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Dead Presidents (1995)

A Vietnam vet adjusts to life after the war while trying to support his family, but the chance of a better life may involve crime and bloodshed.


(as The Hughes Brothers), (as The Hughes Brothers)


(story), (story) | 3 more credits »
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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Alvaleta Guess ...
Mrs. Benson
Mr. Curtis
Cowboy (as Terrence Dashon Howard)
Ryan Williams ...
Young Revolutionary
Rodney Winfield ...
Mr. Warren


This action film, directed by the Hughes brothers, depicts a heist of old bills, retired from circulation and destined by the government to be "money to burn." However, more broadly, it addresses the issues of Black Americans' involvement in the Vietnam War and their subsequent disillusionment with progress in social issues and civil rights back home in the United States, during the 1960's. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They'll risk everything for the ultimate score. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong graphic violence, language, a sex scene and some drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

6 October 1995 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Alta Jogada  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)


$24,200,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Though not specifically stated, Curtis, Cleon and Skip belonged to a unit in the 1st Marine Recon Battalion. This is confirmed late in the movie when Cleon is seen wearing a patch with the 1st Marine Recon Battalion insignia on it. See more »


Cowboy and Anthony are shooting pool. Cowboy leans over the table to shoot and the 2-ball is clearly sitting in front of the side pocket. After Cowboy misses his shot, the view widens and the 2-ball is seen rolling to the middle of the table. See more »


Anthony Curtis: Ya'll may think I'm crazy but I just want to do something that's different
Skip: Well, gettin' your fuckin' head blown off is different, HAHA. Hey man, turn that shit down and slow this mother fucker down, ain't nobody in a hurry to get to school!
See more »


Spoofed in Half Baked (1998) See more »


Right On For Darkness
Written and Performed by Curtis Mayfield
Courtesy of Curtom Classics, Inc.
By Arrangement With Warner Bros. Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

delivers big for the right fans
14 September 2002 | by See all my reviews

Gripping, poignant story about a young black man growing up in the 1960s Bronx whose parents groom him to follow in the footsteps of his college grad older brother. He has his own plans however, and enlists in the Marine Corps where he survives four years of brutal warfare in Vietnam. He returns home to try and make a new life for himself, but a struggling economy and lack of formal education gradually draw him into a life of crime. An effective portrayal of black involvement in Vietnam, with good performances, powerful scenes, and shockingly graphic violence. Tate is commanding in the lead, and Tucker a real surprise as his drug-addicted pal. Not for all tastes, but well-crafted and well-made. ***

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