Hollywood Shuffle

Although haphazardly paced and scattershot in approach, when it works, this satire on Hollywood's attitudes toward African-Americans is downright hilarious. Bobby Taylor (Robert Townsend) is a struggling young actor trying to land a big role in a "blaxploitation" film entitled "Jivetime Jimmy's Revenge." His grandmother (Helen Martin) does not approve of...read more

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Although haphazardly paced and scattershot in approach, when it works, this satire on Hollywood's attitudes toward African-Americans is downright hilarious. Bobby Taylor (Robert Townsend) is a struggling young actor trying to land a big role in a "blaxploitation" film entitled "Jivetime

Jimmy's Revenge." His grandmother (Helen Martin) does not approve of the role and worries that Bobby's younger brother (Craigus R. Johnson) will grow up thinking that blacks can aspire to be nothing more than pimps, thieves, street hoods, murderers, rapists, and slaves--all images from television.

Eventually Bobby gets the part, but he feels ambivalent about taking it. While he struggles with his moral dilemma, we are treated to various scenarios from the actor's fertile imagination. Rarely has a film so ineptly directed produced so much intentional laughter. Townsend (who was also

cowriter, producer, and director) freely admits that he had never studied filmmaking technique and that HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE was a learning experience for him. What separates HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE from the myriad of low-budget comedies is that here is a film with something important to say. Disgusted

with the stereotypical roles offered black actors, Townsend tackled the Hollywood system head-on and had a box-office hit.

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  • Released: 1987
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Although haphazardly paced and scattershot in approach, when it works, this satire on Hollywood's attitudes toward African-Americans is downright hilarious. Bobby Taylor (Robert Townsend) is a struggling young actor trying to land a big role in a "blaxploi… (more)

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