October 21, 1995
And now, a few words for MGM’s sure-fire smash, “Get Shorty,” based on Elmore Leonard’s novel, adapted for the screen by the smart and youthful Scott Frank and directed to perfection by Barry Sonnenfeld.
A stellar crowd jammed the Museum of Modern Art the other eve to glimpse one of the movie’s big stars, Gene Hackman, and author Leonard himself. There were other grandees – producer Charlie Evans; MGM headmen Frank Mancuso and Mike Marcus; writers Nick Pileggi, Nora Epliron and William Goldman… And director Milos Forman, ABC’s Jeff Greenfield, CBS’ Billie and Larry Tisch, Conde Nast’s Victoria and Si UTewhouse, plus Kristen Scott Thomas of “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” Melissa Errico of “Central Park West,” Cameron Diaz of “The Mask,” Matthew Modine, Lori Singer, Laura Dern, model EUe MacPherson with Ron Silver, etc.
“Get Shorty” is about Miami mobsters in Hollywood, hoping to get into the business. You have never seen anything like John Travolta‘s character, the enforcer Chili Palmer! Self-confident, sexy, sincere,.childlike, charming, strong, and a movie fan. What an actor John Travolta is – this movie proves his amazing “Pulp Fiction” comeback was no fluke.
Then, there is the offbeat performance by Hackman as a super-sleaze, plus Danny DeVito as a pompous movie star, and brief, telling cameos by Bette Midler, Penny Marshall and Harvey Keitel. Add this up and you have a perfect film experience.