An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn


An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn

Critics Consensus

A witless Hollywood satire whose hammy, obvious jokes are neither funny nor insightful of the movie business.



Total Count: 40


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,828
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An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn Photos

Movie Info

The existence of Alan Smithee is one of Hollywood's biggest non secrets. The director of over 30 feature films, he was born, or rather created, as a pseudonym in 1967 for the film Death of a Gunfighter (which was not released until 1969). He owes his creation to Hollywood directors (and sometimes actors and others involved in the creative process) who feel that a project has been wrongfully over-edited, or is just too embarrassingly bad to merit their names upon it. The Director's Guild carefully regulates the usage of the famous pseudonym. Some believe the name is an anagram of The Alias Men, while others contend that the name was chosen because of its uniqueness -- no one in the world could possibly be named Alan Smithee, right? Wrong. The premise of this filmed attempt, by screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, to rake Hollywood over the coals is that there really is a Smithee (Eric Idle) and he has just finished his latest epic actioner Trio, which stars Sylvester Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg and Jackie Chan (these three are the first of several star cameos occurring throughout). Unhappy that domineering, egomaniacal producer James Edmunds (Ryan O'Neal) -- who only hired Smithee because he thinks the director's an easily-manipulated sap -- has ruined Trio by over-editing it, Smithee goes to the Director's Guild to see about having his name removed from the credits. This proves problematic, for how can "Alan Smithee" be used if that is the director's real name. In desperation, the filmmaker kidnaps the negative of the $22-million movie and ultimately burns it. This act lands Smithee a spot in the Keith Moon Psychiatric Institute in England. It is from there that Smithee tells his version of the tale to investigators assigned to "autopsy" the film. His account is what comprises the bulk of the plot. One of the film's treats is to look for stars such as Billy Bob Thornton and Sandra Bernhard, and Hollywood honchos, notably Miramax big-wig Harvey Weinstein, in cameo roles. There are also numerous inside jokes for film buffs. Ironically, the film's real-life director Arthur Hiller had his name removed from An Alan Smithee Film because he didn't like the way in which Eszterhas recut the film. Eszterhas and Hiller swear that this was not a publicity stunt, but it does make one wonder.


Ryan O'Neal
as James Edmunds
Eric Idle
as Alan Smithee
Chuck D.
as Leon Brothers
Richard Jeni
as Jerry Glover
as Dion Brothers
Jackie Chan
as Himself
Leslie Stefanson
as Michelle Rafferty
Sandra Bernhard
as Ann Glover
Gavin Polone
as Gary Samuels
MC Lyte
as Sister Lumumba
Cherie Lunghi
as Myrna Smithee
Gavin Palone
as Gary Samuels
MC Lite
as Sister Il Lumumba
Marcello Thedford
as Stagger Lee
Nicole Nagel
as Aloe Vera
Erik King
as Wayne Jackson
Jim Piddock
as Attendant No. 1
Naomi Campbell
as Attendant No. 2
Marianne Muellerleile
as Sheila Caslin
Dina Spybey
as Allessandra
Robert Littman
as Cousin Andrew
Doug Walker
as Photographer
Leslie Segar
as Big Lez
Duane Davis
as Black Policeman
Hideo Kimura
as Japanese Businessman
Earl Kim Shiroma
as Japanese Businessman
Jesse Rambis
as Lakers Fan
Christopher Kelley
as British Bartender
Robert Evans
as Himself
Shane Black
as Himself
Jeremy Baka
as Himself
Lisa Canning
as Herself
Larry King
as Himself
Peter Bart
as Himself
Billy Barty
as Himself
Victor Drai
as Himself
Alan Smith
as Himself
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Critic Reviews for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (3) | Rotten (37)

Audience Reviews for An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn

  • May 11, 2011
    Unfunny mockumentary.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2011
    A so-so soundtrack can't keep "Burn, Hollywood, Burn" from being unmemorable, uneventful, repetative, thrown together and dull with unfunny jokes that range from obvious to offensive, leaving it to be an absolutely expendable concauction and an unbearbly boring, offensively unfunny and above all, disgustingly pretentious disaster of one at that.
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Sep 02, 2008
    Fairly funny faux-doc about a fake movie. Also contains an insane amount of cameos.
    Ken S Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2007
    Could have been so much had it been filmed as a mockumentary rather than a comedy-pretending-to-be-a-documentary.
    Steve B Super Reviewer

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