I kind of remember when "Bloodhounds of Broadway" came out but I seem to remember it not being much of a hit and having finally got round to watching it I can understand why. The trouble with it is that there is too much going on, too many characters, too many stories and ironically too much detail and it makes it all too much to take in. It is a shame because "Bloodhounds of Broadway" has a great cast, it also has a great look, great music, great style and a great pace it just tries to interweave too many stories.
It's New Years Eve 1928 and our story starts at Mindy's infamous diner where local gangster The Brain (Rutger Hauer) arrives with gambler Regret (Matt Dillon - Rumble Fish) as well as John Wangle (Alan Ruck) and his two bloodhounds. Also there is Feet Samuels (Randy Quaid) who whilst having a thing for showgirl Hortense Hathaway (Madonna) is also planning to take his own life having already sold his body to a doctor who wants his large feet. Feet is not the only one with romantic ideas as Regret also has a thing for Lovey Lou (Jennifer Grey - Dirty Dancing) but there is trouble a foot as a hitman for the Brooklyn Mob attacks The Brain and his men try to take him to somewhere safe none of his girlfriends want him.
I tell you what, that synopsis only scratches the surface of what goes on in "Bloodhounds of Broadway" a movie based on four Damon Runyon stories and each of those stories is entertaining. Actually in fairness Howard Brookner and Colman deKay have done a good job of combining these 4 stories into one interweaving drama. The trouble is that whilst these stories are not complex when put together with all their characters makes it very elaborate. Just take the opening scene which is introduced to us by news hack Waldo Winchester as we enter Mindy's and meet one character after another and it is a dizzying experience throwing us in at the deep end.
It's a shame that there is so much going on because everything else about "Bloodhounds of Broadway" is great. The look, the pacing, the music, the dialogue, the comedy and just the overall style is great. Even when you struggle to follow what is going on it still manages to entertain and make you smile with lots of amusing scenes and quirky ideas.
It also entertains because of the sheer number of recognizable faces which fill the screen. That opening scene at Mindy's features just about all the major players from Matt Dillon and Madonna to Rutger Hauer and Josef Sommer. And even further on into the movie you suddenly see Steve Buscemi and Michael Wincott crop up in small roles. None of the performances are exceptional but they are all good and everyone looks like they were having a hoot dressed up as 1920's hoods and dames.
What this all boils down to is that "Bloodhounds of Broadway" suffers because there is too much going on and as such require multiple viewings to fully get to grips with the storylines. But despite that it is entertaining with a great cast, great look and a great energy.