The Cotton Club Encore: Ignore the Gangsters

 In Crime, Drama, Everything, Musicals, Skip
Photo of Gregory Hines in the Cotton Club Encore

The Cotton Club Encore

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Written by William Kennedy and Francis Ford Coppola

The review:

I’ve not seen the original, but this encore version has a not-interesting gangster story interspersed with incredible vocal and dance performances by the entertainers performing at the Cotton Club.* Richard Gere wanders around in dark sun glasses playing his coronet** looking troubled, while meanwhile Gregory Hines has actual problems*** It’s fun to see actors looking young**** but this is a very long movie that has its focus on the wrong thing.

The verdict: Skip

(or watch it and fast forward to the performance scenes)

Cost: $1.99 via Redbox OnDemand
Where watched: at home

Consider also watching:

Further sentences:

*That’s right! You can fast forward through all of the gangster plot and just hang out at the Cotton Club.
**Much is made of the fact that Gere is really playing that coronet.
***Making the choice between being a solo act or sticking with his brother; being in love with a woman who makes choices that make it difficult to be in a relationship with her; the fact that he’s underpaid because his artistry can be exploited.
****1984 was kind of a long time ago, it turns out. Gere, Gregory Hines, Diane Lane (very young!) Nicolas Cage (also very young!) Bob Hoskins, and Laurence Fishburne.


  • Have you ever watched a film for reasons other than the main plot?
  • What’s your favorite “performances” film?

Favorite IMDB trivia item:

Laurence Fishburne’s character, Bumpy Rhodes, was based on real-life Harlem gangster Ellsworth “Bumpy” Johnson. Fishburne would play Bumpy in Hoodlum (1997) 13 years later.

Other reviews of The Cotton Club:

Text: You've got about as much style as a bowl of turnips. —The Cotton Club Encore. Read the three sentence movie review:
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