A brand-new and timely cut of Francis Ford Coppola’s critically acclaimed 1930s period film The Cotton Club Encore will screen at this year’s New York Film Festival on October 5, release in select theaters on October 11, and will arrive on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital on December 10 featuring exclusive new bonus material from Lionsgate.
A new iteration of the 1984 release, the film features an all-star cast including Golden Globe® winner Richard Gere (2003, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Chicago), Tony Award® winner Gregory Hines (1992, Best Actor in a Musical, Jelly’s Last Jam), Academy Award® nominee Diane Lane (2003, Best Actress, Unfaithful), NAACP Image Award® nominee Lonette McKee (1999, Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series, “As the World Turns”), Golden Globe® nominee Bob Hoskins (2006, Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, Mrs Henderson Presents), James Remar (TV’s “Dexter,” “Sex and the City”), Tony Award® nominee Maurice Hines (1986, Best Actor in a Musical, Uptown… It’s Hot!), Academy Award® nominee Laurence Fishburne (1994, Best Actor, What’s Love Got to Do with It), Academy Award® winner Nicolas Cage (1996, Best Actor, Leaving Las Vegas), Golden Globe® nominee Jennifer Grey (1988, Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, Dirty Dancing), Grammy Award® winner Tom Waits (2000, Best Contemporary Folk Album, “Mule Variations”), and more.
In this lavish, 1930s-era drama, Harlem’s legendary Cotton Club becomes a hotbed of passion and violence as the lives and loves of entertainers and gangsters collide. Now, Francis Ford Coppola’s extraordinary film is brought to vivid new life in The Cotton Club Encore. Featuring never-before-seen scenes and musical sequences that deepen and enrich the storylines, this remastered and beautifully restored version represents Coppola’s fully realized vision of the film.
Though the public’s understanding of the film is an American crime drama centered around Richard Gere, Coppola meant for it to be a story of two main characters, one white and one black, navigating life in and around the Cotton Club with their families. However, back in 1984 during post-production, the film was condemned as too long, and according to some stakeholders as having “too many black people,” and “too much tap dancing,” Coppola was pressured to minimize Gregory Hines’ character and lose many musical numbers, thus eroding the historical portrayal of what the performances at the Cotton Club shows were really like.
Along with his team at American Zoetrope, Coppola set out to create an updated version that would more closely resemble the original intentions of the film. This new version of the film, shown only three times previously during the 2017 Telluride Film Festival, features additional scenes such as an extended Gregory Hines and Maurice Hines tap performance, Lonette McKee’s brilliant rendition of Ethel Waters’ “Stormy Weather,” Coppola’s originally envisioned ending, and more.
“I and my company American Zoetrope set about the daunting task to find the more than thirty minutes of lost negative, in some cases restoring it from old print material, and to restore, remix and allow this film to re-emerge in a new and worthy edition,” says Coppola. “This is THE COTTON CLUB ENCORE, the film the world should have seen despite the countless court cases, murder trial proceedings, and warring producers.”
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