7.6/10
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The Hurricane (1999)

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The story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.

Director:

Norman Jewison

Writers:

Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter (book), Sam Chaiton (book) | 3 more credits »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 7 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Denzel Washington ... Rubin Carter
Vicellous Shannon ... Lesra (as Vicellous Reon Shannon)
Deborah Kara Unger ... Lisa
Liev Schreiber ... Sam
John Hannah ... Terry
Dan Hedaya ... Della Pesca
Debbi Morgan ... Mae Thelma
Clancy Brown ... Lt. Jimmy Williams
David Paymer ... Myron Bedlock
Harris Yulin ... Leon Friedman
Rod Steiger ... Judge Sarokin
Badja Djola ... Mobutu
Vincent Pastore ... Alfred Bello
Al Waxman ... Warden
David Lansbury ... U.S. Court Prosecutor
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Storyline

This film tells the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, an African-American man who rose above his troubled youth to become a top contender for the middle-weight boxing title. However, his dreams are shattered when he is accused of a triple murder, and is convicted to three natural-life terms. Despite becoming a cause celebre and his dogged efforts to prove his innocence through his autobiography, the years of fruitless efforts have left him discouraged. This changes when an African-American boy and his Canadian mentors read his book and are convinced of his innocence enough to work for his exoneration. However, what Hurricane and his friends learn is that this fight puts them against a racist establishment that profited from this travesty and have no intention of seeing it reversed. Written by Kenneth Chisholm <kchishol@execulink.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

His greatest fight was for justice. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Universal Pictures

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Lazarus and the Hurricane See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$50,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$337,000, 2 January 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$50,668,906, 16 April 2000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$73,956,241
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

In the film credits, it states Lezra Martin practices law in Vancouver. In actuality, he practices law in Kamloops, British Columbia. See more »

Goofs

Although the scene takes place in New Jersey, just before the car crashes, it passes a Shoppers Drug Mart advertising sign: SDM is a chain of drug stores found only in Canada. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Announcer: Ladies and gentlemen, this fine young fighter will be right here in Pittsburg on the boxing cog, this Monday night.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Private Screenings: Norman Jewison (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Basement
Written by Billy Davis, Raynard Miner, Carl Smith
Performed by Etta James
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User Reviews

 
This Is Not A True Story Or An Accurate Bio-Pic
18 May 2005 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

The problem with this movie is summed up in the very first scene where Rubin " Hurricane " Carter fights Emile Griffith for the world welterweight championship in 1963 . You might be surprised when I point out that Carter never fought Griffith for a world championship in 1963 though he did fight for the middlewight championship a year later against champion Joey Giardello who beat him on points with plenty to spare . You might also be shocked to know that Carter was never in fact much more than an average fighter who was well past his prime when arrested for murder so why this movie is making out that Rubin Carter would have been a boxing great if it wasn't for being WRONGLY convicted of murder I have no idea . At the very best Carter was a very mediocre journeyman fighter at best . Robinson , Hagler , Ali or Hearns he was not

Oh yes he was WRONGLY convicted of murder and just to lay it on with a trowel a very early scene has the sadistic warder from THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION telling the wronged but noble Rubin to keep calm because he knows a cruel injustice has been done but there's nothing he can do to help . Meekly Rubin forgives his captor because that's who Rubin is - A noble forgiving paragon of humility , we're only three scenes into this movie and we're weeping tears for the guy , in fact you have to wonder why such a great guy was ever convicted of murder when he was a decorated war hero with a chest full of medals and we don't have to wait too long because it transpires that the cops are racist . We know they're racist because the arresting officer states " Your black ass is going down " , but that doesn't worry Rubin because he defiantly replies " I know I'm innocent " and he is , such a pity that the twelve jurors were all white and all racist and decided he was guilty simply because he was black . Thankfully justice is served though be it belatedly when a bunch of Canadians expose this terrible miscarriage of justice and Rubin is set free . Despite having his best years taken away from him Rubin bares no hatred towards the people who set him up . Compared to Rubin Carter Jesus Christ was a bitter and twisted man . It makes Washington's performance as Steve Biko in CRY FREEDOM look like an amateur performance in a school play . Or so we're led to believe

This film is a total disgrace . It doesn't play hard and fast with the facts because there's little in the way of facts . As I pointed out he was never a contender for a world title so forget all the boxing scenes that suggest he was . You can also forget all about the racist arresting officer investigating the murder case because he's a composite character that includes at least one black detective so racism wasn't at the heart of the case . Rubin Carter was dishonourably charged from the army and never had a distinguished military career , the jurors in the case included two blacks and he was found guilty by a unanimous decision so having " a black ass " wasn't a motive for finding him guilty , he was finally released on a technicality not because he was innocent and there's umpteen other revisionist aspects to the story . If you read the FACTS ( Something the producers of this movie clearly haven't done ) of the Carter case you might not think he's guilty but you'll instantly realise that this story is entirely fictional . It's Hollywood rewriting history in the worst possible way . Okay there's an opening disclaimer pointing out that some of the characters are composites and some scenes are dramatized but people with no prior knowledge of the facts won't realise just how disgraceful this film is at changing facts into something entirely different

I have awarded THE HURRICANE three out of ten and it would have got even less if it wasn't for the good performances and some technical achievements in editing and cinematography


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