The Independent (2001)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Independent Photos

Movie Info

Imaginary Z-grade 1960s exploitation film producer Morty Fineman (Jerry Stiller), who was responsible for such faux-works as Buddy Cops V: Hayseed and Toughnut , sci-fi blaxploitation flick The Foxy Chocolate Robot , and, of course, Heil Titler , is the focus for this mockumentary co-written and directed by Stephen Kessler). While Fineman struggles to make his latest effort, Ms. Kevorkian , about a gun-toting babe who's passionate about assisted-suicide, the bank wants to foreclose on his hallowed studio and sell his film archive for $8 a pound. In absolute desperation, he reaches out to his estranged daughter Paloma (Janeane Garofalo), who grudgingly agrees to be the president of his production company in spite of numerous moral qualms. Along the way, the film features interviews with such real-life luminaries as Peter Bogdanovich, Roger Corman, and blaxploitation stalwart Fred Williamson, that paints a picture of a relentlessly gung-ho producer whose work somehow manages to rise above nothing budgets and lackluster talent. They also highlight Fineman's penchant for hitting on his leading ladies; Karen Black recalled one incident by noting, "It helped to be drunk." This film was screened at the 2000 South By Southwest Film Festival.
Rating:
R (for language, some violence and sexuality)
Genre:
Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Watch it now

Cast

Ron Howard
as Himself
Janeane Garofalo
as Paloma Fineman
Bob Odenkirk
as Figure
Karen Black
as Herself
Roger Corman
as Himself
Ted Demme
as Himself
Julie Strain
as Ms. Kevorkian
Fred Dryer
as Jean-Claude
Jerry Stiller
as Morty Fineman
John Lydon
as Baruce
Maria Ford
as Poster Model
Bill Gerber
as Dennis
Billy Burke
as Dwayne
Andy Dick
as Maitre'd
Maria Cina
as Newscaster
Greg Behrendt
as Redneck
Aki Aleong
as Mr. Ko
Larry Hankin
as William Henry Ellis
Jennifer Elise Cox
as Telluride Booth Girl
Ginger Lynn Allen
as Mayor Kitty Storm
Michael Robbins
as Orthodontist
Anne Meara
as Rita
Phil Proctor
as Rob's Dad
Louisa Moritz
as Sally/Receptionist
Judy Herrera
as Blue Sky
Dana Gould
as Victim
Richard Paul
as Jeffries
Jay Johnston
as Soldier
Gary Friedkin
as Surfer Guy
Ancel Cook
as Peter Worth
Ken Michelman
as Prosecutor
John
as Baruce
Brittany Andrews
as Actress No. 3
Amy Stiller
as Dr. Rosaria McClesh
Stacy Fuson
as Daugher
Owen Bush
as VFW Old Man
Jimmy Briscoe
as Morty's Actor-friend
Ramon Sison
as Mr. Ramos
Brooke Ashley
as Actress No. 2
Lisa McCullough
as Leather Girl
Melinda Peterson
as Rob's Mom
Joseph Griffo
as Beach Guy
Eric Schaefer
as R.F. Fineman
Joseph Dubow
as Businessman No. 2
Rob Ingersoll
as Christ
Herb Marcus
as Old Man/Mr. Witz
Devon DeMaria
as Violet
Clanton Williams
as Businessman No. 1
Susie Rossitto
as Morty's Actress-friend
Roy Kerry
as Beardo
David Strifel
as Hairface
Dennis McCullen
as President
Omer Mohamed
as Mr. Singh
Penelope Pumpkins
as Actress No. 1
Gina Jackson
as Foxy Chocolate Robot
Risa Mickenberg
as Desk Clerk
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Independent

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (15)

When it's trying to be a more conventional comedy, it's mostly pretty bad.

July 20, 2002
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

A charming and funny look at the independent filmmaking business and the thin line between a masterpiece and a $9 nap.

Full Review… | June 28, 2002
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Good but not great.

May 3, 2002
Seattle Times
Top Critic

While [Stiller] and everyone else look like they're having a great time working on a shoestring, their movie too often retells the same joke.

Full Review… | April 26, 2002
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

A mockumentary that is as endearing as it is silly.

Full Review… | April 26, 2002
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Garofalo, wary but indulgent as the director's estranged daughter, has great comic rapport with Stiller.

Full Review… | April 24, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Independent

The Independent takes the comedic shenanigans of the lovable Jerry Stiller and makes an incredibly dull film about an independent director trying to get a budget together for one last film. Typically Jerry Stillers yelling and carrying on make for a good number of laughs but director Stephen Kessler is unable to use Stillers energy effectively and causes The Independent to be a boring look at the director not unlike himself.

Jonathan Porras
Jonathan Porras

I think that Jerry Stiller has one of the best comedic performances ever here.

Stephen Earnest
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer

It's just plain stupid in every sense of the word, but Stiller is hilarious and the film exceeds any expectations. The scene where the reporter is interviewing Stiller and asking him about his career is one of the funniest scenes I've ever seen.

Stephen Earnest
Stephen Earnest

Super Reviewer

The Independent Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Independent on our Movie forum!

News & Features