Notebook Reviews: BILLY BATHGATE

Robert Benton – 1991

1.5 out of 5 stars

Robert Benton’s Billy Bathgate was a huge bomb at the box office when it was released in 1991 – and it’s a massive clunker on a narrative level too. Admittedly it’s a very good looking movie – but this gangster drama makes the cardinal sin of being boring. Very boring. 

You have to wonder how Dustin Hoffman and Bruce Willis made it through the first 20 pages of the script, never mind signing up to this. The cast is solid (Nicole Kidman, Steve Buscemi) and it has great behind the scenes talent, but things just didn’t come together to make a good movie.

Billy Bathgate is over-long and monumentally boring – but did I say that it looks good?