IMDb > Sugar Hill (1993)

Sugar Hill (1993) More at IMDbPro »

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Sugar Hill -- Open-ended Trailer from 20th Century Fox


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Writer (WGA):
Barry Michael Cooper (written by)
View company contact information for Sugar Hill on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
25 February 1994 (USA) See more »
He wanted power. He wanted revenge. Now he just wants out.
Hardened, uncomprimising drug dealer Roemello Skuggs decides to quit his scumbag profession so he may start a new life with his girlfriend... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Over-long, but frequently poignant drug epic See more (35 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Wesley Snipes ... Roemello Skuggs

Khandi Alexander ... Ella Skuggs

DeVaughn Nixon ... Raynathan (Age 11)
Marquise Wilson ... Roemello (Age 10)

O.L. Duke ... Tutty

Clarence Williams III ... A.R. Skuggs

Abe Vigoda ... Gus Molino
Anthony Thomas ... Worker

Michael Wright ... Raynathan Skuggs
John Pittman ... Lucky

Steve Harris ... Ricky Goggles (as Steve J. Harris)
Michael Guess ... Y.G. (Young Gun)

Kimberly Russell ... Chantal (as Kimberly Russel)

Theresa Randle ... Melissa
Abdul Mutakabbir ... Bouncer
Yusaf Ramadan ... Bouncer
Karl Johnson ... Bouncer

Andre Lamal ... Martin David

Dulé Hill ... Roemello Skuggs (Age 17)

Sam Gordon ... Raynathan (Age 18)

Larry Joshua ... Harry Molino
Raymond Serra ... Sal Marconi

Frank Ferrara ... Sal's Bodyguard

Donald Faison ... Kymie Damiels
Bryan Clark ... Dean
Lord Michael Banks ... Nigerian
Alex Brown ... Nigerian #2 (as Alex A. Brown)

Joe Dallesandro ... Tony Adamo

Ernie Hudson ... Lolly Jonas
Nick Corello ... Coco

Leslie Uggams ... Doris Holly
Natalie Venetia Belcon ... Lynette (as Natalie Belcon)

Brenden Jefferson ... Kid
Denetria Champ ... Diva
Phyromn Taylor ... Preacher

Sam Bottoms ... Oliver Thompson
Maria R. Kelly ... Coco's Girlfriend (as Maria Kelley)

Vondie Curtis-Hall ... Mark Doby

Directed by
Leon Ichaso 
Writing credits
Barry Michael Cooper (written by)

Produced by
Marc Abraham .... executive producer
Armyan Bernstein .... executive producer
Greg Brown .... producer
Rudy Langlais .... producer
Steven R. McGlothen .... line producer
Tom Rosenberg .... executive producer
Original Music by
Terence Blanchard 
Cinematography by
Bojan Bazelli (director of photography) (as Bojan Bazeli)
Film Editing by
Gary Karr 
Casting by
Mary Gail Artz 
Barbara Cohen 
Production Design by
Michael Helmy 
Art Direction by
Jay Jergensen  (as J. Jergensen)
Set Decoration by
Kathryn Peters 
Costume Design by
Eduardo Castro 
Makeup Department
Clifford Booker .... key hair stylist
Cat'Ania McCoy-Howze .... key/2nd makeup artist
Laini Thompson .... makeup department head
Production Management
Steven R. McGlothen .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Randy Carter .... first assistant director
Frank Davis .... second assistant director
Steven R. McGlothen .... second unit director
Art Department
Kenneth Albanese .... construction coordinator
Tommy Allen .... property master
Skye Bailey .... assistant art director
Marc Berline .... carpenter
Michael Biggie .... painter
Kyung W. Chang .... assistant art director
Andrea Dopaso .... assistant art director
Chris Anthony Miller .... leadman (as Chris Miller)
Elaine O'Donnell .... set decorator: New York
Dennis Riewerts .... draper
Sound Department
Gregg Barbanell .... foley artist
Ricardo Broadus .... sound effects editor
William Freesh .... sound re-recording mixer
Tim Gedemer .... sound editor
Malcolm Morris .... sound mixer
Adrian Rollins .... sound utility
Andy Rovins .... boom operator
Cathie Speakman .... adr editor
Ken Teaney .... sound re-recording mixer
Howard 'Stick' Baines .... stunt player: New York (as Howard Baines)
Tony Brubaker .... stunt coordinator: Los Angeles
Andy Duppin .... stunt player: New York (as Andrew Dupin)
Joe Fitos .... stunt player: New York
Jeff Habberstad .... stunt coordinator: Los Angeles
Maria R. Kelly .... stunt player: Los Angeles (as Maria Kelley)
Jalil Jay Lynch .... stunt player: New York (as Jalil Lynch)
Bob Minor .... stunt player: Los Angeles
Rita Minor .... stunt player: Los Angeles
Michael Russo .... stunt coordinator: New York (as Mike Russo)
Marcus Salgado .... fight consultant
Gregg Smrz .... stunt player: New York (as Greg Smerz)
Jeff Ward .... stunt player: New York
Camera and Electrical Department
Myles Aronowitz .... still photographer
Brian Bellamy .... grip
Tony Brown .... grip
Joseph V. Cicio .... first assistant camera (as Joe Cicio)
Greg Fausak .... grip
Doug Foote .... second assistant camera: New York
Michael Gallart .... dimmer board operator
Michael Gallart .... gaffer: New York
Terry Graves .... camera loader
Loren Hillebrand .... dolly grip
John Holmes .... second assistant camera
David Lee .... still photographer
Henry Lynk .... camera operator
John Joseph Minardi .... best boy grip (as John Joseph Menardi)
Anthony G. Nakonechnyj .... gaffer (as Tony Nako)
Melvin Pukowsky .... grip: Los Angeles
Randy Ratliff .... key grip
Bobby Thomas .... grip
Casting Department
Winsome Sinclair .... extras casting
Editorial Department
Michael Belling .... second assistant editor
Terrie Berlin .... second assistant editor
Alessandra Carlino .... apprentice editor
Kelley Dixon .... assistant editor
Nicole Smith .... first assistant editor
Music Department
Pilar McCurry .... executive soundtrack producer
Pilar McCurry .... music supervisor
G. Marq Roswell .... music supervisor
Transportation Department
Glenn Midcap .... transportation coordinator
Robert J. Young .... driver
Other crew
Mitchell Bell .... production coordinator
Isabelle Kostic Crosley .... location scout
Mary Montiforte .... production controller
Larry Pearson .... location manager
Grant Harper Reid .... location assistance (as Grant Reid)
Carrie Seeley .... assistant: Mr. Snipes
Barbara Thaxton .... script supervisor
Robyn Von Arx .... production assistant
Rick Washburn .... weapons coordinator
Marni Wilkens .... location production assistant
Sam Montiforte .... post-production accountant (uncredited)
Pam O'Har .... location manager (uncredited)
Lynn M. van Kuilenburg .... assistant location manager (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for intense drug related violence, graphic heroin use and strong language
123 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The success of "New Jack City" got writer Barry Michael Cooper's script for "Sugar Hill" attention in Hollywood. With Wesley Snipes already attached, it seemed like a home run, but none of the major studios were willing to touch the material due to its bleak nature. The script was eventually picked up and financed by indie production company Beacon Communications.See more »
Boom mic visible: Several times during the movie, a boom mic can be seen coming into the screen.See more »
Raynathan Skuggs:This is the flavor that they savor up here, neighbor!See more »


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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful.
Over-long, but frequently poignant drug epic, 8 August 2001
Author: Daniel J. Fienberg (d_fienberg) from Los Angeles, CA

As titles for this film go, I prefer Sugar Hill to Harlem. The title Harlem speaks to where the characters are. The title Sugar Hill refers to an ideal that has been lost and may never be regained. Harlem would be a simplistic title for a simplistic movie, while Sugar Hill is an appropriate title for a movie that frequently aims high and sometimes succeeds. So you'll forgive me if if I refer to it as Sugar Hill in this review (plus, I'm not really sure where it was actually released as "Harlem").

Sugar Hill opens with a series of pictures of urban life in the Sugar Hill part of Harlem. Since the photos are all black and white and since the people look happy and middle class, we know that these pictures are of the way things used to be. We then meet our two "heroes," Raynathan and Romoello Skuggs, as children who stand by and watch as their mother ODs on heroin and dies before their eyes. Even though she was a junkie, their mom wished for great things for her sons, but as we move into the present, Roemello's voiceover tells the hard truth: "The boy you loved as become the man you feared." Roemello (Wesley Snipes) and Raynathan (Michael Wright) control the drug trade in a part of the borough. They live a ghetto fabulous lifestyle with fancy rayon suits and fine cars. They get nice tables at classy restaurants. But things are about to change. The local mafioso Gus (Abe Vigoda) is letting a new dealer (Ernie Hudson) move in on their turf. Roemello wants out, having seen what drugs did to his father (Clarence Williams III), once a promising musician, now a struggling drug addict. But Raynathan -- the less intelligent, but more emotional of the brothers -- wants to start a turf war. The film has a "B" story involving a romance between Roemello and a beautiful woman (Theresa Randle) who loves Roemello, but is affair to be around him.

Sugar Hill plays a bit like New Jack City (both movies were written by Barry Michael Cooper). At its best, it feels like a smarter and more mature film than Mario Van Peebles's classic modern blaxploitation film. There's a complexity to Sugar Hill that New Jack City lacked once it regressed into a cops-vs-gangsters story. There's no law in Sugar Hill, no Judd Nelson to mess things up with moralizing. In Sugar Hill we've only got bad and worse.

Snipes's Roemello rules over the city like a God, holding the fate of thousands in his hand. Director Leon Ichaso goes a little too far to make this point. Snipes is constantly shot on rooftops and verandas, anywhere he can look out on his kingdom and loom over it. As a visual metaphor, it's effective, but it sometimes places a little too broadly, which is at odds with Snipes's wonderful, internalized performance. Snipes is physically intimidating, but as an actor he has sufficient brains to carry the film. His Roemello is the ego to the id of New Jack City's Nino Brown.

Actually, the film is full of amazing performances accentuated by the script's willingness to stop the action to allow the characters to tell stories. As the burnout father, Clarence Williams III (that would be "Linc" from the original Mod Squad) is just amazing and the story he tells Raynathan as he's about to shoot up is a devastating show-stopper. Vigoda also gives a performance tempered by age, and also has a super monologue, where he remembers the way Harlem used to be. Michael Wright's Raynathan grows on you. At first the acting seems too manic, but when you realize that it's a cover for how deeply he depends on his brother, it gains depth and Wright carries the film's final twenty minutes. Randle is fine in her romantic moments, but becomes shrieky when the role calls for high-pitched emotion.

Sugar Hill goes on for too long. It runs over two hours and there's no excuse for that. The plot involving Ernie Hudson's ex-boxer (Hudson is also excellent playing against type here) has confusing moments and there are several peripheral mob characters whose roles are never fully explained. Theresa Randle also has a very strange and random encounter with a basketball star (Vondie Curtis-Hall) which seems to have been in the script for symbolic reasons that just don't pay off properly.

On the whole, Sugar Hill works for me because of the consistent aura of sadness which fills the film. This movie isn't anywhere near as fun as New Jack City. It's not flashy, it's somber. But it worked well enough for me to give is a 7/10 recommendation.

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One Of Wesley's Best Movies jmac332083
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Ray was the villain rastaroor24
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not worth it mbl1202
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