5.9/10
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41 user 30 critic

Billy Bathgate (1991)

In the year 1935, a teen named Billy Bathgate finds first love while becoming the protégé of fledgling gangster Dutch Schultz.

Director:

Robert Benton

Writers:

E.L. Doctorow (book), Tom Stoppard (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dustin Hoffman ... Dutch Schultz
Nicole Kidman ... Drew Preston
Loren Dean ... Billy Bathgate
Bruce Willis ... Bo Weinberg
Steven Hill ... Otto Berman
Steve Buscemi ... Irving
Billy Jaye Billy Jaye ... Mickey
John Costelloe ... Lulu
Timothy Jerome Timothy Jerome ... Dixie Davis (as Tim Jerome)
Stanley Tucci ... Lucky Luciano
Mike Starr ... Julie Martin
Robert F. Colesberry ... Jack Kelly
Stephen Joyce ... Mr. Hines
Frances Conroy ... Mary Behan - Billy's Mother
Moira Kelly ... Rebecca
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Storyline

Based loosely on the organized crime syndicates of the 20's and 30's, Billy Bathgate is the story of a young man's rise from gopher to right hand man in Dutch Schultz' gang. Having been impressed by the youth, Schultz takes him under his wing so to speak. Billy soon finds himself in a world where wealth and fortune live next door to danger and death. Written by Michael Silva <silvamd@cleo.bc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In 1935, a New York kid was looking for a hero. He found Dutch Schultz. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some gangster violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bilis Batgeitas See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$48,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,051,590, 3 November 1991

Gross USA:

$15,565,363

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$15,565,363
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (DuArt)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The birth name of Billy Bathgate (Loren Dean) was "Billy Behan". See more »

Goofs

When Drew Preston is walking with Billy Bathgate and takes his hand, the close-up shows her hand is on the front. In the next shot, her hand behind his and facing to the rear. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bo Weinberg: [being tied up] What do you think, Irving? Makes this cheap dago move on me, Bo Weinberg. The man who took out @Vincent Coll. The man who held Jack Diamond's ears so he could put the gun in his mouth. Who found the rackets he was to *stupid* to find for himself, who made him something more than the lowdown fucking guy that he is! The schmuck, I should expect something else. He pulls me off the the street right in front of my girl, like he don't know no better. Schmuck!
Dutch Schultz: Don't talk to...
[...]
See more »

Connections

References Naughty Marietta (1935) See more »

Soundtracks

I Only Have Eyes for You
Music by Harry Warren
Played on the phonograph
See more »

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User Reviews

 
lackluster lead in bland character
11 May 2015 | by SnoopyStyleSee all my reviews

It's 1935 NYC. Dutch Schultz (Dustin Hoffman) has Bo Weinberg (Bruce Willis) tied up. The movie flashes back to hustler Billy Bathgate (Loren Dean) on the streets. He ingratiates himself into Dutch's grace with his timely audacity. Dutch is a lead gangster. Otto Berman (Steven Hill) is his second in-command. Bo is his master fixer who can be trusted to do anything. Drew Preston (Nicole Kidman) is Bo's married girlfriend. Dutch is battling another gang as he grows suspicious of Bo. After Dutch kills Bo, he takes Drew as his. He has a trial in upstate New York and tries to win over the locals with his generosity.

There is something off-putting about Loren Dean portrayal of Billy Bathgate. He's a wide-eyed bland puppy who's always hanging around and listening. He lacks the needed intensity to lead a movie that has Dustin Hoffman acting up a storm. I imagine a modern version could be played by Eddie Redmayne who would give this role much needed energy. With Kidman bringing all of her damaged sexuality, Loren Dean brings the heat of a 12 year old boy. It's partly the character but mostly it's left on Loren's doorstep. How much of it is director Robert Benton's doing is hard to tell. This movie should be a lot better with so many great supporting actors involved.


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