6.2/10
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60 user 43 critic

Hoodlum (1997)

R | | Crime, Drama | 27 August 1997 (USA)
Black gangsters in 1930 Harlem fights Dutch Schultz who is trying to horn in on their numbers racket.

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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:

Power is measured in enemies. 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

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

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

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Dutch makes a joke about Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People" (1936) when the film is set in 1934-5. See more »

Quotes

Francine Hughes: I have one question. Why you gotta involve yourself in numbers?
Bumpy Johnson: I mean, what would you have me do? Shine shoes? Carry shoes down at Grand Central? I'm a colored man, and white folks ain't left me nothing out here but the underworld.
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Connections

References King Kong (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

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