Palmetto (1997) - Rotten Tomatoes

Palmetto (1997)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Volker Schlondorff directed this thriller about corruption in the town of Palmetto. Harry Barber (Woody Harrelson) refused to take a payoff in regards to that corruption, was set up, and went to prison. Released two years later, a bitter Barber plans to leave Palmetto forever, but he changes his mind after he runs into old girlfriend Nina (Gina Gershon). No employment materializes for Harry, but then he gets an offer from blonde Rhea Malroux (Elisabeth Shue), wife of a dying millionaire Felix Malroux (Rolf Hoppe). Rhea offers Harry $50,000 to participate in the fake kidnapping of her teen stepdaughter Odette (Chloe Sevigny of Kids and The Last Days of Disco). Odette is willing to go along with the scheme to escape being sent to a strict Swiss boarding school. All Harry has to do is type a note, make a threatening phone call, collect the $500,000 ransom, and walk away with his $50,000. What could go wrong? Well, it appears not to be so simple. The E. Max Frye screenplay is adapted from the '30s hard-boiled novel Just Another Sucker by James Hadley Chase.more
Rating: R (adult situations/language, sex, violence)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense, Drama
Directed By:
Written By: E. Max Frye
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 4, 1998
Warner Home Video


Woody Harrelson
as Harry Barber
Elisabeth Shue
as Rhea Malroux
Rolf Hoppe
as Felix Malroux
Tom Wright
as John Renick
Marc Macaulay
as Miles Meadows
Joe Hickey
as Lawyer
Richard Booker
as Billy Holden
Bill Larson
as Parking Lot Man
Tim W. Terry
as Prison Guard
Jim Janey
as Policeman
Brett Rice
as Crash Site Cop
Vince Cecere
as Tow Truck Driver
Don Bright
as Crime Scene Cop
Ernie Garrett
as TV Anchor
Karin J. Ivester
as Forensic Detective
Marcus Thomas
as Courtroom Photograph...
Douglas J. Mann II
as Courtroom Reporter
Jim R. Coleman
as 1st Reporter
Victoria Tan
as 2nd Reporter
Wil Kilmer
as Bungalow Cop
Ginger King
as The Real Rhea
Corey Blevins
as Motel Clerk
Duncan Chamberlain
as Gallery Maitre D'
Peggy Sheffield
as Woman Customer
Karen Fraction
as Plainclothes Cop
Gary Lowe
as Boathouse Cop
Kenneth L. Bright
as Boathouse Cop
Jay Ridings
as Boathouse Cop
Graig Himes
as Boathouse Cop
James Gaunt
as Boathouse Cop
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Palmetto

Critic Reviews for Palmetto

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (15)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 12, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

January 1, 2000
USA Today
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Detroit News
Top Critic

Shue, appearing uncomfortable and distracted and trying a bit too hard, comes off as more camp than vamp.

Full Review… | March 31, 2009

An unfairly bashed breath of fresh indie-style air.

July 21, 2004
Arizona Daily Star

Audience Reviews for Palmetto

The first time I watched it, didn't think much of it.....but watched it again and it was a good story....very sexy.

Timeen *

It was a surprise for me . Was not expecting much from movie with the bad reviews. I loved Elisabeth Shue's bad gal. I think it made sense for someone as nice as Elisabeth to be bad gal. Woody's character would have been truly blindsided by her.

Steven Burkhard

A neo-noir that has an incredibly rich atmosphere that is intoxicating. The plot itself, though populated with an abundance of twists and turns, is purely conventional by noir terms and thus fairly predictable (even though the film takes so much joy in trying to pull the rug out from under us). Also, the pacing is sluggish and moves slowly from one plot point to the next. However, the viewer can not take their eyes off the gorgeous imagery the film provides for us and the performances are uniformly good and keep the film interesting. An efficient example of neo-noir that pays homage to its source material at the expense of originality.

Palmetto Quotes

– Submitted by Will L (2 years ago)

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