Synopsis: 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".
Genre: Crime, Drama
Director(s): Bill Duke
Production: 905 Corporation
  7 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
130 min

- Come in.

Johnson, you're different from

the other coloreds in here.

You read books, play chess, write poetry,

but I don't believe you

have any regret whatsoever

for taking a man's life.

A man who recognizes his mistakes

is ready to seek God's forgiveness.

- Yeah, I read the Bible, warden.

- And?

- It's a good book.

- Let the men pass, son.

No man knoweth the moment, nor the hour.

Good day to you, sir.

- I'll be damned, Bumpy Johnson.

They let your ass out, huh?

- How's business, brother?

- People out of work, they're

gonna play the numbers.

- Batter up!

This one's for you, Babe Ruth!

- You're gonna pay for that, Bub!

- Where's the slip?

Where's the slip?

- Call off your dogs, Bub!

- What did I tell you

about running numbers

out of this place?

- I was just trying to make a living,

just like you, motherf***er!

- You mess with Dutch Schultz,

you're messing with me!

You don't write

a goddamn thing

in Harlem!

Do you understand that now?

- Yes.

- It's a new day!

Dutch Schultz

writes policy

in Harlem!

- Keep the motor running, Cecil.

- Yes, sir.

- Very nice.


Take Bambi for a walk, I'll be right out.

Watch out for all the broken glass here.

Hey, Bobby, Mr. Luciano.

- Stand up for Mr. Luciano.

- Please, sit.

Sit down, please.

Things are progressing here rapidly.

You guys are doing okay.

- We make a mint.

- Well, well, Cecil.

How long's it been?

- Damn near since been

a year of days, brother.

- What the hell you doing chauffeuring?

- Paying the bills.

My old lady made me put down the gun.

- Regards to Helen.

- You got it.

- You won't have major trouble

with Madame Queen's people.


- Yeah, well, she's the last holdout.

She bends to the stick, Harlem's ours.

- Hello, Dutch.

- Well, well, Lucky,

you're slumming today.

- I thought I'd stop by, you know,

for your portion of the Dewey payment.

- Yeah, special f***ing prosecutor,

trying to put my ass in

jail for tax evasion,

I've still gotta make a f***ing payoff.

- You want to keep our

shirt collars clean,

you gotta have Dewey in our pocket.

- I ain't seen him touching

your f***ing business.

- That's because I show him respect.

You're so busy with your Harlem pennies,

you're forgetting the big picture, Dutch.

- Yeah, well,

n*gger pennies, white pennies,

they all add up to the same f***ing thing:

my f***ing dollars.

- Well, that's why I'm here.

Ante up.

- Get the cash.

When you give your friend Dewey

2,000 of my hard-earned dollars,

you tell him one thing:

if he don't back off,

I'll kill him myself.

- Here, Dutch.

- You got mustard on your suit.

- Yeah, well, I'm breaking

it in for a friend.

Answer me this:

why would that droopy-eyed, low life,

greaseball pimp come

all the way up to Harlem

when he could send a stooge?

- I don't know.

- It's rhetorical.

- Illinois, come on, baby,

take me some love of mine.

Come on, baby, put the number slips away.

- These number slips

is how I make my money.

Come on, you're confusing me, Pigfoot,

I'm three slips short,

you know how the Queen is,

she already don't like

me, would you just let

a man accomplish his

business, please, jelly roll?

- I'm your business now,

you need to accomplish this.

- Pigfoot,

what time do I have to turn in my slips?

- One o'clock.

- And what time do the

people check the late edition

of the papers so they

can get the day's numbers

off them stock exchange totals?

- And why are you talking to

me like I'm a goddamn idiot?

I know how to play the numbers,

you need to be playing this.

- Is that your husband?

- How do I know?

I don't know nothing

about that two-timing,

baby-face, gray cad.

Don't shoot him, don't shoot him!

- Don't shoot him?

If you don't get your ass in that closet--

- All right, just give me a minute, sh*t.


- Bumpy Johnson.

What's buzzin', cousin?

Don't you put your hand out there for me.

Come over and hug, my nigga.

Oh, look at you, oh, my goodness.

- It's been a long time, huh?

- Oh, man, come here, man.

- Good to see you.

- Oh, Mary, Mary, come on out here.

You remember my cousin, Bumpy.

- Hey, Miss Mary.

- Oh, Bumpy Johnson.

Oh, boy, you're a sight for sore eyes.

- Good to see you.

I, uh, didn't interrupt anything, did I?

- Baby, you and me gonna have

to lay dead for a little while

because I got to tend

to my man's well-being.

- Dead?

Oh, you putting me out?

- No, not yet, no, no--

- It's going to be a long time

before you get your ham bone boiled again,

and you stay from up in

my face, you hear me?

- Good to see you, Pigfoot.

- You think you're sharp

just 'cause your damn head

is pointed, what you

doing, knocking on my door

like you the damn police or worse?

Don't be ignorant your whole life.

Oh, Bumpy Johnson.

- Illinois Gordon, how's business?

- Dutch Schultz is at it again.

You know, he been gatting

folks all over town?

Don't respect nothing, he's

messing with the Queen.

- The Queen?

Queen don't bow to no man.

- She ain't bowed yet, but,

well, we can talk about that another time.

- I see you still kiting around

with the large size ladies.

- Now, hold on there, my

cousin, like I always tell you,

it ain't nothing like the loving you get

from a big woman.

- Same old bear.

- He thinks I'm just going to roll over.

- Take it easy, Henry,

Dutch just want to talk.

- Seems like everybody in Harlem

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Chris Brancato

Chris Brancato (born July 24, 1962) is a Hollywood writer and producer of several films and television programs. Brancato grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey and graduated from Teaneck High School. He subsequently attended and graduated from Brown University. Brancato wrote or was story editor for several episodes of the 1992 season of Beverly Hills, 90210. He co-wrote the X-Files episode Eve, which first aired on December 10, 1993. Brancato created and wrote Sci Fi Channel's First Wave, which aired from 1998–2001. Brancato also co-wrote the 1998 film Species II.Brancato wrote the 1997 film Hoodlum set in crime-ridden 1930s New York City. Brancato was executive producer of the 2002 film Stealing Harvard. Brancato was also a writer/producer for the critically acclaimed 2002–2003 television series Boomtown. Brancato wrote two episodes during season 12 of the long-running NBC legal drama, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, titled "Branded" and "Spectacle". Brancato moved on to be executive producer/show runner/head writer for the tenth season of the USA Network police-procedural Law & Order: Criminal Intent, a show that is related to Law & Order: SVU. Brancato did a police-procedural pilot for NBC titled Blue Tilt, where he was creator/executive producer with Vincent D'Onofrio (Law & Order: Criminal Intent) and Ethan Hawke, who were also set to star in the project as well. On May 11, 2012; NBC decided not to bring it, and other pilots, to series. He created the Netflix series Narcos with Carlo Bernard and Doug Miro. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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