Get Shorty

Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld
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The Independent Culture

Get Shorty (1995) is based on the novel of the same name by Elmore Leonard.

Chili Palmer, a Miami mobster, loan-sharks for Ray Bones, a violent thug with a big chip on his shoulder. Ray sends Chili to Vegas after a bad debt, and a casino boss enlists Chili to find an even bigger deadbeat: Harry Zimm, Hollywood player and producer of low-budget horror films. In Tinseltown, Chili meets Harry, as well as his scream- queen leading lady, Karen Flores; Harry's drug-dealing financier, Bo Catlett; and Karen's ex, Martin Weir (aka "Shorty"), a big star with an ego to match. Chili finds his Mafioso skills lend themselves quite nicely to what he's always really wanted to do: producing movies.


Barry Sonnenfeld


Elmore Leonard (novel)

Scott Frank (screenplay)


John Travolta … Chili Palmer

Gene Hackman … Harry Zimm

Rene Russo … Karen Flores

Danny DeVito … Martin Weir

Dennis Farina … Ray "Bones" Barboni

Delroy Lindo … Bo Catlett

James Gandolfini … Bear

Jon Gries … Ronnie Wingate

Renee Props … Nicki

David Paymer … Leo Devoe

Martin Ferrero … Tommy Carlo

Miguel Sandoval … Mr. Escobar

Jacob Vargas … Yayo Portillo

Bobby Slayton … Dick Allen

Linda Hart …. Fay Devoe


  • John Travolta initially declined an offer to be in this movie, but was convinced by Quentin Tarantino to do it.
  • Just before Doris comes to his door, Harry Zimm makes a reference in a telephone conversation about an actor who will only work one night shoot during a production. He is referring to Gene Hackman himself, who has it written in his contracts he'll only shoot one night during a production.
  • According to Elmore Leonard, movie star Martin Weir (Danny DeVito), is based on Leonard's own dealings with Dustin Hoffman.