Hoodlum

Hoodlum

4.3 3
Director: Bill Duke

Cast: Bill Duke, Laurence Fishburne, Tim Roth, Vanessa L. Williams

     
 

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Bill Duke's gangster film Hoodlum comes to DVD with a pair of transfers. The widescreen transfer preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is preferable in every way to the standard full-frame image. A closed-captioned English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1, and a French soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Surround.

Overview

Bill Duke's gangster film Hoodlum comes to DVD with a pair of transfers. The widescreen transfer preserves the original theatrical aspect ratio of 1.85:1 and is preferable in every way to the standard full-frame image. A closed-captioned English soundtrack is rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1, and a French soundtrack has been recorded in Dolby Digital Surround. English, French, and Spanish subtitles are accessible. Supplemental materials include the original theatrical trailer, production notes, and trivia. This is a solid release from MGM/UA with an appealing list price.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Josh Ralske
Bill Duke, after breaking Hollywood race barriers by directing Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit (the first sequel to a Hollywood blockbuster entrusted to an African-American director) returned to familiar ground with Hoodlum. Hoodlum, like Duke's entertaining adaptation of Chester Himes' A Rage in Harlem, takes place in the underworld of Harlem in the 1930s. But here, Duke is working on a much larger scale. The film is a moderately successful effort to make a film with the sweep and scope of the Godfather films, greatly aided by its able cast. It offers a powerfully assured performance from Laurence Fishburne as crime lord Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson. Tim Roth is hilariously over-the-top as psychopath Dutch Schultz, the Jewish gangster determined to muscle in on the Harlem numbers racket. His performance enlivens the film. He plays Schultz as pure id, totally unable to control his lust, greed, and anger. He cannot even eat an apple without it seeming like an obscene act. This stands in fascinating contrast to the coiled-snake calm of Andy Garcia's Lucky Luciano. Duke clearly knows his actors' strengths and brings out their best. One weak spot in the script is the characterization of Bumpy's love interest, Francine (Vanessa L. Williams), who somewhat unconvincingly becomes completely enraptured with Bumpy, discarding her own strong political views as a follower of Marcus Garvey. The film also received a good deal of negative press attention for its portrayal of the venerated prosecutor Thomas Dewey (William Atherton) as a corrupt opportunist. But for the most part, Hoodlum is a good solid film, offering strong performances, humor, and action, and a compelling metaphor of black empowerment and resistance to white co-optation of the culture.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/04/1998
UPC:
0027616699527
Original Release:
1997
Rating:
R
Source:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Full Frame, Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:10:00
Sales rank:
9,762

Special Features

Trivia and production notes; Original theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Laurence Fishburne Ellsworth (Bumpy) Johnson
Tim Roth Dutch Schultz
Vanessa Williams Francine Hughes
Andy García Lucky Luciano
Cicely Tyson (Queen) Stephanie St. Clair
Chi McBride Illinois Gordon
Clarence Williams Bub Hewlett
Richard Bradford Capt. Jerrod Foley
William Atherton Thomas Dewey
Loretta Devine Pigfoot Mary
Queen Latifah Sulie
Paul Benjamin Whispers
Mike Starr Albert Salke
Beau Starr Jules Salke
Joe Guzaldo Bo Weinberg
Ed O'Ross Lulu Rosenkrantz
J.W. Smith Calvin
Eddie Bo Smith Tee-Ninchy
John Toles-Bey Vallie

Technical Credits
Bill Duke Director,Executive Producer
Gary Baugh Art Director
Charles C. Bennett Production Designer
Elmer Bernstein Score Composer
Chris Brancato Co-producer,Screenwriter
Richard Bruno Costumes/Costume Designer
Kelsee Devoreaux Stunts
Paul Eckstein Co-producer
Curt Frisk Sound/Sound Designer
Mike Johnson Stunts
Harry Keramidas Editor
Laurence Fishburne Executive Producer
Amanda Mackey-Johnson Casting
Frank Mancuso Producer
Tyrone Mason Asst. Director
Otis Sallid Choreography
Cathy Sandrich Casting
Helen Sugland Executive Producer
Frank Tidy Cinematographer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Logo/Main Titles [:38]
2. Introduction [1:03]
3. Leaving Sing Sing [2:39]
4. A New Day In Harlem [2:31]
5. Lucky Visits Dutch [4:17]
6. A Final Meeting [1:26]
7. The Payoff [2:58]
8. The Queen [5:53]
9. Dutch And The Queen [2:51]
10. The Bamville Club [2:46]
11. Poetry In The Rain [3:50]
12. LaSalle St. Ambush [4:07]
13. Dewey's Warning [1:02]
14. Stealing From Dutch [1:41]
15. The Syndicate Table [10:59]
16. Dutch's Hitmen [7:13]
17. The Queen's Arrest [4:29]
18. War On The Streets [4:28]
19. The Traitor [5:43]
20. The Cotton Club [4:18]
21. Time Bomb [9:09]
22. Meeting Lucky [3:19]
23. Long Live The King [1:18]
24. Francine Leaves [9:40]
25. Illinois Captured [3:14]
26. Negotiating A Truce [3:00]
27. Death In The Family [9:22]
28. Lucky's Accountant [3:35]
29. Dutch's Hit [1:52]
30. "Never Go To Harlem" [:52]
31. Unfinished Business [3:30]
32. End Titles [6:06]
Side #2 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Logo/Main Titles [:38]
2. Introduction [1:03]
3. Leaving Sing Sing [2:39]
4. A New Day In Harlem [2:31]
5. Lucky Visits Dutch [4:17]
6. A Final Meeting [1:26]
7. The Payoff [2:58]
8. The Queen [5:53]
9. Dutch And The Queen [2:51]
10. The Bamville Club [2:46]
11. Poetry In The Rain [3:50]
12. LaSalle St. Ambush [4:07]
13. Dewey's Warning [1:02]
14. Stealing From Dutch [1:41]
15. The Syndicate Table [10:59]
16. Dutch's Hitmen [7:13]
17. The Queen's Arrest [4:29]
18. War On The Streets [4:28]
19. The Traitor [5:43]
20. The Cotton Club [4:18]
21. Time Bomb [9:09]
22. Meeting Lucky [3:19]
23. Long Live The King [1:18]
24. Francine Leaves [9:40]
25. Illinois Captured [3:14]
26. Negotiating A Truce [3:00]
27. Death In The Family [9:22]
28. Lucky's Accountant [3:35]
29. Dutch's Hit [1:52]
30. "Never Go To Harlem" [:52]
31. Unfinished Business [3:30]
32. End Titles [6:06]

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Hoodlum 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Based on Ellsworth "Bumpy" Jackson and Stephanie St. Clair, also known as the Queen of Harlem in her day because not even the Italians would bother her due to her intelligence and toughness. A film overly romanticized, it does show what Dutch Schultz was though: an idiotic, blabbering, stupid and gun-happy, vengeful gangster that didn't belong in the company of the ruthless and and very smart ranks of Big Bill Dwyer, Bumpy Jackson, Lucky Luciano, Owney Madden, and the king of them all, Carlo Gambino.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago