Kansas City

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Released 1996

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Movie Summary

Director:
Robert Altman (I)
Released:
1996
Rating:
R
Kansas City is a 1996 dramatic musical directed by Robert Altman. In 1930s Kansas, Blondie O'Hara (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is in dire straits. Her husband, Johnny (Dermot Mulroney), ran afoul of local gangsters at the Hey Hey Club and is now a prisoner. Blondie knew that marrying a petty thief would lead to dark consequences, but her only thought is to rescue Johnny and try to make a new start together. In her desperation, however, Blondie turns to desperate measures. Believing that a local politician, Henry Stilton (Michael Murphy), can help her rescue Johnny, Blondie decides her only recourse is blackmail. She kidnaps his wife, Carolyn (Miranda Richardson), and holds her hostage while Henry reluctantly tries to free Johnny from his gangster captor, Seldom Seen (Harry Belafonte). As Carolyn and Blondie spend time together, an unlikely bond begins to form between the two women, further complicating Johnny and Blondie's happy reunion.

Metacritic Score

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    What he asks of the actors (those who are "soloists," anyway) is not realism but the same kind of playful show-off performances he's getting from the musicians. And to understand t...

  • 67

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    So much is satisfying in KC that its shortcomings are all the more discordant.

  • 50

    San Francisco Chronicle Edward Guthmann

    It starts out with several seemingly separate stories and characters, allows them to tease, overlap and shade one another, and then weaves them into one rich fabric. It's an allego...

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    Categories

    Drama, Suspense

    Themes

    Crime, Film Noir, Historical