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Mr. Untouchable (2007)

The true-life story of a Harlem's notorious Nicky Barnes, a junkie turned multimillionaire drug-lord, MR. UNTOUCHABLE takes its audience deep inside the heroin industry of the 1970s. The ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Leroy 'Nicky' Barnes ...
Himself
Don Ferrarone ...
Himself (as Donald Ferrarone)
Thelma Grant ...
Herself
Carol Hawkins-Williams ...
Herself
Joseph Jazz Hayden ...
Himself
Leon Scrap Batts ...
Himself
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Storyline

The true-life story of a Harlem's notorious Nicky Barnes, a junkie turned multimillionaire drug-lord, MR. UNTOUCHABLE takes its audience deep inside the heroin industry of the 1970s. The most powerful black drug kingpin in New York City history, Barnes came from humble beginnings to make himself and his comrades rich beyond their wildest dreams, ultimately reaching national infamy in 1977 when the New York Times put him on the front cover of their magazine with the headline "Mr. Untouchable". Soon after, it all came crumbling down, and facing a life sentence without parole, Barnes started naming names. With the first hand testimony from "the black Godfather" himself, this documentary tells an epic story of business, excess, greed and revenge. Written by Magnolia Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Godfather or Snitch

Genres:

Documentary | Crime

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

26 October 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Untouchable - Der Drogenpate der Bronx  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$48,280 (USA) (26 October 2007)

Gross:

$103,590 (USA) (16 November 2007)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Leroy 'Nicky' Barnes: When a user comes on the street to buy, they don't say "who's the meanest mother... at here". They say "who's got the best powder?". Nicky Barnes got the best powder.
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Connections

Referenced in Goodbye Solo (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Movie Review: Mr. Untouchable
19 October 2007 | by (www.GoneWithTheTwins.com) – See all my reviews

There's a moment in Marc Levin's ferocious new documentary, Mr Untouchable, when your heart just breaks. Moments after winning game seven of the World Series, a news reporter asked a young African American boy if his hero was the series' MVP, Reggie Jackson. The child responded, no it was Nicky Barnes.

Nicky Barnes, who the New York Times nicknamed "Mr Untouchable" in 1977, was New York's most successful heroine kingpin. Levin's documentary chronicles the lavish life of the millionaire, covering his battle against addiction, his rise to power and his ultimate downfall.

Filled with love, lust, power and revenge, Barnes story is an epic tale and Levin cuts right to the heart of this monstrous drug lord's true life narrative with a sense of style and pizazz fitting of the supercilious gangster. With a fantastic soundtrack and powerful imagery, Levin makes what could have been a bad episode of cops a fully cinematic experience.

Of course it helps to get a hold of the man himself, Nicky Barnes, now under a different alias living under the witness protection program. While all of Barnes cohorts tell fascinating tales about the kingpin, there is something extraordinary about seeing the first photographed imagery of Barnes since his release from prison.

Even today, a reformed man, his gigantic ego still overshadows his personality. It is easy to see how Barnes became such a success, his personality is overwhelmingly charming, despite his cut throat reputation and holier than thou attitude.

The documentary is incredibly well structured. Early in the film Levin lets you become attached to Nicky Barnes the person. As he makes his turn from junkie to kingpin, you can't help but feel caught up in his success, no matter how dastardly his deeds were. Not only was Barnes the coolest cat in Harlem, he also did good will for the community he was destroying. While he was filling the streets with junkies, he was also handing out turkeys to the poor during Thanksgiving. Hypocritical? Maybe, but it is cinematically effective.

Once you're attached to Nicky Barnes, Levin quickly destroys him, showing the dark side of the drug lord and taking away his glitz and glamor piece by piece, until there is literally nothing left of the man that used to be untouchable. Mr. Untouchable is thorough and informative, yet Levin manages to transcend the confines of the genre crafting a documentary that is extremely potent and undeniably entertaining too.

-Joe Russo


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