Cecil B. Demented

Cecil B. Demented

Infobox Film
name = Cecil B. Demented

caption = Theatrical release poster
director = John Waters
producer = Joseph M. Caraccilio, Jr.
John Fiedler
Mark Tarlov
writer = John Waters
starring = Stephen Dorff
Melanie Griffith
Alicia Witt
Adrian Grenier
music = Basil Poledouris
cinematography = Robert M. Stevens
editing = Jeffrey Wolf
distributor = Artisan Entertainment
Le Studio Canal+
released = August 11, 2000
runtime = 87 min.
country = United States
language = English
imdb_id = 0173716

"Cecil B. Demented" is a 2000 cult film directed by John Waters. It stars Melanie Griffith, Stephen Dorff, Alicia Witt and an early performance by Maggie Gyllenhaal. The title (which is also Dorff's character's name) is a play on the name of famous director Cecil B. DeMille. The film is loosely based on the 1974 kidnapping of Patty Hearst and, like many of Waters' films, was shot in Baltimore, Maryland.

For her role in the film, Melanie Griffith was nominated for Worst Actress at the 2000 Golden Raspberry Awards.


Hollywood A-List actress Honey Whitlock (Melanie Griffith) is a famous starlet whose public persona is that of a sweet and considerate woman, but who, in reality, is demanding and mean. While in Baltimore to attend a movie premiere, Honey is kidnapped by the manic film director, Cecil B. Demented (Stephen Dorff), and his band of misfit artists who have branded themselves "kamikaze filmmakers," going by the group name "SprocketHoles."

Honey is introduced to Cecil's eccentric friends (who also act as his film crew) and is taken to an abandoned movie theater, where she's kept captive. Cecil explains that he wants to make his masterpiece movie ("I have a vision!") and needs Honey to star as the film's lead. Honey first resists and shoots scenes with no emotion, but Cecil slowly coaxes her into relaxing and truly acting. As Honey seems to become more comfortable with her situation, she watches a special on TV discussing her disappearance. Persons who knew her are interviewed and come clean about how mean-spirited she truly was. Honey now realizes that her desire to escape would only lead her back to Hollywood, where she is hated for being rude. She decides to finish the film no matter what and declares herself "Demented forever," burning a brand into her arm and officially joining the motley crew.

Cecil, Honey and the crew run around the city, filming movie scenes at real (unapproved) locations, often involving innocent bystanders in the process. Some shooting locations turn into shootouts with police, with crew members getting shot. At the climax, Cecil is shooting the final scene while law enforcement are alerted. He asks Honey to light her hair on fire for the final shot (which she does) before setting himself completely ablaze as police arrive.


The film received mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 51% of critics gave "Cecil B. Demented" positive reviews, based on 77 reviews, with the consensus that " [t] he idea behind John Waters' latest has much potential, but the movie ends up being too sloppy and underdeveloped in terms of script and direction. Also, by today's standards, it fails to shock." [cite web|url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/cecil_b_demented/ |title=Cecil B. Demented Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes |accessdate=2008-09-22 |publisher=Rotten Tomatoes] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 57 out of 100, based on 32 reviews. [cite web|url=http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/cecilbdemented |title=Cecil B. DeMented (2000): Reviews |accessdate=2008-09-22 |publisher=Metacritic]

Cast (and tattoos)

*Melanie Griffith as Honey Whitlock
*Stephen Dorff as Cecil B. Demented (Otto Preminger)
*Alicia Witt as Cherish (Andy Warhol)
*Adrian Grenier as Lyle (Herschell Gordon Lewis)
*Larry Gilliard, Jr. as Lewis (David Lynch)
*Maggie Gyllenhaal as Raven (Kenneth Anger)
*Jack Noseworthy as Rodney (Pedro Almodóvar)
*Mink Stole as Mrs. Sylvia Mallory
*Ricki Lake as Libby
*Patricia Hearst as Fidget's Mom
*Michael Shannon as Petie (Rainer Fassbinder)
*Eric Barry as Fidget (William Castle)
*Zenzele Uzoma as Chardonnay (Spike Lee)
*Erika Lynn Rupli as Pam (Sam Peckinpah)
*Harriet Dodge as Dinah (Sam Fuller)
*Channing Wilroy as Shop Steward


*Kevin Nealon as Himself
*Roseanne Barr as Herself
*Rosemary Knower as Mrs. Demented
*Doug Roberts as Mr. Demented
*John Waters as Reporter

Pop culture references

* Cecil B. Demented is featured as a character in the track "Ursula Kim" by Russian IDM/Alternative Rap crossover act 2H Company, released on their debult album in 2004.

ee also

* Cecil B. DeMille
* Patty Hearst


External links

*imdb title|id=0173716|title=Cecil B. Demented
*rotten-tomatoes|id=cecil_b_demented|title=Cecil B. Demented
*metacritic film|id=cecilbdemented|title=Cecil B. DeMented
*mojo title|id=cecilbdemented|title=Cecil B. Demented

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