From start to finish, it's a story of friendship between 4 street-wise males who don't mind using violence to achieve the lives that they want. They trust no one but each other which is vital to their success as mobsters.
A black uniformed policeman is recruited by a devious drug enforcement agent to infiltrate a smuggling organization seeking to expand into designer drugs. This 'ugly side of the war on ... See full summary »
Dostoevsky-inspired drama set in 1900s Prague about a bored arrogant playboy who spends time seducing other men's wives and dueling. He begins an affair with his friend's wife, but falls in love with her. She becomes pregnant. Is it his?
This is the telling of the life of organized crime boss, Meyer Lansky, as remembered by him as a very old man who is moving about the world looking for some country that will take him in ... See full summary »
A beautiful black gangster's moll flees to Harlem with a trunkload of gold after a shootout, unaware that the rest of the gang, and a few other unsavoury characters, are on her trail. A ... See full summary »
While in prison, Jack had two momentous experiences: he got religion, and met the woman who would become his wife. He and Alison are devoted to the idea of staying in God's good graces, so ... See full summary »
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
An old friend of the real Lucky Luciano allowed Andy Garcia to wear Lucky's pinkie ring for one scene. You can see it when Lucky gives Thomas Dewey the bribe money at the whorehouse. (when the prostitute takes the cigar out of Lucky's hand). See more »
The big gunfight where Madame Queen is nearly killed was not filmed in Harlem, but on S. LaSalle St. in Chicago. Several other shots are not Harlem. See more »
I remember the days when you could get a guy hit for 40 bucks.
We live in inflationary times
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"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.
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