
David C. Thomas
Co-producer
James Mclindon
Associate Producer
Scott Bushnell
Executive Producer
Susan J. Emshwiller
Set Designer
Dawn Brown-Manser
Set Designer
Dona Granata
Costume Designer
Stephen P. Dunn
First Assistant Director
Mike Adams
Stunts
Greg Walker
Stunts
Elisabeth Leustig
Casting
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