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Original Gangstas (1996)

 -  Action | Crime | Drama  -  10 May 1996 (USA)
5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 1,016 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 16 critic

Marvin Bookman is a small shop owner in Gary, Indiana, USA. After he sees a drive-by shooting of Laurie Thompson's son by a local gang, he gives up the license number of the car to the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
John Bookman
...
Jake Trevor
...
Laurie Thompson
...
Reverend Dorsey
...
Gracie Bookman
Oscar Brown Jr. ...
Marvin Bookman
...
Slick
...
Bubba
...
Spyro
Eddie Bo Smith Jr. ...
Damien
...
Kayo
...
...
Detective Slatten
...
Mayor
...
Michael Casey
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Storyline

Marvin Bookman is a small shop owner in Gary, Indiana, USA. After he sees a drive-by shooting of Laurie Thompson's son by a local gang, he gives up the license number of the car to the police. The gang doesn't like this so they go to the store and rough him up. Soon, John Bookman comes to town to set the wrong things right. With the help of Laurie and his old friend Jake, they attempt to take back the streets and show the new breed of gang members what the true originals can do. Written by Josh Pasnak <chainsaw@intouch.bc.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The original bad boys are stepping up in '96!


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for non-stop violence and pervasive strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 May 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Warzone  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,800,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$3,014,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

When John and Jake do a drive-by at the steel mill in an attempt to start the gang war, several fires in barrels are burning. When they make their second pass, the smoke and fire can be seen going backwards, back into the barrels. See more »

Quotes

John Bookman: Big talk coming from a faggot who don't even know what sex his mother is.
See more »

Connections

Features RoboCop 2 (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

How Does It Feel
Performed by Ice-T (as Ice T)
Executive Producer: Ice-T for Rhyme Syndicate Productions
Associate Producer: Hen-Gee for Gee Enterprise
Written by Ice-T, George Clinton (as G. Clinton Jr.), Bootsy Collins (as B. Collins), Gary 'Mudbone' Cooper (as G.L. Cooper)
Publishing: Rhyme Syndicate Music admin in USA/Canada by Polygram International Publishing Inc. (ASCAP) Rubberband Music Inc. admin in USA/Canada by Songs of Polygram International, Inc. (BMI)
Produced by Mad Rome & Big Rich for Mad Vybe Productions
Contains a sample of "I'd Rather Be with You"
by Bootsy Collins (as B. Collins), George Clinton (as G. Clinton Jr.) and Gary 'Mudbone' Cooper (as G.L. Cooper)
See more »

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User Reviews

A sense of place - recommended for town planners and architects
12 June 2003 | by (Zurich, Switzerland) – See all my reviews

This movie is correctly graded as a B picture. And yet it is more: an honest hommage to a real, existing town in the throes of death. Before I picked up Original Gangstas as a cheap video cassette, I did not know that the town of Gary existed. I didn't even know a town like Gary could exist (this proves once more: maybe we Europeans are kind of naive in the ways we evaluate the US's wealth and power and its effects.). Now I know better.

There is a certain similarity between this film and Jules Dassin's legendary documentary/crime movie The Naked City of 1948. Both use a style that wants to "tell a city". With the title credits the town is introduced to the viewers, with aereal footage, ordinary street scenes and a voice-over that tells something about the history of the town and a few selected buildings (the bakery, the cinema etc.). It is really educational. Very good location shooting gives a vivid impression of the specific urban wasteland. Gary becomes a real place. I also had the impression that the mood of the people who are forced or willing to live in present day Gary is accurately recorded: A mixture of anger, shame and - above all - fear. People are desperate, they don't see a future and the affiliation of youngsters to a gang appears for many to be the only way to survive.

In the story the main character played by Fred Williamson (also the producer and a Gary native who certainly put some very personal feelings into this movie) descends on the town as an aging "knight in shining armour". He assembles his old, middle aged buddies (plus Pam Grier!) and stages a war against the gangs. I did not care much for the story and its action scenes with unvariably high death tolls, but I must admit that this movie realistically highlights in a specific place a specific problem that is disquieting and difficult to solve.


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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