The story of a group of friends in turn of the century New York, from their early days as street hoods to their rise in the world of organized crime. As their crime empire expands, they ... 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
Among many 1930s cultural references sprinkled in the film, one occurs during the scene when Lucky and Dutch are discussing business in a car. At the end of the ride Dutch says: "I'm going to the library. I'm going to take out that book "How to #*%& friends and irritate people." Here he is making a reference to the popular self-help book by Dale Carnegie "How to Win Friends and Influence People." Published in 1936 and an instant best-seller, the book would have been discussed widely in social circles during the time of the film, hence why Lucky smirked when he heard the joke. See more »
While attention to detail of historic United States paper money is present to a point, the piles of money that Luciano (Garcia) looks at near the beginning of the film are all at the very earliest printed in 1935, most printed in the early to mid 40's as evident by the signatures and designs. This is well after these scenes are supposed to take place. See more »
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.
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.
Well, you do realize that such a coarse...
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