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The Hurricane (1999)

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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 »
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
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 USA:

$337,000, 2 January 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$50,668,906, 16 April 2000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Director Norman Jewison showed the film uncompleted at the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival, without credits or proper color. He had been working on the movie the night before it was shown, and submitted it to the festival with the film still splinted together in hundreds of pieces. Before showing the movie he said to the eager audience, "I'm so nervous that the splints may fall apart." See more »


After the shootings in the bar are shown the first time, the exterior shot shows the traffic light at Madison Ave. In the later flashback, there is no traffic light. 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.
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Referenced in Jeopardy!: Episode #30.191 (2014) See more »


The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Written & Performed by Gil Scott-Heron
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User Reviews

An incredible film, with superb acting
26 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

Denzel Washington is so convincing as Rubin Carter that one forgets that he is, indeed, an actor playing a role. From the beginning to the end, Denzel is perfect. The film made me think about how poverty and prejudice can ruin a person's life when misfortune, such as being in the wrong place at the wrong time, visits. I didn't think that I could possibly like a movie that I already knew so much about. With boxing in it, yet! But when Denzel received the Golden Globe Award, I felt I had to see it. What a moving experience! Anyone who enjoys superb acting and a story with a rewarding, emotional ending should not miss this film.

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