Sugar Hill (1994 film)

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Sugar Hill
Sugar hill 1994 movie poster.jpg
The movie poster for Sugar Hill.
Directed by Leon Ichaso
Produced by Marc Abraham
Greg Brown
Rudy Langlais
Steven R. McGlothen
Written by Barry Michael Cooper
Starring Wesley Snipes
Michael Wright
Theresa Randle
Clarence Williams III
Abe Vigoda
Ernie Hudson
Music by Terence Blanchard
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release dates
February 25, 1994
Running time
123 min.
Language English
Budget $10 million (est)[1]
Box office $18,272,447[1]

Sugar Hill is a 1994 American crime film starring Wesley Snipes and Michael Wright as brothers Roemello and Raynathan Skuggs. The film focuses on the two brothers, who are major drug dealers in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City.


Through the course of the film, several flashbacks are shown involving the Skuggs brothers, including (in the beginning of the film) the drug-overdose death of their mother Ella (Khandi Alexander), the non-fatal shooting of their drug-addicted musician father, Arthur Romello "A.R." Skuggs (Clarence Williams III) (ultimately at the hands of the man they would later work for—Gus Molino (Abe Vigoda), and a scene where Roemello is offered a full scholarship to Georgetown. Roemello, as a teenager (Dulé Hill) avenges his father’s shooting by shooting and killing Sal Marconi (Raymond Serra), a business partner of Gus’s. After contemplating for a while, Roemello decides to quit dealing and start a new life with his girlfriend, Melissa (Theresa Randle), to the disdain of Raynathan, who is scared and hesitant to leave the drug game. However, Roemello learns that getting out is nowhere near as easy as getting in.

A series of events lead up to Roemello's eventual departure from the drug game, such as the death of his best friend, Ricky Goggles (Steve Harris) at the hands of an up-and-coming Brooklyn drug dealer and former boxing champion, Lolly Jonas (Ernie Hudson). The Skuggs brothers and their associates find Ricky’s burned body hanging from the side of a neighborhood apartment building. They later go after and then kill Tony Adamo, one of the other men responsible for Ricky Goggles’ death. Because of this, an eventual street war starts off between The Skuggs crew and Lolly’s organization.

Melissa becomes more hesitant of being involved with Roemello, because of his lifestyle. After learning of the death of an aspiring teenage “stick-up kid”, Kymie (Donald Faison) in Roemello’s neighborhood (Kymie, in fact, saves Roemello’s life in a drive-in shooting by Lolly’s people), she decides to break off with Roemello and would have one date with an abusive basketball star, Mark Doby (Vondie Curtis Hall). After an episode where Mark physically abused Melissa, she eventually returns to Roemello and they begin to make plans to leave New York City.

Before Roemello and Melissa depart for North Carolina, they stop by to visit A.R. However, upon arriving at A.R.’s apartment, they find him dead of a drug overdose. Raynathan gave A.R. the heroin that would eventually kill him, with Raynathan’s reasoning being that he wanted “put him out of his misery”. Raynathan is found across the street, coming out of Gus’ restaurant, where he gunned down Gus, Lolly, and Harry, Gus’s son.

Roemello tells Raynathan what happened to A.R., but Raynathan accepts responsibility of their father’s death. After seeing Melissa waiting for Roemello, Raynathan fires his gun at her, and the brothers proceed to fight each other, with Raynathan accidentally shoots Roemello. Realizing this, Raynathan panics and shoots himself in the stomach, taking his own life.

Roemello and Melissa, sometime later, do move to North Carolina, where they have a young son, but Roemello is found in a wheelchair, likely paralyzed from the waist down (though the extent of the paralysis is not fully explained), however he is enjoying family life.



Sugar Hill received negative reviews from critics, where it currently holds a 20% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 10 reviews. Sugar Hill also received positive reviews, from the audience, where it holds a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.


  1. ^ a b "Sugar Hill - Box Office Data". The Numbers. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 

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