Hoodlum (1997)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  27 August 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 7,880 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 55 user | 39 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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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
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Did You Know?


The film was written by Chris Brancato, who also wrote a few episodes on the TV show Hannibal (2013), which also stars Laurence Fishburne. See more »


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 »


Bumpy Johnson: You've been warned. Get ready for your final thrill. It's curtains, Dutch. The jig is up.
Dutch Schultz: You're a dead fuckin' nigger!
See more »


References Bambi (1942) See more »


It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
Written by Duke Ellington and Irving Mills
Performed by Laurnea Wilkerson
Laurnea Wilkerson appears courtesy of Yab Yum Entertainment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Maltin-style review
24 February 2001 | by (Southern California) – See all my reviews

Riveting film about gang wars and race relations in 1930s New York, with Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson (Laurence Fishburne) at the center. Engaging characters and situations make this overlong movie watchable; but Andy Garcia doesn't channel Luciano as well as he should, and Tim Roth turns Dutch Schultz into such a blatant stock villain that one wonders what the real Arthur Fleggenheimer was like. Otherwise, excellent performances all around - and Paul Benjamin steals several scenes as a creepy assassin who talks as if he eats tobacco leaves for breakfast. Emotional and powerful.

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

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