38 user 22 critic

Billy Bathgate (1991)

In the year 1935, a teen named Billy Bathgate finds first love while becoming the protégé of fledgling gangster Dutch Schultz.



(book), (screenplay)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The hairdresser, wife and mother Cynthia Kellogg is in police department being interrogated by the experienced detective John Woods and his partner, Detective Linda Nealon. Through ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Rudolph
Stars: Demi Moore, Glenne Headly, Bruce Willis
In Country (1989)
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Samantha Hughes, a teenaged Kentucky girl, never knew her father, who died in Vietnam before her birth. Samantha lives with her uncle Emmett, who also served in Vietnam. Emmett hangs around... See full summary »

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Emily Lloyd, Bruce Willis, Joan Allen
Nobody's Fool (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Sully is a rascally ne'er-do-well approaching retirement age. While he is pressing a worker's compensation suit for a bad knee, he secretly works for his nemesis, Carl, and flirts with ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Benton
Stars: Paul Newman, Bruce Willis, Jessica Tandy
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Coming from a police family, Tom Hardy ends up fighting his uncle after the murder of his father. Tom believes the killer is another cop, and goes on the record with his allegations. Demoted then to river duty, the killer taunts Tom.

Director: Rowdy Herrington
Stars: Bruce Willis, Sarah Jessica Parker, Dennis Farina
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

A color-blind psychiatrist Bill Capa is stalked by an unknown killer after taking over his murdered friend's therapy group, all of whom have a connection to a mysterious young woman that Capa begins having intense sexual encounters with.

Director: Richard Rush
Stars: Bruce Willis, Jane March, Rubén Blades
Flirting (1991)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Danny has been sent to boarding school, in this sequel to The Year My Voice Broke. Against a backdrop of bullying and sadistic teachers Danny strikes up an affair with an African girl, ... See full summary »

Director: John Duigan
Stars: Noah Taylor, Thandie Newton, Nicole Kidman
Hero I (1992)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Jessie is an aging career criminal who has been in more jails, fights, schemes, and lineups than just about anyone else. His son Vito, while currently on the straight and narrow, has had a ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Sean Connery, Dustin Hoffman, Matthew Broderick
Ballet Rose - Vidas Proibidas (TV Mini-Series 1998)
Crime | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Based on a true story this TV-series tells the police investigation that happened at the time of the former regime in Portugal, involving a sex scandal of prostitution, child prostitution ... See full summary »

Stars: Ana Padrão, Ana Zanatti, Carlos Santos
Sunset (1988)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Tom Mix and Wyatt Earp team up to solve a murder at the Academy Awards in 1929 Hollywood.

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Bruce Willis, James Garner, Malcolm McDowell
Blind Date (1987)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Walter Davis is a workaholic. His attention is all to his work and very little to his personal life or appearance. Now he needs a date to take to his company's business dinner with a new ... See full summary »

Director: Blake Edwards
Stars: Kim Basinger, Bruce Willis, John Larroquette
The Bit Part (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Director: Brendan Maher
Stars: Chris Haywood, Nicole Kidman, Katrina Foster


Cast overview, first billed only:
Otto Berman
Billy Jaye ...
Timothy Jerome ...
Dixie Davis (as Tim Jerome)
Robert F. Colesberry ...
Jack Kelly
Mr. Hines
Mary Behan


Based loosely on the organized crime syndicates of the 20's and 30's, Billy Bathgate is the story of a young man's rise from gopher to right hand man in Dutch Schultz' gang. Having been impressed by the youth, Schultz takes him under his wing so to speak. Billy soon finds himself in a world where wealth and fortune live next door to danger and death. Written by Michael Silva <silvamd@cleo.bc.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A seductive look at a notorious gangster's dazzling and decadent empire about to crumble. See more »


Action | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some gangster violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Billy Bathgate - A scuola di gangster  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$48,000,000 (estimated)


$15,965,919 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Reports constantly streamed from the set of protracted arguments between Dustin Hoffman and Robert Benton. It got to the point where Jeffrey Katzenberg himself had to come on set and intervene. See more »


When Drew Preston is walking with Billy Bathgate and takes his hand, the close-up shows her hand is on the front. In the next shot, her hand behind his and facing to the rear. See more »


[first lines]
Bo Weinberg: [being tied up] What do you think, Irving? Makes this cheap dago move on me, Bo Weinberg. The man who took out @Vincent Coll. The man who held Jack Diamond's ears so he could put the gun in his mouth. Who found the rackets he was to *stupid* to find for himself, who made him something more than the lowdown fucking guy that he is! The schmuck, I should expect something else. He pulls me off the the street right in front of my girl, like he don't know no better. Schmuck!
Dutch Schultz: Don't talk to...
See more »


Music by Jerome Kern
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"An Ordinary Man, Your Mr. Schultz"
2 June 2008 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

Billy Bathgate is based on E.L. Doctorow's historical novel about New York in the Thirties. Doctorow also authored Ragtime and while this film isn't as gaudy and expensive as Ragtime, Billy Bathgate is an accurate recreation of the times of post Prohibition New York City.

The main reason to see Billy Bathgate is the mesmerizing performance of Dustin Hoffman as Arthur Fleigenheimer better known as Dutch Schultz. It's a harrowingly accurate portrayal of Schultz who was every bit the hot tempered homicidal maniac Hoffman shows him as. It's very much along the lines of Vic Morrow's performance as Schultz in Portrait of a Mobster, but Hoffman is better. If you do a search on the web about Schultz and see a film, you'll find Dustin Hoffman looks quite a lot like him in real life.

The film is seen through the eyes of its title character who is a young man from the Bronx played by Loren Dean. Schultz reigned supreme in the Bronx of the Jimmy Walker early Fiorello LaGuardia days. One can't forget that this was the Depression, there were no jobs to be had for young Billy of Bathgate Avenue and his gang. It's the reason we see them hanging around on the subway tracks outside Schultz's headquarters when Billy's juggling act catches the Dutchman's attention.

Doctorow is true to gangland lore about why and how Schultz was done in. As you watch Hoffman's performance, these sudden fits of violence you can certainly understand why Lucky Luciano wanted to rid themselves of this problem.

Part of Schultz's temper might have been bedroom performance. As heiress Nicole Kidman so aptly puts it to Billy, he's quite an ordinary man your Mr. Schultz. Also look for some really good performances in this excellent cast from Steven Hill as numbers cruncher Otto Berman, Tim Jerome as lawyer Dixie Davis, and Bruce Willis as the luckless Bo Weinberg. Kidman's not bad either as the immoral heiress who has affairs with gangsters for kicks.

But Billy Bathgate really belongs to Dustin Hoffman, it's one of his best screen performances and should not be missed by anyone especially fans of Dustin.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Did Billy stay a gangster? Clams
like this movie fuhgeduhbawdit
'I've met him before' kaunte
talent behind the camera kingchop
A Romantic Gangster Movie? There Is Such A Thing ck10101980
Discuss Billy Bathgate (1991) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: