Tulsa King Star Sylvester Stallone Breaks Down Why His First Gangster Movie Flopped

In 1991, after years of being one of the silver screen's most prolific and badass action heroes, Sylvester Stallone took a shot at comedy with Oscar, a film from The Blues Brothers director John Landis. In the film, Stallone played a mobster who tries to get out of organized crime and go straight after making a promise to his dying father. It basically broke even, earning $35 million against a reported $23 million budget, but didn't thrill critics and even earned some Golden Raspberry nominations -- though Stallone is a favorite target of the Razzies, so that may not actually mean much. The reviews were mixed-to-negative, but nowhere near as bad as the 12% on Rotten Tomatoes suggests, since Rotten Tomatoes is basically done on "pass/fail" grading.

Speaking with ComicBook.com in support of Tulsa King, Stallone says he still loves Oscar in spite of its lukewarm reception. We asked whether Oscar's Angelo "Snaps" Provolone or Tulsa King's Dwight "The General" Manfredi was the more dangerous character.

"Snaps, of course," Stallone said with a laugh. After ComicBook.com's Chris Killian said he loved Oscar, Stallone replied, "I did, too. I guess it was too much of a shocking transition from Rambo to that, but I love doing that kind of drama. This one here sort of leans in that direction."

Stallone's assessment -- that his fans were perplexed by Oscar, and that hurt the movie overall -- seems generally accepted. During a 2017 interview, Landis said something similar, suggesting that it was the sort of movie where its target audience were not interested in seeing a Stallone movie, whereas Stallone's fans were not interested in seeing an homage to slapstick comedy.

"I made a movie once, Oscar with Sylvester Stallone, and everybody who saw the movie and liked it, would never go out and see Stallone," Landis told Film Talk. "We did a preview of the movie and someone wrote on the card, 'Why didn't he take his shirt off and kill anybody?' [Laughs.] But we had an extraordinary cast, we had Kirk Douglas, Don Ameche, and a girl who had never been in a movie before: Marisa Tomei. She was so extremely great from the first day! And what had she done before? Practically nothing! Now, that's talent. She was so unbelievably good."

Tulsa King is on Paramount Network and Paramount+. The next episode will drop on Sunday, November 20.