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Clockers

( 2 )

Overview

Based on Richard Price's grim best-seller, and directed by Spike Lee from a screenplay co-written with Price, Clockers takes the structure of a police procedural to build a chilling portrait of despair, hope, and the unanswered problem of black-on-black crime in an urban housing project. The film's haunting themes are vividly visualized during the opening credits, which run over police photos of dead young black men, shot and sprawled on sidewalks, in streets, and hanging over fences. Strike (Mekhi Phifer) is a ...
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Overview

Based on Richard Price's grim best-seller, and directed by Spike Lee from a screenplay co-written with Price, Clockers takes the structure of a police procedural to build a chilling portrait of despair, hope, and the unanswered problem of black-on-black crime in an urban housing project. The film's haunting themes are vividly visualized during the opening credits, which run over police photos of dead young black men, shot and sprawled on sidewalks, in streets, and hanging over fences. Strike (Mekhi Phifer) is a 19-year-old African-American "clocker" -- the lowest link on the drug dealing chain -- who hangs around park benches and street corners selling small amounts of druges at all hours of the day. Strike drinks chocolate milk to soothe an ulcer and plays with model trains in his apartment, dreaming of a way out of his dead-end life. Drug kingpin Rodney (Delroy Lindo) asks Strike to kill another clocker, Darryl, for skimming money, saying that this will be Strike's ticket to a higher post in Rodney's organization. Darryl is indeed shot, and suspicion immediately falls on Strike, but a weary cop named Rocco Klein (Harvey Keitel) thinks there's more to the case.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; Production notes; Cast & filmmakers' bios; Theatrical trailer; Web links
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Spike Lee's film adaptation of Richard Price's epic novel on the effects of the crack trade has flashes of the director's characteristic brilliance, but, in its lack of focus and overall familiarity, it falls well short of his best work. A project assumed by Lee after the departure of Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro, its relentless deglamorization of the drug trade suggests that the director was attempting his own Goodfellas (1990). But despite Price's highly tuned ear for the bluster, the edgy evasiveness, and the suicidal delusions of these "clockers," the film often feels like a banal reworking of TV-cop show material, or more accurately, the Warners' socially conscious crime melodramas of the '30s. To his credit, Lee has completely stripped the dealers of the charisma Bogart and Cagney lent to the gangsters in those films, revealing them to be venal, petty, and foolish pawns in a game they must eventually lose. But like Harvey Keitel's enlightened detective, Lee has a measure of compassion for his protagonist Strike (Mekhi Phifer), revealing just how difficult it is for him to extricate himself from a life he begins dimly to grasp as a mistake. It's unfortunate that the dynamics of his relationships with the cops and with the solid citizens struggling for respectability are, at this point, so shopworn. Still, there moments of prime Lee, such as the hallucinatory flashback of Rodney's (Delroy Lindo) first murder, and the editing of the sequence in which Strike describes the virtues of the crack trade to his young protégé. Keitel and Lindo stand out in a cast that is almost uniformly superb, and Terence Blanchard's original, minimalist score is among the film's pleasures.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/5/1999
  • UPC: 025192001628
  • Original Release: 1995
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English, Français
  • Time: 2:09:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 32,475

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Harvey Keitel Rocco Klein
John Turturro Larry Mazilli
Delroy Lindo Rodney Little
Mekhi Phifer Strike
Isaiah Washington Victor
Keith David Andre the Giant
Pee Wee Love Tyrone
Regina Taylor Iris Jeeter
Thomas Jefferson Byrd Errol Barnes
E.O. Nolasco Horace
Hassan Johnson Skills
Frances Foster Gloria
Michael Imperioli Jo-Jo
Lisa Anderson Sharon
Paul Calderon Jesus at Hambones
Brendan Kelly Big Chief
Mike Starr Thumper
Graham Brown Mr Herman Brown
Steve White Darryl Adams
Spike Lee Chucky
Christopher Wynkoop Detective
Paul Schulze Detective
John Fletcher Al the Medic
J.C. MacKenzie Frank the Medic
Norman Matlock Reverend Paul
Leonard Thomas Onion the Bar Patron
Maurice Sneed Davis the Bartender
Ginny Yang Kiki
Michael Badalucco Cop
Rick Aiello Cop
Scot Anthony Robinson Earl
Ron Brice Dead Man Begging
Ken Garito Louie
Anthony Nocerino Teen
Michael Cullen Narc
Tim Kelleher Narc
L.B. Williams Bike Cop
Jeff Ward Bike Cop
Marc Webster EMS Technician
James Saxenmeyer EMS Attendant
Joanna Gardner Corrections Officer
Harry J. Lennix Bill Walker
Lawrence B. Adisa
Technical Credits
Spike Lee Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Terence Blanchard Score Composer, Songwriter
Ruth E. Carter Costumes/Costume Designer
Mike Ellis Asst. Director
Diane Hammond Makeup
Raymond Jones Songwriter
Jon Kilik Producer
Steve Kirshoff Special Effects
Skip Lievsay Set Decoration/Design
John Lyons Asst. Director
Ina Mayhew Art Director
Andrew McAlpine Production Designer
Sam Pollard Editor
Richard Price Co-producer, Screenwriter
Robi Reed-Humes Casting
Monty Ross Producer
Malik Hassan Sayeed Cinematographer
Martin Scorsese Producer
Rosalie Swedlin Executive Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Main Titles
2. Clockers
3. Another Stain
4. Andre the Giant
5. Strike and Shorty
6. The Prime Suspect
7. The Wrong Brother
8. Hom-o-cide
9. Knocko Night
10. The Buffer
11. Iris's Anger
12. 187 on the Strength
13. In a Jam
14. Grown-up Stuff
15. Done With It
16. Rodney's Revenge
17. The Final Call
18. End Titles
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Chapter List
   Bonus Materials
      Production Notes
      Cast and Filmmakers
         Harvey Keitel as Rocco Klein
         John Turturro as Larry Mazilli
         Delroy Lindo as Rodney
         Mekhi Phifer as Strike
         Isaiah Washington as Victor
         Keith David as Andre the Giant
         Pee Wee Love as Tyrone
         Directed by Spike Lee
      Theatrical Trailer
      Universal Web Links
   Language Selection
      Spoken Language
         English
         Français
      Captions and Subtitles
         Captioned for the Hearing Impaired: English
         Subtitles: Español
         Subtitles: None
   Play
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Amazingly Poignant

    This is a disturbing piece of work from beginning to end, in a realistic portrayal of the "Clockers" lifestyle. Clockers, of course, are the lowest level of drug dealers, particularly those involved in the crack trade. Unlike some pieces of art, there is no glamorization of the drug trade. It shows the terrible violence, exploitation, and deadly nature of drugs, those on the street level. Mekhi Pheifer was excellent.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews