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)

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



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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?


Second of two collaborations of actor Dustin Hoffman and writer-director Robert Benton. The movies are Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) and Billy Bathgate (1991), the two pictures being made and released around twelve years apart. Hoffmann plays a title character in each of the two films. Billy is also the first name of Hoffman's Ted Kramer character's son in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979). See more »


When Billy and Becky are first seen on the roof in long shot she is exhaling smoke; in the close-up immediately after, she doesn't have a cigarette. 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 »


Referenced in The Critic: Episode #1.7 (2001) See more »


Der Hirt Auf Dem Flesem, D. 965 (The Shepherd on the Rock)
Written by Franz Schubert
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User Reviews

This Is NOT Goodfellas or Sopranos stuff, this is Drama with that as a backdrop.
4 March 2009 | by (Baghdad) – See all my reviews

Well acted, with a nice dual story going on, add in Nicole Kidman naked and hey.. this isn't bad at all!! Add in Dustin damn Hoffman as our lead gangster, and stuff is getting interesting!! Our main character however, is BILLY- a streetwise kid with a heart of gold that wants to see if he has a shot at making it big with Dutch - the guy who owns the neighborhood. Things are in transition for Dutch, and Billy is exposed to the pressures and pitfalls of running a criminal organization by falling in with Dutch.

Enter Nicole Kidman- Dutch is smitten with her beauty, she's married but she has a thing for gangsters apparently...

This has a lot of tension in the triangle between Mrs. Harrison (Nicole), Dutch (Dustin) And Billy.

A cameo from Bruce Willis is a welcome counterpoint to the interpretation of Dutch, and you will recognize one of Dutch's henchmen from Fargo or Reservoir Dogs. ;-) I would have liked the ending to be a bit more elaborate but the ride there was pretty damn elaborate so it's all good.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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