6.3/10
10,713
60 user 45 critic

Hoodlum (1997)

R | | Crime, Drama | 27 August 1997 (USA)
Black gangsters in 1930 Harlem fights Dutch Schultz who is trying to horn in on their numbers racket.

Director:

Bill Duke

Writer:

Chris Brancato
7 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Laurence Fishburne ... Bumpy Johnson
Tim Roth ... Dutch Schultz
Vanessa Williams ... Francine Hughes
Andy Garcia ... Lucky Luciano
Cicely Tyson ... Stephanie St. Clair
Chi McBride ... Illinois Gordon
Clarence Williams III ... Bub Hewlett
Richard Bradford ... Captain Foley
William Atherton ... Thomas Dewey
Loretta Devine ... Pigfoot Mary
Queen Latifah ... Sulie
Mike Starr ... Albert Salke
Beau Starr ... Jules Salke
Paul Benjamin ... Whispers
Joe Guzaldo Joe Guzaldo ... Bo Weinberg
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Power is measured in enemies. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic ganster violence, strong language, a scene of sexuality and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In Luciano's close ups, his right eye is not open as much as the left. On many historical pictures of the real Lucky Luciano his right eye is partially closed as well. This was due to a knife injury during a 1929 abduction by unknown assailants that damaged muscles in his right cheek that prevented his eye from working properly. See more »

Goofs

Midway through the film, shortly before a series of newspaper headline shots with large 1935 dates are shown, there is an overhead street scene shot with a series of cars parked at the curb. One is a 1939 black Buick which would not have been available for viewing for at least another few years. See more »

Quotes

Johnny 'Figures' DiPalmero: [referring to a board] The dividing line could conceivably be the 135th Street, running east to west, Lennox Ave running north to south. Mr Schultz would take one territory and Mr Johnson, the other.
Bumpy Johnson: I can't accept any proposals that allows Mr Schultz to continue to operate freely in Harlem. As I've said before I have no quarrel with any of you gentlemen. But if Mr Schultz insists on coming uptown, I have no choice but to make my presence felt... Downtown.
Lucky Luciano: Well, you do realize that such a course ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Dirty Work (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Steal Away
Traditional Gospel
Arranged by Fred Nelson & Jeffrey Morrow
Performed by The Church Choir
Solos by Vernon Oliver Price and Louis Price
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User Reviews

Ghetto Lotto
14 October 2003 | by vincepettijohnSee all my reviews

The 1997 movie `Hoodlum' takes place during the depression. A black man named Ellsworth `Bumpy' Johnson (Lawrence Fishburne) was released from prison and went back to Harlem. Then he joins his cousin, Illinois Gordon, and gets back into an illegal lottery racket ran by Madame Queen. They call the game `numbers.' They say that numbers is the only business in Harlem which provides them with work. A white man from uptown named Dutch Shultz (Tim Roth) is also trying to run the numbers downtown in Harlem, and there ends up being a battle between Shultz and the Queen. Madame goes to jail and leaves Bumpy in charge. Bumpy meets a fine woman, Francine (Vanessa Williams), who sees good in him and wants him to stop messing around with `numbers.' But she stays by his side while things get chaotic. Will he realize what he should do in time or will he lose everything?

The director Bill Duke has a message in this movie. It says when people are left limited options, they are going to find a way to get by. In one scene, Bumpy is telling Illinois because of the depression there isn't very many jobs and white men didn't leave them any jobs, so they had no options for making money other than through the numbers racket.

This movie had fast paced action. I liked the part where Dutch Shultz wants Madame Queen's organization out of the numbers racket in Harlem, so he can make all the money from it. Bumpy, who works for Madame Queen, comes up with a plan for eliminating the problem of Dutch, by getting Lucky Luciano (Andy Garcia), another gangster, and Dutch in a fight. This movie is a `classic gangster movie.'


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 August 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Gangster See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,162,768, 1 September 1997

Gross USA:

$23,499,102

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$23,499,102
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

United Artists See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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