The misconception that sinks this often handsome confection is that revivalism will spread evenly over separate cultures, turning the Prohibition gangsters and backstage romances and old jazz into a winning hand of iconographic flash-cards for the camera. What neck! Neither Ellington's music nor the black dancers will hold still, of course, and fatally detain the emotions while the lovers do not. Gere, with masher's taz and major hair-oil, phones in his performance from the wardrobe department. Hines, his black opposite number, does better with less. Of the hoods, only Hoskins and Fred Gwynne rise above the mundane mayhem, spinning headlines and general dis-dat-doze. The narrative is a mess despite the simplistic twinning of tales, and - worse yet - keeps interrupting the heart-stopping hoofing.
Cast and crew
William Kennedy, Francis Coppola
Richard Gere Gregory Hines Diane Lane Lonette McKee Bob Hoskins James Remar Nicolas Cage Allen Garfield Fred Gwynne Gwen Verdon Laurence Fishburne