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The Hurricane (1999)

The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.



(book), (book) | 3 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lesra (as Vicellous Reon Shannon)
Lt. Jimmy Williams
Leon Friedman
Judge Sarokin
Alfred Bello
U.S. Court Prosecutor


This film tells the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, an African-American man who rose above his troubled youth to become a top contender for the middle-weight boxing title. However, his dreams are shattered when he is accused of a triple murder, and is convicted to three natural-life terms. Despite becoming a cause celebre and his dogged efforts to prove his innocence through his autobiography, the years of fruitless efforts have left him discouraged. This changes when an African-American boy and his Canadian mentors read his book and are convinced of his innocence enough to work for his exoneration. However, what Hurricane and his friends learn is that this fight puts them against a racist establishment that profited from this travesty and have no intention of seeing it reversed. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


His greatest fight was for justice. See more »


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

14 January 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Lazarus and the Hurricane  »

Box Office


$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$337,000 (USA) (2 January 2000)


$50,668,906 (USA) (16 April 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Wesley Snipes and Samuel L. Jackson vied for the lead role. See more »


When Larsa, Lisa and the two Canadian men get out of a cab in downtown New York to meet with Ruben's Lawyers, the cab shows the starting fare as $2.00, the fare in the 1980s was $1.10. See more »


[first lines]
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, this fine young fighter will be right here in Pittsburg on the boxing cog, this Monday night.
See more »


Featured in The 57th Annual Golden Globe Awards (2000) See more »


So Amazing
Written by Clark Anderson, Summer Anderson
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User Reviews

A complete fabrication of the truth
11 March 2006 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

The Hurricane as emotionally gripping as the "film" is, is an outright a lie and a complete fabrication of the real events and occurrences that took place on that fateful night in Patterson, New Jersey. First off, I believe it is the job of a responsible filmmaker and a storyteller to educate the public, not mislead them and purposely cover up the true facts and evidence as Norman Jewison has in his film. I too was caught up in the Rubin Carter hysteria upon seeing this film, in fact I loved this film, but I dug a little deeper and what I found was both shocking and disgraceful.

Dramatic license is one thing but to falsify and ignore so many details pertaining to this case is unforgivable and deceptive. Here are some true facts of the Rubin Carter case, which somehow didn't make the final cut of the film. (I wonder why) for those who are interested here are just some of the many facts.

  • Racist pig cop never existed. - Both Bello and Patty Valentine
identified Carters car less than an hour after the crime. - The Police did not stop Carter and Artis because they were black, as the film would have you believe. They were rounded up because their car matched the description of the killer's getaway car. At first, just 14 blocks from the murder scene the cops let them go. When the same two cops got a description of the getaway car, they immediately recognized it as Carters car and were in pursuit. - When police searched Carter's car shortly after the murders, they found a live shotgun shell and a live .32 caliber bullet rolling around inside. The live rounds are significant because they fit the murder weapons and were found long before the caliber of the handgun used in the crime was determined. - No conspiracy was needed to frame Carter. On the day of the murders Bello told a friend "Rubin Carter shot up the whole bar". Months later he voluntarily (and reluctantly) names Carter as one of the two killers in two police interviews. Three days after Bello talked Bradley was interviewed, confirming Bello's story while he was incarcerated in a reformatory 75 miles away. Bello names Carter again in a tape-recorded interview, falsely depicted in the film. In actual fact Bello had already talked and didn't know he was being taped while Bradley was nowhere near the place. - In jail awaiting his first trial, Rubin Carter writes to his main alibi witness and tells her the story "I want you to remember." He runs through the alibi story point by point. - Contrary to the film, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter failed a lie detector test just hours after the Lafayette Grill triple murder in 1966, according to the man who gave him the test, John J. McGuire, a former police polygraph examiner. McGuire said the results showed that Carter lied when he denied being involved in the crime. He refused to take a second test. Artis also failed his lie detector test. - On the 8/3/76 the Prosecutor told Carter, "Pass a lie test and go free". Carter refused. - There was never any attempt to falsify the time of the murders and no evidence to claim it. - Hurricane Carter and his co-accused, John Artis, have never been found "not guilty" of the Lafayette Grill Murders. They were twice convicted, and twice the convictions were set-aside on the grounds that they didn't get a fair trial. The State of New Jersey decided not to re-try them a third time because so much time had passed, and withdrew the indictments against them.

What a disgrace of a film. What an outright lie, I can't believe they got away with this propaganda.

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