6.3/10
9,642
58 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

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7 nominations. See more awards »

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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:

They had it all. It cost them everything. 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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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, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$23,461,013, 9 November 1997
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was written by Chris Brancato, who also wrote a few episodes on the TV show Hannibal (2013), which also stars Laurence Fishburne. See more »

Goofs

The character of Thomas E. Dewey is portrayed very inaccurately: see trivia. See more »

Quotes

Dutch Schultz: I remember the days when you could get a guy hit for 40 bucks.
Mike Salke: We live in inflationary times
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Connections

Referenced in Dirty Work (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

So Good
Written, produced, and performed by Davina
Courtesy of Loud Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Predictable, but entertaining
24 May 2001 | by SamYotixSee all my reviews

How great this film could have been! It uses the real history of New York's Gangsters as a background and seems reasonably well researched. At times.

Personally, however, I have several gripes with this movie:

The irritatingly predictable script and much too clean-polished setting seem to come straight out of a "screenwriting-for-housewives" class.

The "messages" in the film (such as its anti-racist and pro-religious scenes) are horribly blatant. The romantic scenes and musical interludes are much too long and boring; the violent scenes too short and clean. Johnson is portrayed as a good gangster at first, which almost works out. His "internal struggle" theme doesn't work at all.

The supposedly elegant Gangster Luciano has to shlep a horrible dog around with him throughout the film. Bumpy Johnson's friend ist forced to do a horrible "funny negro singer" routine, offsetting the supposedly antiracist messages. And that Bumpy Johnson, at the end of the film, finds Gawd and turns away from the evil gangster life is a) predictable and b) idiotic.

"Hoodlum" could've been a great film. As it is, it's merely mediocre.


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