Newest Reviews
Ghost Strata
Call to Spy, A
Other Lamb, The
Every Time I Die
Lynn + Lucy
Honest Thief
Blood and Money
Rose: A Love Story
Antrum: The Deadliest Film Ever Made
Om Dar-B-Dar
Silencing, The
J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs and the Church of SubGenius
Dick Johnson is Dead
Legacy of Lies
I Am Woman
Alien Addiction
Dare, The
South Terminal
Little Monsters
Yield to the Night
My Zoe
Young Playthings
End of Summer
Times of Harvey Milk, The
Perfectly Normal Family, A
Honeymoon Phase, The
One Summer
Bird Island
Devil to Pay, The
Lost in London
Newest Articles
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
Tackling the Football Film: The Arsenal Stadium Mystery on Blu-ray
Film Noir's Golden Couple: This Gun for Hire on Blu-ray
The Doctor Who Connection: Invasion on Blu-ray
Hill's Angles: Benny Hill and Who Done It? on Blu-ray
Big Willie Style: Keep It Up Downstairs on Blu-ray
Walt's Vault: 5 Cult Movies on Disney+
Paradise Lost: Walkabout on Blu-ray
Buster Makes Us Feel Good: Buster Keaton - 3 Films (Volume 3) on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 3 - Don't Go Away - I Could Do with a Bit of Cheer Now!
What Use is Grief to a Horse? Equus on Blu-ray
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
  Johnny Suede New Shoes On The Table
Year: 1991
Director: Tom DiCillo
Stars: Brad Pitt, Catherine Keener, Calvin Levels, Allison Moir, Nick Cave, Peter McRobbie, Tina Louise, Dennis Parlato, Ashley Gardner, Ron Vawter, Joseph Barry, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Jarmusch, Wilfredo Giovanni Clark, Michael Luciano
Genre: Comedy, Drama, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Johnny (Brad Pitt) is a man who takes care of his appearance, but there's something missing from the ensemble which includes a towering quiff. He finds that when one night he leaves a nightclub and sees a woman possibly being raped - she doesn't appear to be in any condition to say no - and worried he heads for the nearest phone booth to call the police. However, as he does so there is a crash on top of it and he scrambles out to see a box has landed there. Opening the box he finds what he needs: a pair of black suede shoes...

This was director Tom DiCillo's first film after spending time on New York indie movies, and he certainly showed himself as a man with an eye for casting when he picked a then-unknown Brad Pitt to star in it. Although it was really Thelma & Louise which boosted the actor's profile, that didn't prevent Johnny Suede being given a cash-in push on his newfound fame, offering many more people the chance to see it than would have if he had remained in obscurity, which happened to raise DiCillo's profile as well, though mainly in movie buff circles - he didn't exactly go on to helm Hollywood blockbusters thereafter.

Watching this now it looks like a parody of a nineties indie movie, with all the quirks that entailed, but while there was not quite as much to it as the creators might have intended, there was something about it which evoked a particular New York City atmosphere, that tone of the place which had inspired DiCillo in the first instance. Not quite the love letter to the place that say, Woody Allen's Manhattan had been, this was more content to show the less attractive areas and the main character making his way around it as he attempts to encourage his musical career to take off and gets involved with girlfriends he's not emotionally mature enough to cope with.

First he meets Darlette (Allison Moir) in a nightclub, and although she has a boyfriend already, a photographer who she claims beats her (we know he takes pictures because he carries a camera with him at all times) she latches onto Johnny and he responds, with reservations because if the other man hits Darlette, what will he do to him if he finds out he's being cheated on? This extends to being taken for dinner with the girl's mother (Tina Louise) for awkward conversations suggesting Darlette isn't quite mature enough for this either, which propels Johnny into the arms of Yvonne (indie queen Catherine Keener), a care worker who he saves from a subway pervert and invites her to see his band rehearse.

Although Johnny would deny it, he wishes to emulate the sound of the great fifties rockers, and his songs are pretty absurd though he does perform them with conviction (and his occasional band includes Samuel L. Jackson on double bass), but we can see that he's going precisely nowhere with them. Not even when he meets proper rock star Freak Storm (Nick Cave) and seems to be on the verge of a big break can he capitalise on it, yet DiCillo doesn't seem quite certain whether to show that as Johnny's fault or part of the circumstances. Nor is it clear whether we're meant to sympathise with him or see him as an object of ridicule as he heads towards more obnoxious behaviour when his life reaches a crisis partly of his own unintentional devising, though that does teach him a lesson about how to cope by the end. Another thing that could have been more obvious was if Johnny was simply an idiot, but you do warm to him in spite of his poor choices. Music by Jim Farmer and Link Wray.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 1848 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg


Last Updated: