This World, Then the Fireworks (1997)

This World, Then the Fireworks (1997)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

This World, Then the Fireworks Photos

Movie Info

In 1926, young siblings Marty and Carol witness their jealous father shoot their philandering mother. The mother survives, and thirty years pass. Carol and Marty now run small-time scams, and Carol works as a hooker; the siblings are also lovers. Their mother is appalled and tries desperately to help them.
R (For strong violence, sexuality, and language)
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Written By:
In Theaters:

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Billy Zane
as Marty Lakewood
Gina Gershon
as Carol Lakewood
Sheryl Lee
as Lois Archer
Rue McClanahan
as Mrs. Lakewood
Seymour Cassel
as Police Detective Harris
William Hootkins
as Jake Krutz, Private Investigator
Will Patton
as Police Lt. Morgan
Val DeVargas
as Mexican Doctor
Roberta Hanley
as Younger Mom Lakewood
Philip Loch
as Marty Lakewood's Father
Elisabeth Imboden
as Neighbor's Wife
Christian Durango
as Little Marty Lakewood
Sloan Cobb
as Little Carol Lakewood
Willie Cobbs
as Blues Musician
Matt O'Toole
as Bar Thug
Mert Hatfield
as Bus Driver
Megan Leigh Brown
as Young Carol Lakewood
Tom Keeley
as Cousin Lyle
Christopher Jones
as Young Marty Lakewood
Lou Criscuolo
as McCloud
Jeffrey Pillars
as Galloway
Paul Sincoff
as Assistant
John Bennes
as Griffith
Barry Bell
as Barnett Gibons
Brian Gamble
as Undertaker
Terry Neinhuis
as Minister
Dean Mumford
as Marine Captain Miles Archer
Rick Warner
as Real Estate Guy
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Critic Reviews for This World, Then the Fireworks

All Critics (7)

It's a bizarre relationship, tender and respectful with a suggestively incestuous undercurrent that pulls at the story, like a schizophrenic, drug addled take on Tennessee Williams

Full Review… | March 24, 2016

Sheryl Lee, as the cop who Billy Zane is scamming and sleeping with gives such a terrible performance that is simultaneously absolutely perfect. She's the most accurate representative of the movie as a whole.

Full Review… | April 16, 2012

Elegantly stylish, intensely erotic, and slightly perverse, this rendition of Thomson's pulp novel is an art movie that's likely to divide sharply film critics and audiences--go for the ride.

January 8, 2007

Quote not available.

October 21, 2003

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Full Review… | September 26, 2002

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July 30, 2002
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for This World, Then the Fireworks


This is a great film, and should be more widely available. Why, oh why isn't it out in DVD? The writer of the original story is Jim Thompson. The film is one of the blackest of dark comedies, and so, unfortunately, is under appreciated mainstream viewers and even critics. If you could see the humor in "The Grifters" or if you like your humor darker than "To Die For," you must get "This World, Then the Fireworks" in video ASAP. The leading role is made for Billy Zane, and features the finest performance I've ever seen from him. Don't miss this unforgettable scene: someone wonders why he (Billy Zane) would marry a deformed woman when he can have a beautiful one, and he becomes absolutely enraged. Also wonderful are Gina Gershon as the sister, and Rue McClanahan as mother of the wicked siblings. :fresh:

Rebecca Fransway
Rebecca Fransway

(1997 Director: Michael Oblowitz) I enjoyed this movie, though admittedly it was a little difficult to watch two incredibly gorgeous twins (one female, one male) living off their looks in less than moral ways. Oddly enough gorgeous Billy Zane's character met misfortune from his legitimate undercover career, causing him to return home. Rue McClanahan was a bright spot as their mother. In reviewing Ms McClanahan's filmography, I was surprised to learn that I have seen few of her movies. Anyone remember her character in a personal favorite, Starship Troopers??

Teresa S
Teresa S

Super Reviewer

This film fails miserably in it's attempt to be an intriguing and shocking noir story and ends up being soulless, pointless and tremendously stupid. None of the characters are particularly interesting and the plot is paper thin, revolving mainly around trite dialogue and endless scenes of meaningless depravity. The only good parts of this film are Ms. Gershon and the slick, jazzy score, but that isn't enough to warrant a positive review.

Clay Keller
Clay Keller

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