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Hoodlum (1997)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  27 August 1997 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 7,527 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 53 user | 38 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

Black gangsters in 1930 Harlem fights Dutch Schultz who is trying to horn in on their numbers racket.

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Title: Hoodlum (1997)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Captain Foley
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Pigfoot Mary
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Albert Salke
Beau Starr ...
Jules Salke
Paul Benjamin ...
Joe Guzaldo ...
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Storyline

The film focuses on the war of two gangs in 1930s Harlem for the control of illegal gaming - one headed by black strategic godfather Bumpy Johnson and another by white ruthless hothead Dutch Schultz. Negotiations proposed by white syndicate boss Lucky Luciano never get under way, blood flows and Johnson gets jailed. When Johnson is paroled, he gets the work of enforcer for mighty Stephanie "The Queen" St. Clair. She is also jailed for racketeering and when she leaves she makes him promise "no violence". Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

dutch | 1930s | mobster | blood | violence | See All (78) »

Taglines:

They had it all. It cost them everything. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic ganster violence, strong language, a scene of sexuality and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

27 August 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gangster  »

Box Office

Gross:

$23,461,013 (USA) (7 November 1997)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is the second film in which Laurence Fishburne has played Harlem gangster Elsworth "Bumpy" Johnson. He first played him in Francis Ford Coppola's The Cotton Club (1984) as "Bumpy" Jackson in a small role. See more »

Goofs

In the diner where waiter tries to poison the banana split, in some shots Francine has red lipstick on her teeth and in others she doesn't. See more »

Quotes

Johnny 'Figures' DiPalmero: [referring to a board] The dividing line could conceivably be the 135th Street, running east to west, Lennox Ave running north to south. Mr Schultz would take one territory and Mr Johnson, the other.
Bumpy Johnson: I can't accept any proposals that allows Mr Schultz to continue to operate freely in Harlem. As I've said before I have no quarrel with any of you gentlemen. But if Mr Schultz insists on coming uptown, I have no choice but to make my presence felt... Downtown.
Lucky Luciano: Well, you do realize that such a course...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Dirty Work (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Torna A Surriento
Written by G.B. DeCurtis and E. DeCurtis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Predictable, but entertaining
24 May 2001 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

How great this film could have been! It uses the real history of New York's Gangsters as a background and seems reasonably well researched. At times.

Personally, however, I have several gripes with this movie:

The irritatingly predictable script and much too clean-polished setting seem to come straight out of a "screenwriting-for-housewives" class.

The "messages" in the film (such as its anti-racist and pro-religious scenes) are horribly blatant. The romantic scenes and musical interludes are much too long and boring; the violent scenes too short and clean. Johnson is portrayed as a good gangster at first, which almost works out. His "internal struggle" theme doesn't work at all.

The supposedly elegant Gangster Luciano has to shlep a horrible dog around with him throughout the film. Bumpy Johnson's friend ist forced to do a horrible "funny negro singer" routine, offsetting the supposedly antiracist messages. And that Bumpy Johnson, at the end of the film, finds Gawd and turns away from the evil gangster life is a) predictable and b) idiotic.

"Hoodlum" could've been a great film. As it is, it's merely mediocre.


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