Friday, 30 November 2007

Get Shorty and walk tall

Screenwriter, William Goldman famously said of Hollywood and the screen trade that "No-one knows anything." It is this adage that is exploited to the full in Barry Sonnenfeld's 1995 big screen adaptation of Elmore Leonard's novel Get Shorty.

It stars John Travolta as Chili Palmer a mob debt collector hitting on Hollywood. Ably supported by Gene Hackman, Rene Russo and Danny DeVito, this tongue in cheek gangster/ romantic comedy lifts the lid on how movies do... or don't get made.

The jazzy soul based score credited to John Lurie is as cool as Chili Palmer and owes a fair debt to Booker T and The MG's who also turn up on the soundtrack along with US3, Morphine and Greyboy. Musically, the Get Shorty soundtrack has less in common with Out of Sight, another Elmore Leonard adaptation and is more in tune with Jamshied Shariff's excellent score for the Nickelodeon feature Harriet The Spy or George S Clinton's swampy score for Wild Things. Each has that widescreen swagger that makes you want to wack up the bass and wear Ray Bans in restaurants.

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