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Hoodlum (1997)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  27 August 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 7,793 users   Metascore: 50/100
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Black gangsters in 1930 Harlem fights Dutch Schultz who is trying to horn in on their numbers racket.



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


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) »


Power is measured in enemies. See more »


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:





Release Date:

27 August 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Gangster  »

Box Office


$30,000,000 (estimated)


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

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's portrayal of Tom Dewey, as a corrupt sleazebag who regularly took bribes from gangsters, was widely criticized by those who knew Thomas E. Dewey. The real Dewey was known to be the most honest and incorruptible member of the establishment, during his stints as District Attorney and then New York Governor. It was this good reputation that got him within a hair's breadth of being elected United States President in 1948. See more »


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 »


Dutch Schultz: What's 235
Bub Hewlett: It means death
See more »


Referenced in Dirty Work (1998) See more »


Amazing Grace
Traditional Gospel
Arranged by Fred Nelson & Jeffrey Morrow
Performed by The Church Choir
Solos by Vernon Oliver Price and Louis Price
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

If you like Ol'G thirties style in color...Hoodlum is it!
11 August 2003 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

Hoodlum.....what can I say, if you had cool Grandparents that grew up in Harlem in the 1930's who liked to party, dress and play numbers then maybe you'd of heard some of the stories about the going ons in Harlem U.S.A. during that period. Numbers were literally the Black mans lottery back then and communication between runner and player no matter how small the amount played was the lug that connected dreams with hope for the little guy; Hoodlum is a story about the preservation of those hopes and dreams by a one Bumpy Johnson. The music, wardrobe and cinematography is superb, I highly recommend this tale of Harlem history.


13 of 17 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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