Pocket Review, Title Get Shorty, Studio MGM/UA, Rating 4.5,
The wry premise of this movie: the best training for a Hollywood producer is loan-sharking.
Of the many movies about the movie business, this one of the best, mixing the comical with the cynical. The opening sequences lead you straight into the cockeyed world of small-time Miami hoods, and then directly on to Hollywood, where dirty limo company owners finance films and a bit-part ingenue understands the business better than the producers and directors she works for. Every character is fleshed out; the music, atmosphere and comic timing are masterful.
There are many good performances. Rene Russo almost steals the movie as a skeptical B-movie actress. John Travolta plays the loan shark with just the right amount of swagger. Dennis Farina does his best work in movies with his depiction of a gangster who is dangerous when he can figure out the situation, which isn’t often. Del Roy Lindo plays the villain as a ruthless limo car company owner who fuels his Hollywood ambitions by selling heroin: ‘I mean, what’s the use of living in Los Angeles if you are not in the movie business, and I mean high up in it?’
This is the best film adaptation of any of Leonard Elmore’s novels.