Hollywoodland (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes

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, the producers of the movie launched a syndicated Superman television series with Reeves returning as "The Man of Steel." The show became a major hit, and Reeves was a star at last. However, on June 16, 1959, to the shock of many, Reeves was found dead of a gunshot wound. Police soon declared Reeves' death a suicide and closed the case, but his mother (Lois Smith) refused to believe her son took his own life, and hired Louis Simo (Adrien Brody), a private detective, to find out the truth about her son's passing. Simo found that many Hollywood insiders did not care to cooperate as he researched the Reeves case, but his digging uncovered plenty of evidence suggesting the actor did not take his own life, and he also revealed one of Reeves' deepest secrets -- while he was engaged to marry a pretty young starlet, Leonore Lemmon (Robin Tunney), Reeves was also carrying on an affair with the beautiful Toni Mannix (Diane Lane), the wife of Eddie Mannix (Bob Hoskins), a powerful and ill-tempered executive at MGM. While the producers of Hollywoodland based their story on factual accounts of the investigation into the death of George Reeves, they were denied permission to use the Superman logo and the familiar introduction to the Adventures of Superman television show by the respective copyright holders.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


Adrien Brody
as Louis Simo
Diane Lane
as Toni Mannix
Ben Affleck
as George Reeves
Bob Hoskins
as Eddie Mannix
Lois Smith
as Helen Bessolo
Robin Tunney
as Leonore Lemmon
Joe Spano
as Howard Strickling
Ted Atherton
as Det. Doug Johnson
Larry Cedar
as Chester
Jeffrey DeMunn
as Art Weissman
Brad William Henke
as Russ Taylor
Dash Mihok
as Sergeant Jack Paters...
Molly Parker
as Laurie Simo
Caroline Dhavernas
as Kit Holliday
Kathleen Robertson
as Carol Van Ronkel
Zach Mills
as Evam Simo
David J. MacNeil
as Officer Daniel Korby
Kevin Hare
as Robert Condon
Eric Kaldor
as Barbell Man
Seamus Dever
as Phillip
Veronica Watt
as Rita Hayworth
Joan Gregson
as Chopard Saleswoman
David Bolt
as Judge Eisler
Todd Grinnell
as Times Reporter
Ayumi Iizuka
as Miss Yoshida
Eric Fink
as Dominick's Waiter
Aymui Iizuka
as Miss Yoshida
Jeff Teravainen
as Lester Koenig
Brendan Wall
as Harold Chiles
Jack Newman
as Izzy Berne
Eric Weinthal
as Barney Sarecky, Pro...
Joseph Adam
as Jack Larson
Lorry Ayers
as Phyllis Coates
Sven Van De Ven
as John Hamilton
Michael Rhoades
as James Engelman
Steve Adams
as Barney Sarecky
Richard Fancy
as Alford `Rip' Van Ron...
Jeff Cowan
as Maxwell Arnow
Peter James Haworth
as Fred Zinneman
Tim Campbell
as MGM Hunk
Jason Spevack
as Kenneth Giles
Kerin McCue
as Superman Announcer
Cotton Mather
as Dark Figure
Tim Dorsch
as Docville Bank Teller
Donald Burda
as Rick Harris
Steve Brandes
as Thug Detective
Charlie Lea
as Evan (5 yrs. old)
Dendrie Allyn Taylor
as Mrs. Sinclair
Diego Fuentes
as Natividad Vacio
Jody Jaress
as Mannix Maid
Murray Oliver
as Funeral Reporter #1
Walter Rinaldi
as Funeral Reporter #2
Terry C. Barna
as Buddy Adler
Terry Barna
as Buddy Adler
Bill Lake
as Cigar Man
Erin Gooderham
as Jackie, Leonore's F...
Robert Kennedy
as Tommy Carr, Directo...
Natalie Krill
as Camera Girl
Eric Kolder
as Barbell Man
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Hollywoodland

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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