The Cotton Club (1984)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Combining electric song and dance performances with drama (both on and off screen), Francis Ford Coppola's The Cotton Club (1984) looks back to the 1920s-1930s peak of the legendary Harlem nightclub where only blacks performed and only whites could sit in the audience. Mixing historical figures with characters loosely based on actual people, Coppola and co-writers William Kennedy and The Godfather's Mario Puzo create a panorama of love, crime, and entertainment centered on the Club. Among them … More

Rating: R (adult situations/language, violence)
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Francis Ford Coppola, William Kennedy, Mario Puzo
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 19, 2000
Nelson Entertainment



as Dixie Dwyer

as Sandman Williams

as Vera Cicero

as Lila Rose Oliver

as Dutch Schultz

as Vincent Dwyer

as Abbadabba Berman

as Owney Madden

as Frenchy Demange

as Tish Dwyer

as Frances Flegenheimer

as Clay Williams

as Sol Weinstein

as Mme. St. Clair

as Bumpy Rhodes

as Irving Stark

as Mike Best

as Ed Popke

as Patsy Dwyer

as Winnie Williams

as Norma Williams

as Cab Calloway

as Charles `Lucky' Luci...

as Monk

as Gloria Swanson

as Kid Griffin

as Ed Popke

as Holmes

as Ling

as Messiah

as Caspar Holstein

as Bub Jewett

as Bib Joe Ison

as Marcial Flores

as Myrtle Fay

as Duke Ellington

as Butch Murdock

as Trigger Mike Coppola

as Charlie Chaplin

as Ted Husing

as Stage-Door Joe

as James Cagney

as Fanny Brice

as Vince Hood

as Vince Hood

as Vince Hood

as Vince Hood

as Bumpy Hood

as Clerk

as Child in Street

as Hoofer

as Screen Test Thug

as Joe Flynn

as Bumpy Hood
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News & Interviews for The Cotton Club

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Critic Reviews for The Cotton Club

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (5)

Given its garish production history, one rather expected The Cotton Club to sing with hot-jazz desperation. Instead, we get the mediocre craftsmanship of a pit band in Vegas.

Full Review… | March 13, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

It was the most assured film Coppola had made in a decade, full of casual wit and visual invention.

Full Review… | December 11, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The narrative is a mess despite the simplistic twinning of tales.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Whatever it took to do it, Coppola has extracted a very special film out of the checkered history of this project.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

July 7, 2005
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Sharply uneven, Coppola's period musical about he famous Harlem club is lavishly produced but shallow.

Full Review… | August 25, 2012

Audience Reviews for The Cotton Club


Good motion picture, but The Cotton Club presents some cliches of gangsters movies. Whatever, Coppola made a remarkable film.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

While not the Godfather (and what is really...besides Godfather 2, but I digress)
The Cotton Club is a great entertaining little movie. All controversy about it's making aside Coppola and Evans managed to craft a thoroughly entertaining film with several great scenes and mostly solid performances (I'm looking at you Nic Cage and James Remar). I can say however, that this is hands down, the single best tap dancing gangster film ever made.

Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer


Period gangster drama set around a nightclub in the 20s that's a little lacking in substance.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

The Cotton Club Quotes

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