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Menace II Society (1993)

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A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.

Directors:

Albert Hughes (as The Hughes Brothers), Allen Hughes (as The Hughes Brothers)

Writers:

Allen Hughes (story), Albert Hughes (story) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
4,293 ( 57)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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"Don't Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking your Juice in the Hood" is a parody of several U.S. films about being in the 'Hood', for instance "Boyz n the Hood", "South Central", "... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrin Turner ... Caine
Larenz Tate ... O-Dog
June Kyoto Lu ... Grocery Store Woman (as June Kyoko Lu)
Toshi Toda ... Grocery Store Man
Samuel L. Jackson ... Tat Lawson
Anthony Johnson ... Tony
Brandon Hammond ... Five Year Old Caine
Glenn Plummer ... Pernell
Reginald Ballard ... Clyde
Khandi Alexander ... Karen Lawson
Eugene Lee Eugene Lee ... Man #1
James Pickens Jr. ... Man #2 (as James Pickins Jr.)
Nancy Cheryll Davis Nancy Cheryll Davis ... Teacher (as Nancy Cheryl Davis)
Jullian Roy Doster Jullian Roy Doster ... Anthony
Jada Pinkett Smith ... Ronnie (as Jada Pinkett)
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Storyline

This urban nightmare chronicles several days in the life of Caine Lawson, following his high-school graduation, as he attempts to escape his violent existence in the projects of Watts, CA. Written by Daniel Bredy <gt3655a@prism.gatech.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the truth. This is what's real.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence, drug use and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Straßenkämpfer See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$27,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Line Cinema See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (FotoKem)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Picked by Entertainment Weekly Magazine as one of the "50 Greatest Independent Films" in a special supplement, devoted to independent films, that was only distributed to subscribers in November 1997. See more »

Goofs

When the cousin of the girl Caine impregnated gets into the car for the drive by, he is seen getting into an older model car which is clearly a convertible. When they arrive and start shooting they are riding in a hard top Pontiac. See more »

Quotes

Caine: Went into the store just to get a beer. Came out an accessory to murder and armed robbery. It's funny like that in the hood sometimes. You never knew what was gonna happen, or when. After that I knew it was gonna be a long summer.
See more »


Soundtracks

GOT TO GIVE IT UP
Written by Marvin Gaye
Performed by Marvin Gaye
Courtesy of Motown Record Company L.P.
By Arrangement with Polygram Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Great acting, choice of narration and directing.
4 October 2015 | by nicolechan916See all my reviews

The film starts off with the murders at a convenience story, and introduces the voice-over narration of the story. I find that this voice-over does wonders at making the audience sympathize with Caine's character. He was born into this society, and therefore is not to blame for his actions and choices. Though his character is not as unpredictably violent like O-Dog, and is somewhat mild. He doesn't carry a gun, and his demeanour isn't that menacing. The voice-over helps to gain some insight into his thoughts and is thus more humanized.

Tyrin Turner does a great job portraying his character. As a young boy on the edge of adulthood and just out of high school, Caine has no direction in life, and even has trouble answering whether he cares if he lives or dies. The many close-ups show his confusion at times and at others, his indifference to violence, implying his slow immersion into becoming like O-Dog. O-Dog is represented as a bit of a psychopath with no remorse or conscience for life. It takes little to set him off and Tate does a fantastic job of portraying this terrifying character.

This film is well made and the directing shows it. The Hughes Brothers perfectly place juxtapositions of scenes together for maximum impact. The flashback comes in the beginning and establishes Caine's back story while creating sympathy for him. The composition of shots too are done nicely, and complements the way the characters tend to travel in groups.

There is a lot of violence in this though, and it serves to show a realistic representation but can be very brutal. As mentioned before, it takes very little to upset O-Dog and turn him loose. The swearing is also very apparent and not one sentence goes by without them. Sometimes whole conversations go by with just cursing.

Overall a very powerful representation of ghetto society, where importance is on staying together and protecting one's own. Masculinity is also obviously a very big issue as they constantly try to assert themselves through aggression and cursing.

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