The Cotton Club Encore (Vudu/HDX)
In this lavish, 1930s-era drama, Harlem's legendary Cotton Club becomes a hotbed of passion and violence as the lives and loves of entertainers and gangsters collide. Now, Francis Ford Coppola's extraordinary film is brought to vivid new life in The Cotton Club Encore. Featuring never-before-seen scenes and musical sequences that deepen and enrich the storylines, this remastered and beautifully restored version represents Coppola's fully realized vision of the film. Though the public's understanding of the film is an American crime drama centered around Richard Gere, Coppola meant for it to be a story of two main characters, one white and one black, navigating life in and around the Cotton Club with their families. However, back in 1984 during post-production, the film was condemned as too long, and according to some stakeholders as having "too many black people," and "too much tap dancing," Coppola was pressured to minimize Gregory Hines' character and lose many musical numbers, thus eroding the historical portrayal of what the performances at the Cotton Club shows were really like. Along with his team at American Zoetrope, Coppola set out to create an updated version that would more closely resemble the original intentions of the film. This new version of the film, shown only three times previously during the 2017 Telluride Film Festival, features additional scenes such as an extended Gregory Hines and Maurice Hines tap performance, Lonette McKee's brilliant rendition of Ethel Waters' "Stormy Weather," Coppola's originally envisioned ending, and more.
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