Robert Wuhl stars as a movie director who's got integrity, vision, and a serious script - but no career. Martin Landau is a sleazy producer who introduces Wuhl to Robert De Niro, Danny Aiello and Eli Wallach - three guys w... more »ith money who are willing to invest in the movie. But with one catch: each one wants his girlfriend to be the star. Putting the deal together and keeping the mistress happy turns into a hilarious expose of the truth about Hollywood. Robert Wuhl, Martin Landau, Robert De Niro, Danny Aiello, Eli Wallach« less
Gerald P. Owens | Pompano Beach, FL United States | 05/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you want an insider's perpsective on the movie biz, two films that were released in 1992 give a view of the top and the bottom of the Hollywood food chain. "The Player" is a delightful black comedy about the top rung, the major studio insider who has the power to say "yes" just twelve times a year and green-light a big-budget movie (trouble ensues when he murders a particularly troublesome screenwriter). The opposite end of the food chain is lampooned in "Mistress," where we get an insider's view of trying to get an independent film financed. Filmmaking is the most expensive of hobbies, and compromises must be made. Two writers and a washed-up producer get three businessmen on the hook as possible backers, but each has a mistress, who needs a part... It's a delightful exploration of how far can one compromise artistic integrity just to get a story in front of the cameras. Martin Landau is a delight as the has-been producer, and Robert Wuhl is wonderful as the bemused screenwriter whose vision is rewritten into exploitative shlock. Both funny and sad, these are men who have sacrificed everything that matters in pursuit of the Hollywood dream."
A brilliant Hollywood comedy
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Do not miss this picture! This is the film that blows away all the other "movie industry" comedies of the last few years. If you liked "Swimming with Sharks" or "The Player," you will love "Mistress." Eli Wallach should be on the cover of this DVD along with Wuhl, Landau, De Niro, and Aiello. You couldn't ask for a more perfect cast, and I don't know how Barry Primus brought them all together. The only down side to this DVD release seems to be the 1.33:1 "full screen" image format. I wish they had released this in the theatrical aspect ratio, since I've been wondering what I've missed by seeing only the VHS release. This is a brilliant and subtle comedy for movie fans everywhere."
It's about the bimbo... or is it?
Regent St. Claire | Santa Monica, CA | 09/04/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Martin Landau ("Ed Wood," "Space 1999") leads a super cast through the ringer as they all try to get a film bankrolled. The connecting thread here is that "the other woman" who most of the potential financiers are boffing - is one and the same bimbo! The most unique angle to "Mistress" is how it refuses to portray the writers, actors, or other normally high-pedestaled creative types, as any more pure, or noble, or reasonable to deal with, than anyone else in this wacky business."
Nothing but Excellent
Regent St. Claire | 01/18/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I loved Mistress because it portrays the "behind the scenes" of what producing a movie is truly about. I loved Sheryl Lee Ralph in this movie because it portrays what just be me going on in our movie industry. Sheryl is an excellent actress and need to be seen in more excellent movies. Excellent producing/directing on DeNiro's part."
A Criminally Overlooked Gem
PDC | USA | 10/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Absolutely on a par with Altman's 'The Player' and the perfect companion piece to 'Living In Oblivion', 'Mistress' is a darkly comic delight from start to finish.
To begin with, the performances alone are worth the price of the DVD and then some. I mean, what a cast! (Even Christopher Walken appears in a memorable cameo.) And all give uniformly superb performances. But Martin Landau stands out, even in this array of top-notch portrayals. He clearly deserved another Oscar nod for his remarkable work in this, which I put right up there with 'Crimes And Misdemeanors' and 'Ed Wood'.
Barry Primus' terrific screenplay (co-written with J.F. Lawton) and his incisive, unobtrusive direction are bang on target, creating a squirmingly honest -- and often hilarious -- portrait of the seedy underbelly of Hollywood's independent film scene. Seldom has artistic desperation and compromise seemed so funny or so mercilessly accurate.
Also, the musical score by Galt Macdermot (of 'Hair' fame), and the cinematography by Sven Kirsten are absolutely first-rate.
As I mentioned up front, 'Mistress' would be the perfect companion piece to 'Living In Oblivion' (with marvelous performances by Steve Buscemi and Catherine Keener) and would be the ideal first half of a double-bill. 'Mistress' is the definitive statement on the sometimes sordid and always frustrating process of trying to get an independent film financed and into pre-production. 'Living In Oblivion' is the perfect statement on what often happens when that miracle sometimes occurs and a low-budget indie actually gets made.
'Mistress' is also refreshing in that all the female roles are given the same depth as the male characters and add up to what is simply one of the best ensemble casts I've ever seen in a comedy-drama.
NOTE: In retrospect I'd like to have given this film five stars but can't seem to find a way of ammending the customer star-rating in the editing mode."