Billy Bathgate (1991) - Rotten Tomatoes

Billy Bathgate1991

Billy Bathgate (1991)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Billy Bathgate Photos

Movie Info

In this film version of E. L. Doctorow's Billy Bathgate, Loren Dean plays the title character, a street-smart kid who inveigles his way into the confidence of 1930s gangster Dutch Schultz (Dustin Hoffman). Billy is ordered to look after Schultz' new moll, Drew Preston (Nicole Kidman), while Dutch fends off tax evasion charges and such up-and-coming rivals as Lucky Luciano (Stanley Tucci). Even though they know they're playing with dynamite, Billy and Drew fall in love. In attempting to escape Schultz' wrath, Billy succeeds only in putting himself in the thick of a gun battle between his boss and Luciano. When "Charley Lucky" emerges triumphant, Billy is forced once again to rely on his wits to escape being sent to the bottom of the briny in a cement overcoat. Bruce Willis shows up in an extended cameo as Dutch Schultz' former business associate. Billy Bathgate was adapted for the screen by British playwright Tom Stoppard.

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Dustin Hoffman
as Dutch Schultz
Nicole Kidman
as Drew Preston
Loren Dean
as Billy Bathgate
Bruce Willis
as Bo Weinberg
Steven Hill
as Otto Berman
Billy Jaye
as Mickey
Tim Jerome
as Dixie Davis
Stanley Tucci
as Lucky Luciano
Mike Starr
as Julie Martin
Stephen Joyce
as Mr. Hines
Frances Conroy
as Mary Behan
Moira Kelly
as Rebecca
Noel Derecki
as Billy's Gang Member
Josh Weinstein
as Billy's Gang Member
Danny Zorn
as Billy's Gang Member
Paul A. DiCocco Jr.
as Luciano Thug
Rob Kramer
as Billy's Gang Member
Simon Jutras
as Hotel Manager
Kenny Vance
as Dutch's Thug
Nicolas E. Tishler
as 2nd Bell Hop
Paul Herman
as Dutch's Thug
Josh Phillip Weinstein
as Billy's Gang Member
Ted Cleanthes
as Supervisor
Harry O'Reilly
as Fire Inspector
Robert Kramer
as Billy's Gang Member
Xander Berkeley
as Harvey Preston
Barry McGovern
as Father McInerny
Christopher Rubin
as Harvey's Friend
Todd Louiso
as Bell Boy
Terry Loughlin
as Mr. Chambers
Tom Ambrose
as Reporter
Rick Warner
as Reporter
Chuck Kinlaw
as Reporter
Steve Aronson
as Reporter
Todd Brenner
as Reporter
Rachel York
as Embassy Club Singer
Kip Newton
as Bartender
Karen L. Thorson
as Woman at Table
Nick Pernice
as Tote Man
John Clohessy
as Racetrack Program Seller
Darryl Caron
as 1st Bell Hop
Nicholas E. Tishler
as 2nd Bell Hop
Joseph Dolphin
as News Vendor
Judy Allison
as Bingo Winner
John J. Hladik
as Auctioneer
Kas Self
as Woman at Bake Sale
James Raitt
as Chophouse Bartender
John Moio
as Hitman
Vincent Pantone
as Luciano Thug
Tony Cucci
as Luciano Thug
Anthony Catanese
as Luciano Thug
Paulie DiCocco III
as Luciano Thug
William G. Kane
as Man in Window
Frank McLean
as Newsboy
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Critic Reviews for Billy Bathgate

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (8)

Despite Dean's alert, open performance, Billy remains an opaque witness to events that are unfolding over his head. Hoffman's performance also is problematic.

October 24, 2018 | Full Review…

Despite a Tom Stoppard script and diligent direction, EL Doctorow's novel about a youngster's experience of the life and times of Dutch Schultz seldom takes off as a movie.

October 24, 2018 | Full Review…

Billy Bathgate isn't an embarrassment, but it's a puzzle. Watching it, you can't locate the passion that drew the filmmakers to it in the first place.

February 7, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The story sounds promising, yet there's a joyless, dutiful air to everything that happens.

September 7, 2011 | Rating: C | Full Review…

Billy Bathgate isn't an awful film, it's just an empty, terribly conventional $40 million exercise.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Despite the shaggy dog sense of fun, Bathgate fades before you've left your seat.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Billy Bathgate

Billy Bathgate should be much more exciting and gritty than it is. The story of Dutch Schultz and his decline offers a wealth of material for Hollywood to make a competent gangster film. Instead, Billy Bathgate focuses more on Schultz's protege, and his brief love interest in Nicole Kidman. This succeeds in making the movie boring at times.That said, Dustin Hoffman was excellent as Schultz, and Bruce Willis was effective as well, though ultimately wasted. Hoffman and the excellent world building, the most realistic depiction of 1930s New York I've seen, are why I ultimately enjoyed it, despite its' prominent flaws.

Jeffrey Meyers
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

I don't remember too much about it now but my lingering impression is that it was better than I expected for yet another gangster yarn, plus there's always bonus points for Nicole Kidman skinnydipping.

Doctor Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer


A strangely unfulfilling gangster movie. One would expect a greater film considering the all star cast.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Billy Bathgate Quotes

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