New Jack City (1991)
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Let’s go back to 1991 for a dark, gritty movie about the drug trade and those who exploit it.
New Jack City featured a dark look at the drug wars that, still to this day go on because people for reason feel the need to do them.
What a cast, what writing, what a soundtrack!
Mario Van Peebles’ debut as a director definitely did his father proud. (Melvin Van Peebles directed the 1971 movie Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss and more). Working with such gifted artists including Wesley Snipes, Allen Payne, Ice-T, Chris Rock and more, you’d have to be blind to not know what a classic this was going to become. Extraordinary performances directed flawlessly throughout the movie.
The film is based upon an original story and screenplay written by Thomas Lee Wright. Wright had previously written a draft of The Godfather Part III. He later wrote, directed and produced Eight Tray Gangster: The Making of a Crip, a documentary of gang life in South Central Los Angeles.
New Jack City’s screenplay was co-written by Barry Michael Cooper, formerly an investigative reporter with the Village Voice. He also wrote the screenplays for the Above the Rim (1994) and Sugar Hill (1994).
Cooper’s rewrite was adapted from his December 1987 The Village Voice cover story entitled “Kids Killing Kids: New Jack City Eats Its Young,” about the drug war in Detroit.
The account referred to the 20th anniversary of the 1967 riots in Detroit, and in its wake, the rise of crack cocaine gangs in the late 1980s, such as Young Boys Inc., and the Chambers Brothers.
With a multi-platinum soundtrack that included hits from Color Me Badd (I Wanna Sex U Up) and more, the indie produced movie was filmed in NYC in 1990, the movie had a budget of 8 million dollars and brought in almost 50 million dollars. It was the highest grossing indie film of the year.
Source: Sal Amato