Hollywood Shuffle (1987)

Comedy
Robert Townsend, Craigus R. Johnson, Helen Martin, Starletta DuPois
An actor limited to stereotypical roles because of his ethnicity, dreams of making it big as a highly respected performer. As he makes his rounds, the film takes a satiric look at African American actors in Hollywood.
  • Virgin Vision Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 20 Mar 1987 Released:
  • 24 Jul 2001 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Robert Townsend, Keenen Ivory Wayans Writer:
  • Robert Townsend Director:
  • N/A Website:

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Trailer:

Dead-on parody of Hollywood8/10

This is a great movie. It is absolutely hilarious, and it easily represents R. Townshend's best work. In fact, it's far, far better than anything else he's ever done, which is remarkable considering the film's tiny budget.


The humor is biting and relevant. The movie is highly recommended.



Impressive Independent Film - Real and Funny8/10

Interesting and impressive, Hollywood Shuffle allows the characters to make the point that Townsend is making, without being too harsh or lecture-like. The film incorporates some great parody scenes such as the Siskel and Ebert inspired "Speed and Tyrone" where the reviewers sneak into movies.


Most impressive is the background to the film, which makes the finished product all the more impressive. Townsend's freshmen effort is a true success, and goes where few first timers are normally able to go.

8/10
A Hilarious look at the "black" stereotypes in Hollywood.8/10
Hollywood Shuffle (1987) was the directorial debut of Actor/ Director Robert Townshend. His self financed film Hollywood SHUFFLE pokes fun at the struggles many black actors face whilst looking for an acting career in Hollywood. It's sad as well because many of these stereotypes are still true to this day. While progress has been made in the American Movie Industry, they still need to make more progress. This film showed people how the Movie making business handles the majority of young black actors who're trying to make it in the movies.

The story is about a young, talented and aspiring actor who wants to make it in Hollywood as a director. But when he tries out for roles, he meets a lot of stumbling blocks. Many of these are about his racial background (i.e. he's not black enough, he's too black, doesn't act black, etc. etc.). Eventually he's offered a role but will he throw away his dignity to accept it? Can young Robert make it in Hollywood without "selling out"? Will his peer drag him down? To find out you'll just have to watch Hollywood SHUFFLE.

Highly recommended film.
Perfect5/10

I've forced this film on all my friends and there isn't one who regrets seeing it. A couple haven't been that enthusiastic at first; thought it was all right but didn't understand the fuss I make about it, but the next day they'll want to watch it again.

I find it pretty embarrassing when someone quotes the inevitable Austin Powers, but for months after seeing this film I just couldn't help it - probably the reason I had to get everyone I know to watch it.

Some films have great scenes and some are just good films; this is both. Genuinely funny with real heart.

Say it with me now: WINKY DINKY DOGGG.
A clever, underappreciated satire8/10

Robert Townsend's independent debut is a light-hearted farce that explores the struggles of black actors of Hollywood. But the issues that the film could be applied to talented folks in any field who are prevented from reaching their full potential because of stereotypes.

Many of the cast were unknowns at the time but they did an excellent job in the various skits. My favorite is the parody of Siskel and Ebert's TV show, where two street hoods sneak into the movies to give their own rather unique reviews. Amadeus is slammed by the amateur critics because "the movie's title is too hard to pronounce" while a movie about Zombie Street Pimps is given the thumbs up, because of the attention to detail. This is typical of the kind of humor employed throughout the movie - Townsend takes a racial stereotype and turns it outside out, making us think and laugh out loud at the same time.

I wish more directors, black or not, would follow Townsend's personal, self-effacing approach to movie-making but I guess it's easier to produce yet another violent shoot-em up or special effects showcase. Oh well.