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Hoodlum (1997)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  27 August 1997 (USA)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 7,580 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)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

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

While Bumpy and Madame St. Claire are listening to opera on the Victrola, the record playing displays the Okeh label. Okeh Records, founded in 1918 recorded mainly middle-of-the road popular music, standards, light classical and blues, but not opera. 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

References King Kong (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

So Good
Written, produced, and performed by Davina
Courtesy of Loud Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The numbers racket
4 September 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"Hoodlum" is a film that deserved much better. Bill Duke, its talented director, gives us a picture of what the Harlem of the thirties was like. In fact, "Hoodlum" suffers when it's compared to Coppola's "The Cotton Club". Mr. Duke, an actor himself, was able to amass a great cast and he got performances that are amazing from this first rate ensemble.

The cast headed by the brilliant Laurence Fishburn is amazing. Mr. Fishburn is basically the whole reason for watching the film. His Bumpy Johnson is a larger than life figure in that era. Tim Roth also is quite amazing as Dutch Schultz, a white man who saw the hidden treasures of the black community of Harlem and tried to capitalize in that world. Andy Garcia plays Lucky Luciano, an Italian man who also was instrumental in the criminal activities one sees in the film.

Also in the cast, Vanessa Williams, Cicely Tyson, Loretta Devine, William Atherton, Queen Latifah, and the rest, respond well to Mr. Duke's command.

The film is entertaining and will not disappoint fans of the genre, or of Mr. Duke.


16 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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