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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:
Billy Jaye ...
Timothy Jerome ...
Dixie Davis (as Tim Jerome)
Lucky Luciano
Julie Martin
Robert F. Colesberry ...
Jack Kelly
Mr. Hines
Mary Behan - Billy's Mother


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 »


Crime | Drama | Thriller

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)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,051,590, 3 November 1991, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Reports constantly streamed from the set, consisting 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 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...
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I'm in the Mood for Love
Music by Jimmy McHugh
Played as background music in the nightclub
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User Reviews

lost in translation
11 November 2010 | by See all my reviews

The big screen adaptation of E. L. Doctorow's novel shows impressive credentials and handsome production values; so why is the finished film so inert? Is it because the story itself, about a fresh-faced Bronx kid who, during the Depression, learns the hard facts of criminal life from mobster Dutch Schultz (and falls for the boss' girlfriend) is so familiar? Could it be the abrupt, anti-climactic ending to the film's clever hopscotch structure? Or is it because the movie is too much about Billy (played by clean-cut newcomer Loren Dean, a throwback to pre-Touchstone Disney) and not his psychotic mentor? No evidence is visible of the much publicized production problems other than a few scenes where dialogue was obviously overdubbed, but the film still looks as if it were made under duress. A strong supporting cast, and Dustin Hoffman's exciting performance as the vulgar Dutch, are saving graces.

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