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The Hollywood Sign

In this heist comedy, three washed-up actors must deliver the most convincing performances of their lives as part of a dangerous plot designed to steal $10 million and finance their professional comeback.

Genre - Comedy

Writer(s) - Leon de Winter

Cast - Burt Reynolds, Tom Berenger and Rod Steiger

Blue Rider's Role - Co-producer

Distributor(s) - Lion's Gate Films Home Entertainment, Amberlon Pictures, Indies Film Distribution, Imagem Filmes (Brazil), Senator Film (Germany)

Release Date - 2001

Synopsis - Tom Berenger, Burt Reynolds and Rod Steiger play washed-up actors who find the opportunity to get back in the biz if they can rip off some Vegas goons of $10 million by convincing them they're cops. A struggling writer (Jacqueline Kim) decides to live out the fictional heist story she wrote -- which thus becomes the driver for the plot.

Release Data:
The Hollywood Sign screened at the 2001 Netherlands Film Festival and then launched a Dutch run, where it had 10,044 admissions. It bowed on U.S. video on Sept. 17 and was later seen in Germany and Brazil (where it was titled Uma Grande Jogada).

Viewers' Ratings:
As of Feb. 27, 2009, when 365 viewers had rated The Hollywood Sign at The Internet Movie Database, the demographic group liking it most was men 18-29. Men liked it more than women did, and foreigners liked it better than Americans did.

Critics' Kudos:
Chuck O'Leary of Fantastica Daily declared it: "a likable comedy about three Hollywood has-beens desperate to engineer a comeback, even if it kills them. Berenger, Reynolds and Steinger make a lovable trio."

Kage Alan, "Burt Reynolds is an extremely watchable actor. Rod Steiger had an incredible career. The chemistry and interplay between the actors is a stitch, and even though their situation has the potential for violent deaths for everybody involved, director Sönke Wortmann isn't interested in giving us what we're expecting. There's just enough intrigue to keep viewers interested, enough humor to keep everybody amused and enough talent to actually pull the film off. In lesser hands, this would have been a forgettable throwaway, so thankfully that isn't the case here. The Hollywood Sign is off the beaten path of typical Hollywood fare, but very much worth checking out.

"Lions Gate has delivered a fine-looking Widescreen transfer with very few imperfections. As for audio, I couldn't detect any problems with it."

Christopher Null, "Tom Berenger, Burt Reynolds, and Rod Steiger play washed-up actors who find the opportunity to get back in the biz... if they can rip off some Vegas goons by convincing them they're cops. No, it isn't high art. It isn't even Lethal Weapon, but the triple-threat of actors makes The Hollywood Sign something of a guilty pleasure. These guys either are or once were (Rod, rest in peace) great actors, and they prove that even with direct-to-DVD material, they can still chew scenery like it's beef jerky."

Major Cast and Crew Credits and Awards:
Director is Sönke Wortmann (won 20 international awards and three other nominations for films including Campus, A Summer's Fairytale, Auf der Couch, The Miracle of Bern, Therapy, Treasure of the White Falcons, Eine Wahnsinnseheand and Maybe, Maybe Not).

Writer is Leon de Winter (Looking for Eileen, Hoffman's Hunger, Dr. Faustus, The Johnsons and SuperTex).

Stars Burt Reynolds (Oscar nominee for Boogie Nights; Emmy winner for Evening Shade; 27 other awards and 12 other noms for works including Starting Over, The Longest Yard and Dan August; also performed in Sharky's Machine, Deliverance, Bean, The Dukes of Hazard, Striptease, 100 Rifles, Sam Whiskey, Driven, Smokey and the Bandit, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, City Heat, Citizen Ruth, Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask, Hawk, Hooper, Semi-Tough, Deal, The Cannonball Run, Mystery, Alaska and 127 other films and TV projects); Tom Berenger (Oscar nominee and Golden Globe winner for Platoon; three other awards and one other nomination for Peacemakers, Rough Riders and Cheers; also appeared in Training Day, Born on the Fourth of July, Major League, The Big Chill, Sliver, Gettysburg, Shattered, Shoot to Kill, Betrayed, Sniper, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, In Praise of Older Women, Eddie and the Cruisers, Into the West, Someone to Watch Over Me, The Dogs of War, 19 episodes of October Road, nine episodes of Peacemakers, four episodes of Third Watch and 56 other films and TV projects) and Rod Steiger (Oscar winner for In the Heat of the Night; 21 other awards and 11 other nominations for works including On the Waterfront, The Pawnbroker, Al Capone, The Chosen and A Month of Sundays; also appeared in Mars Attacks, End of Days, The Hurricane, Doctor Zhivago, The Longest Day, EZ Streets, The Specialist, The Amityville Horror, Poolhall Junkies, Oklahoma, F.I.S.T., The Harder They Fall, The Loved One and No Way to Treat a Lady, Waterloo, Tales of the City, five episodes of Kraft Television Theatre, four episodes of The Philco Television Playhouse and 122 other films and TV projects).

Cast also includes Jacqueline Kim (Independent Spirit Best Actress nom for Charlotte Sometimes; also performed in Star Trek: Generations, Volcano, Disclosure, The Mighty Ducks, Brokedown Palace, Trauma, Red Doors and six episodes of Courthouse); David Proval (SAG AWARD nom for The Sopranos; also performed in The Shawshank Redemption, Four Rooms, The Siege, Mean Streets, UHF, The Relic, Romeo is Bleeding, Smokin'Aces, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, The Monster Squad, The Relic, 13 episodes of The Sopranos, six episodes of Everybody Loves Raymond and 73 other movies and TV projects); Al Sapienza (Pretty Woman, Godzilla, Lethal Weapon 4, Judge Dredd, Cellular, Frankie and Johnny, Saw V, 10 episodes of The Sopranos, eight episodes of Brotherhood, four episodes of Prison Break and 110 other movies and TV projects); Eric Bruskotter (Starship Troopers, Crimson Tide, In the Line of Fire, The Fan, Major League II, Can't Buy Me Love, Rented Lips, 19 episodes of Tour of Duty, four episodes of Six Feet Under, five episodes of Providence and 33 other movies and TV projects); Dominic Keating (Beowulf, Jungle 2 Jungle, The Auteur Theory, Folle de Elle, 98 episodes of Enterprise, 14 episodes of Desmond's, eight episodes of, six episodes of The Immortal, four episodes of Heroes and 22 other movies and TV projects); Kay E. Kuter (Sabrina, The Last Starfighter, Guys and Dolls, Warlock, Gross Anatomy, Grand Theft Parsons, Love Field, Watermelon Man, The Mole People, The Curse of Monkey Island, 24 episodes of Green Acres, 16 episodes of Petticoat Junction and 97 other movies and TV projects); Raf Mauro (Life Stinks, They Call Me Bruce, It's My Turn, Beach Balls, Winchell, Assault and Matrimony, seven episodes of Night Court and 28 other movies and TV projects); Kathleen Gati (won Hungarian awards for Goldberg Variácók and A Színésznö és a Halál; appeared in Meet the Fockers, Igby Goes Down, Sunshine, Jakob the Liar, The House Bunny, Frankenhooker, Ways of the Flesh, 12 episodes of Patika, seven episodes of 24, five episodes of All My Children and 50 other films and TV projects); Roz Witt (Tank Girl, Corrina Corrina, Caffeine, The Hillside Strangler, Diablo II, Ringer and 46 other movies and TV projects; Adria Tennor (You Don't Mess With the Zohan, The First Wives Club, Amateur, Mad Men, I'm Losing You, Headhunter, Boys Don't Cry and three episodes of JAG); Amy Leland (X-Men, My So-Called Life, The Day My Parents Ran Away, Beverly Hills 90210); Mark Gantt (won 2003 Fleur de Lis Award for Martine; appeared in Ocean's Eleven, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Volcano, Pura Lengua and Devil's Highway) and Garry Marshall (10 awards and seven nominations as director, producer and writer for works including Pretty Woman, Mork & Mindy and The Odd Couple; performed in A League of Their Own, Lost in America, Pretty Woman, The Majestic, Runaway Bride, Never Been Kissed, Hocus Pocus, Lost in America, Beaches, Jumpin' Jack Flash, 24 episodes of Murphy Brown, five episodes of Father of the Pride, four episodes of The Odd Couple and 47 other movies and TV projects).

Executive Producers: Hanno Huth (won four international awards and another nom for Commedian Harmonists, Stalingrad, Manila and The Wonder of Bern; also produced Enigma, Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle, Heavenly Creatures, Charlotte Gray, Aimée & Jaguar, Trapped, Backbeat, Hollow Reed and 37 other movies and TV project) and Eric Pleskow (Beyond Rangoon, Dial 9 for Love).

Producers: Leon de Winter (Looking for Eileen, Dial 9 for Love), Gerhard Meixner (Paradise Now, Running on Empty, Men are Dogs, Waltz With Bashir) and Angela Roessel (Brick, Fogbound).

Co-producers: Jeff Geoffray (Rescue Dawn, Holes, Slow Burn, Around the World in 80 Days, Three and 27 other films and TV projects); Walter Josten (won Emmy for The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie; also produced Rescue Dawn, Surveillance, Shergar, O Jerusalem, Home of the Giants, The Groomsmen and 32 other films and TV projects) and Penny Perry (won Artios Award for casting Cocoon; produced The Last Tzaddik and Stranger in the Kingdom; was casting director on 166 films and TV projects, including Young Guns, 2010, The Jerk, Ordinary People, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, Universal Soldier, All of Me, Timecop and Die Unendliche Geschichte).

Original Music by Peter Wolf (Weekend at Bernie's II, A Through M and The Nutcracker and the Mouseking).

Cinematography by Wedigo von Schultzendorff (Igby Goes Down, The Thirteenth Floor, Hollywood Ending, All the Queen's Men and Einsatz in Hamburg).

Film Editing by Edgar Burcksen (won Emmy for The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles; Won CINE Golden Eagle for Colors Straight Up; Won Nederlands Film Festival Golden Calf Award and was nominated for the 2008 Eddie Award for Darfur Now; also cut Left Luggage, Star Command, Road House 2: Last Call, Purple Heart, The Tillamook Treasure, Betty Boop's Hollywood Mystery, Groeten uit Zonnemaire, 10 Young Indiana Jones video movies, 10 episodes of TV's The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles and 33 other movies and TV projects).

Production Design by Benedict Schillemans (won Netherlands Film Festival Awards for Pietje Bell and for his career achievements; designed Deuce Bigelow European Gigolo, Amsterdamned, Keetje Tippel, Spetters and The Discovery of Heaven).

Art Direction by Christian Wintter (won Art Directors Guild Award for What Dreams May Come; art directed Beverly Hills Chichuachua, Scooby-Doo and Lucky 13; also productin designed The Legend of Razorback, Reign Over Me, Man About Town and 10 episodes of Tell Me You Love Me).

Costume Design by Elsa Zamparelli (Oscar nom for Dances With Wolves; BAFTA nom for The Last of the Mohicans and three Daytime Emmy noms for The Bold and the Beautiful; costumed Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, Nothing to Lose, The Order, Slow Burn, Last of the Dogmen; set director for 258 episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful).

Special Effects by Thomas L. Bellissimo (won Visual Effects Society Award and two more nominations for Carnivale; also coordinated secial effects for American History X, Dogma, Saw, Jackie Brown, From Dusk Till Dawn, What Lies Beneath, The Mask, Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, Pump Up the Volume, Confessions of a Sorority Girl, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, House on Haunted Hill, 19 episodes of Tales From the Crypt, 18 episodes of V.I.P., 16 episodes of Numb3rs, 12 episodes of Mad Men, three episodes of Carnivale and 36 other movies and TV projects).

Memorable Quotes:
"In the past, when you went up on stage and fucked up, the worst that could happen was that the audience would walk out on you. In this case, when you fuck up, the audience will kill you."

Internet Movie Database entry for The Hollywood Sign

Trailer for The Hollywood Sign (in three formats)

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