Burn Hollywood Burn

Last Updated on: October 18th, 2023

Burn Hollywood Burn (Hollywood Pictures Movie)

“Burn Hollywood Burn,” also known as “An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn,” is a satirical comedy film released in 1998. The movie was directed by Arthur Hiller and stars Eric Idle, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Eszterhas. The film is infamous for its critical and commercial failure and is often cited as one of the worst movies ever made.

The story follows a struggling British filmmaker named Alan Smithee (played by Eric Idle), who directs a big-budget action film titled “Trio’s Inferno” for a Hollywood studio. However, when the studio executives interfere with his creative vision, Smithee decides to remove his name from the film, invoking the pseudonym “Alan Smithee,” which is traditionally used by directors who disown their work.

As the film’s premiere approaches, the studio faces a crisis as they realize that “Trio’s Inferno” is a complete disaster. In a desperate attempt to salvage the film, they hire a Hollywood editor named James Edmunds (played by Ryan O’Neal) to re-edit it and turn it into a coherent piece. The editor also recruits a flamboyant agent named David (played by Richard Jeni) to help with the film’s publicity.

The film is a parody of Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes politics and creative conflicts, satirizing the excessive egos and incompetence of the movie industry. It pokes fun at the Hollywood studio system, the idea of director’s vision being compromised, and the use of pseudonyms to disown a film.

“Burn Hollywood Burn” was plagued with production issues and conflicts between the filmmakers and the studio. Director Arthur Hiller himself attempted to use the pseudonym “Alan Smithee” to disown the film, but the Directors Guild of America rejected the request, leading to the film being credited to its actual director.

Upon its release, the film was universally panned by critics and audiences alike. It was a commercial failure, grossing only a fraction of its production budget. Eric Idle has since expressed regret for being involved in the film, and “Burn Hollywood Burn” is often considered one of the biggest cinematic misfires in history.

Despite its disastrous reception, “Burn Hollywood Burn” has gained a small cult following over the years due to its status as a notorious Hollywood flop. The film’s failure has become a cautionary tale about the perils of studio interference and the consequences of a film production gone wrong.

Overall, “Burn Hollywood Burn” is a failed attempt at a satirical comedy that aimed to lampoon Hollywood’s excesses but ended up being a victim of those very excesses. It remains a curious and infamous entry in the history of cinema, serving as a reminder of the challenges faced by filmmakers in navigating the complex world of Hollywood.

Additional Details


  • Eric Idle: Alan Smithee
  • Ryan O’Neal: James Edmunds
  • Coolio: Dion Brothers
  • Chuck D: Leon Brothers
  • Richard Jeni: Jerry Glover
  • Leslie Stefanson: Michelle Rafferty
  • Sandra Bernhard: Ann Glover
  • Cherie Lunghi: Myrna Smithee
  • Harvey Weinstein: Sam Rizzo
  • Gavin Polone: Gary Samuels
  • MC Lyte: Sista Tu Lumumba
  • Marcello Thedford: Stagger Lee
  • Nicole Nagel: Aloe Vera
  • Stephen Tobolowsky: Bill Bardo
  • Erik King: Wayne Jackson
  • Dina Spybey: Alessandra


  • Director: Arthur Hiller
  • Producer: Ben Myron
  • Writer: Joe Eszterhas

Movie Trailer:

About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of DisneyNews.us. My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and VideoGamesStats.com.