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Hoodlum
(1997)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Conducted by:

Co-Orchestrated and Produced by:
Emilie A. Bernstein

Co-Orchestrated by:
Patrick Russ

Ondes Martenot Solos by:
Cynthia Millar
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
RCA Victor
(August 26th, 1997)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release. A song album was also released.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE




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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you're interested in a flamboyant, spirited, and diverse score that serves as Elmer Benstein's last great action and romance work.

Avoid it... if you prefer the tender sensibilities of Bernstein's low-key dramatic scores typical to the 1990's for the composer.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #882
WRITTEN 9/9/97, REVISED 12/16/06
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Bernstein
Bernstein
Hoodlum: (Elmer Bernstein) Several films have tackled Depression-era Harlem and its association at the time with lotteries and organized crime. Fans of Francis Ford Coppola's The Cotton Club from 1984 will recognize the basic plot elements of Bill Duke's Hoodlum from 1997, though the latter film views the demographics of the area from the perspective of its biggest players. The few wealthy blacks in 30's Harlem operated the "numbers," and, for the most part, the organized Sicilian mob that ran much of the rest of the city stayed out of that mix. But when Lucky Luciano and his henchmen begin to make a move on Harlem, they run into Laurence Fishburne's Bumpy Johnson character and a battle of guns and wits ensues. The film received a positive critical response across the board, with some claiming the film to be the best representation of the era since The Untouchables in the late 80's. Audiences never warmed to it, however, and among stiff competition in the late 1997 box office, Hoodlum soon disappeared. While composer Elmer Bernstein was still working regularly in 1997, his output was becoming more mundane. With almost all of his late scores rooted in the more intimate dramatic genre, it's important to recognize Hoodlum as his last large and boisterous effort. At a time when both Bernstein and John Barry were becoming all-too-predictable, Hoodlum was a remarkable surprise, standing as one of the more diverse success stories of the year in general film music. Bernstein's approach to Hoodlum is exactly as you would expect it to be. He uses his slight, retrograde dramatic sensibilities to infuse the film with a significant dose of sentimental, longing romance (a necessity for any good mobster film). Also present is the normal pinch of jazzy swing to the score's instrumentation and rhythm. But perhaps most notable is the healthy portion of rambunctious action material from Bernstein, something very rare for the composer at the time. The overarching tone of the score is stylish and entertaining, and will serve the interests of both longtime Bernstein collectors and listeners of the digital age searching for more diversity from the composer.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
647 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.94 Stars
***** 328 5 Stars
**** 120 4 Stars
*** 85 3 Stars
** 62 2 Stars
* 52 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 53:36
• 1. Prologue (5:12)
• 2. Bumpy and the Queen (4:13)
• 3. Bub and Company (2:08)
• 4. The Present (3:27)
• 5. Francine (3:11)
• 6. Death and the Opera (3:26)
• 7. Mourning (5:18)
• 8. Revenge (4:52)
• 9. From the Womb to the Tomb (5:15)
• 10. Dangerous Mission (4:57)
• 11. The Aftermath (4:06)
• 12. Goodbyes (4:31)
• 13. Amazing Grace (2:42)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes only a very short note from director Bill Duke about the score.
Copyright © 1997-2017, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Hoodlum are Copyright © 1997, RCA Victor and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 9/9/97 and last updated 12/16/06.
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