The Cotton Club
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Combining electric song and dance performances with drama (both on and off screen), Francis Ford Coppola's The Cotton Club (1984) looks back to the 1920s-1930s peak of the legendary Harlem nightclub where only blacks performed and only whites could sit in the audience. Mixing historical figures with characters loosely based on actual people, Coppola and co-writers William Kennedy and The Godfather's Mario Puzo create a panorama of love, crime, and entertainment centered on the Club. Among them are cornet player Dixie Dwyer (Richard Gere, playing his own solos), who escapes psycho… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Given its garish production history, one rather expected The Cotton Club to sing with hot-jazz desperation. Instead, we get the mediocre craftsmanship of a pit band in Vegas."
‑ Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine
"Whatever it took to do it, Coppola has extracted a very special film out of the checkered history of this project."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Lavish, interesting, evocative but strained and self-conscious, Cotton Club is all watchable curiosity."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Ambitious, but like many post-Apocalypse Coppola films, it doesn't quite hit the mark."
‑ Chuck Rudolph, Matinee Magazine
"There are lots of good ideas, but none of them are really worked out or honed"
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"It was the most assured film Coppola had made in a decade, full of casual wit and visual invention."
‑ Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
"Sharply uneven, Coppola's period musical about he famous Harlem club is lavishly produced but shallow."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Energetic and involving."
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"There're always something and someone interesting just around the corner; and, if Coppola seems to have difficulty with the story's narrative line, he does manage to help the audience keep straight the huge cast of characters."
‑ Jimmy Summers, Boxoffice Magazine
"Gangsters, tap dancers, and jazz musicians collide!"
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"The narrative is a mess despite the simplistic twinning of tales."
‑ , Time Out
"This musical gangster movie is a tour de force, even if a little muddled."
‑ , Film4
"Coppola's most shamefully underrated movie."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, San Francisco Examiner
"Coppola's claustrophobic fall from Eden is both fascinating and beautiful to watch."
‑ Ryan Cracknell, Apollo Guide
"This feels like a movie with its heart ripped out."
‑ , Empire Magazine
More reviews for The Cotton Club on Rotten Tomatoes