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.
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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?
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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
In Lucky Luciano's introductory scene, in which he pulls up to Dutch Schultz's office in a limo, he gets out of the car and passes a pet Chihuahua dog to one of his men saying "Take Bambi for a walk." In real life, Luciano did own a dog called Bambi. However, he bought the dog in Sicily after he'd been deported from the United States in 1946. Luciano had named the dog after the Disney movie character in 1942's "Bambi". Yet in this movie, he is seen with the dog in the 1934-1935 time period, before the release of that movie and before he actually bought the dog. See more »
Bumpy Johnson was released from prison in 1932, but in the scenes immediately after his release there are posters for the Joe Louis vs Primo Carnera fight which did not take place until 1935. 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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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.
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