August 27, 1997
Genre(s): Drama, Crime
Hoodlum is a biographical depiction of infamous Harlem gangster Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson’s rise to power. Upon his release from prison in the 1930s, Johnson sees financial potential in a gambling operation referred to as “numbers” by residents of Harlem, New York. For many of the participants, winning numbers are regarded as much needed paychecks, which makes the business extremely lucrative. Seizing the opportunity, Johnson ingratiates himself to Stephanie “Madam Queen” St. Clair, the head of the inner-city lottery, and draws the ire of enemies on both sides of the law. His most formidable enemy proves to be notorious mobster Dutch Schultz, who uses brute force and law enforcement connections to intimidate anyone who tries to keep him from taking over St. Clair’s business.