6.3/10
9,498
57 user 45 critic

Hoodlum (1997)

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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ON DISC
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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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

Four actors who had uncredited parts in this film: Andy-John who played Driver #4, Leon 'Lee' Fuller who played Vagrant, Joseph Luis Caballero who played Hector and Dominic Paolo Testa who played Prostitute Patron, co-starred again in uncredited parts the same year in another film, Home Alone 3 (1997). Andy-John as 'Police Officer #1', Fuller as a 'Banker', Caballero as a 'Security Guard' and Testa as a 'Airline Passenger'. See more »

Goofs

The character of Thomas E. Dewey is portrayed very inaccurately: see trivia. 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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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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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The numbers racket
4 September 2005 | by jotix100See all my reviews

"Hoodlum" is a film that deserved much better. Bill Duke, its talented director, gives us a picture of what the Harlem of the thirties was like. In fact, "Hoodlum" suffers when it's compared to Coppola's "The Cotton Club". Mr. Duke, an actor himself, was able to amass a great cast and he got performances that are amazing from this first rate ensemble.

The cast headed by the brilliant Laurence Fishburn is amazing. Mr. Fishburn is basically the whole reason for watching the film. His Bumpy Johnson is a larger than life figure in that era. Tim Roth also is quite amazing as Dutch Schultz, a white man who saw the hidden treasures of the black community of Harlem and tried to capitalize in that world. Andy Garcia plays Lucky Luciano, an Italian man who also was instrumental in the criminal activities one sees in the film.

Also in the cast, Vanessa Williams, Cicely Tyson, Loretta Devine, William Atherton, Queen Latifah, and the rest, respond well to Mr. Duke's command.

The film is entertaining and will not disappoint fans of the genre, or of Mr. Duke.


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