Returning to the city of his birthplace, Robert Altman directed this tribute to the music and movies of his youth. Blondie O’Hara (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and her low-level hood husband Johnny (Dermot Mulroney) get caught trying to steal from Seldom Seen (Harry Belafonte), a crime boss who works out of The Hey-Hey Club. To escape, she kidnaps socialite Carolyn (Miranda Richardson) and plans on using her political connections to save her husband’s life.
This story is based on a real story. In 1933, Mary McElroy, the opium-addicted daughter of Henry McElroy, the city manager of Kansas City, was kidnapped. After the $30,000 ransom was paid, she was released unharmed while her four kidnappers were caught and sentenced to life in prison.
Beyond all that intrigue, a political fixer named Johnny Flynn (Steve Buscemi) is gathering the homeless and drug addicted to swing the outcome of a major vote.
The soundtrack was recorded live and features contemporary musicians playing the roles of jazz musicians from the 1930s. They also appear in the movie, with Craig Handy as Coleman Hawkins, Geri Allen playing Mary Lou Williams and James Carter in the role of Ben Webster.
This Arrow Video release is the first time that this movie has ever appeared on blu-ray. It features audio commentary by director Robert Altman, a newly filmed appreciation by critic Geoff Andrew, a visual essay by critic Luc Lagier, plus short introduction to the film narrated by Lagier, two promotional features from the films original release, the press kit, trailers, TV ads and an illustrated booklet for the first printing.
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