Hollywoodland (2006)



Critic Consensus: More than a movie star murder mystery, Hollywoodland takes it slow in order to reveal the intriguing details of the rise and fall of superstar fame.

Movie Info

The mysterious and unexpected death of an iconic Hollywood star may be just the tip of an iceberg of scandal in this showbiz drama based on a true story. George Reeves (played by Ben Affleck) was a journeyman actor who had played a small role in Gone With the Wind and appeared onscreen with the likes of James Cagney, Rita Hayworth, and Marlene Dietrich, but his career was not exactly booming when he was cast as comic-book hero Superman in a 1951 B-movie, Superman and the Mole Men. A year later, … More

Rating: R (for language, some violence and sexual content)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Paul Bernbaum
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 6, 2007
Box Office: $14.3M
Focus Features - Official Site


as Louis Simo

as Toni Mannix

as George Reeves

as Eddie Mannix

as Helen Bessolo

as Leonore Lemmon

as Howard Strickling

as Det. Doug Johnson

as Chester

as Art Weissman

as Russ Taylor

as Sergeant Jack Paters...

as Laurie Simo

as Kit Holliday

as Carol Van Ronkel

as Evam Simo

as Officer Daniel Korby

as Robert Condon

as Barbell Man

as Chuck

as Phillip

as Rita Hayworth

as Chopard Saleswoman

as Judge Eisler

as Times Reporter

as Miss Yoshida

as Dominick's Waiter

as Miss Yoshida

as Lester Koenig

as Harold Chiles

as Izzy Berne

as Barney Sarecky, Prod...

as Jack Larson

as Phyllis Coates

as John Hamilton

as James Engelman

as Barney Sarecky

as Alford `Rip' Van Ron...

as Maxwell Arnow

as Fred Zinneman

as MGM Hunk

as Kenneth Giles

as Superman Announcer

as Dark Figure

as Docville Bank Teller

as Rick Harris

as Thug Detective

as Evan (5 yrs. old)

as Mrs. Sinclair

as Natividad Vacio

as Mannix Maid

as Funeral Reporter #1

as Funeral Reporter #2

as Buddy Adler

as Buddy Adler

as Cigar Man

as Jackie, Leonore's Fr...

as Tommy Carr, Director

as Camera Girl

as Barbell Man
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Hollywoodland

All Critics (188) | Top Critics (45)

It's worth seeing for Affleck alone, deftly communicating the distance between the put-on cardboard debonairness of this hunk-about-town and the gnawing uncertainties beneath his Superman outfit.

Full Review… | November 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Outside of the novelty of seeing Ben Affleck assaying a dramatic role, there isn't much in Hollywoodland to keep us hooked.

Full Review… | August 16, 2010
Cinema Writer

Starts with artful delusions before dribbling into nothingness

Full Review… | August 30, 2009

Despite a stellar cast, Coulter and screenwriter Paul Bernbaum can’t decide whether to plumb the depths of 'noir' or tug at the heartstrings of failed ambition.

Full Review… | July 23, 2009

Like Ben from Bennifer, George Reeves aspired to be a Great Actor, but was weighed down by audience expectations. Affleck does a terrific job with this role.

Full Review… | December 10, 2007

Strong ensemble performances, tight direction, and a stand out from Affleck make this an excellent revisiting of an old Hollywood case...

Full Review… | September 19, 2007
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Hollywoodland


This is a slick period piece with some great production values that concerns the final days and mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of actor George Reeves, the original Superman before Christopher took over the role for the films. It looks at Reeves, but mostly follows the efforts of a private eye determined to figure out the truth behind what really happened and why.

The concept and set up are great, but the results are unfulfilling. This one is really trying to swing for the fences and place itself amonsgt the ranks of Chinatown (possibly) or L.A. Confidential. It's a noble try, but it doesn't quite make it. The performances are actually pretty decent, especially from Affleck and Brody, but the story is meandering, plodding, and not as gripping as it needed to be.

It's a bit of a bore, and doesn't really provide the insight I was hoping it might. I dug the technical side of things, and there are some good sequences, but ultimately this is just an unfocused bore.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


A detective investigating the suicide death of a famous TV actor is the entry point for this informed discussion about some of the effects of our society's fixation on celebrity. Brody's great as a smart detective who's not famous for anything, totally unaware how desperately wants to be, while Affleck's spot-on as George Reeves, who was famous, only not the way he wanted to be and consequently unappreciative of what fame he had. I learned many things about one of my childhood heroes I hadn't known before ... and a little about myself too.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer


Hollywoodland is a fictionalisation of the circumstances surrounding the death of George Reeves whose first acting role was in the legendary Gone With The Wind but found fame as the TV incarnation of Superman. Aping the Noiresque feel of 40s and 50s detective movies, Adrien Brody is excellent as the down at heel, ambulance chasing private eye who is more interested in self aggrandizement than justice, as is Ben Affleck who puts in a fine performance as the charming rogue who feels he is better than the lot in life he has been handed. Sensitively directed with a nice sense of period, this is not a lurid true crime story, more a character study with an intelligently plotted investigative spin and it works really well. Those expecting a slam-bang finale may be disappointed but it has a poignancy that rounded off the story perfectly for me. Not in the same league as L.A. Confidential but head and shoulders above the likes of The Black Dahlia.

xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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