Boyz n the Hood
|Boyz n the Hood|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||John Singleton|
|Produced by||Steven Nicolaides|
|Written by||John Singleton|
Cuba Gooding, Jr.
|Music by||Stanley Clarke|
|Edited by||Bruce Cannon|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||112 minutes|
Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American drama film written and directed by John Singleton in his directorial debut, and starring Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Morris Chestnut, Larry Fishburne, Nia Long and Angela Bassett, depicting life in the South Central Los Angeles. This was Ice Cube and Morris Chestnut's film debut.
Boyz n the Hood was filmed from October 1 to November 28, 1990 and released on July 12, 1991. It was nominated for both Best Director and Original Screenplay during the 1991 Academy Awards, making Singleton the youngest person ever nominated for Best Director and the first African–American to be nominated for the award.
The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival. In 2002, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.
Ten-year-old Tre Styles (Desi Arnez Hines II) lives with his single mother Reva Devereaux (Angela Bassett) in Inglewood, California. After Tre gets involved in a fight at school, his teacher calls Reva and informs her that although Tre is rather intelligent, he is immature, aggressive, and lacks respect for classmates and adults alike. Frightened about the future of her child, Reva sends him to live in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Central with his 27-year-old father, Furious Styles (Larry Fishburne), from whom she hopes Tre will learn valuable life lessons.
On the night of Tre's arrival, he hears his father shooting at a burglar who tried to rob the house. LAPD officers arrive more than an hour later, and eventually decide the crime is unimportant because nothing was taken and the burglar escaped completely unharmed. The police, particularly the African American officer, treat Furious with disrespect and contempt. The following day, Tre reunites with childhood friends Darrin "Doughboy" Baker (nicknamed because of his obesity), Doughboy's maternal half-brother Ricky, and Chris, their mutual friend. Doughboy and Ricky live with their mother, Brenda, who spoils Ricky and treats Doughboy like dirt, across the street from Furious, and are happy with Tre living close with them. While Ricky is naïve and trusting, Doughboy is aggressive and street-smart.
One day, as the kids wander into another neighborhood to view the decaying corpse of a murdered gang member in a vacant lot, Doughboy gets into a fight with a teenage Crip named Rick Rock (Vonte Sweet) after he intimidates Ricky and steals Ricky's football. Doughboy is beaten up by Rick Rock after he tries to retrieve the ball, but the ball is returned to him later by another Crip member, who is polite and hates Rick Rock.
Furious, who appears to be the only father present in the neighborhood, takes Tre on a fishing trip. While on the trip, he advises Tre never to join the Army (as Furious himself served in Vietnam when he was only 17), to act mature, and to be responsible, especially if he is going to be a father. The pair return to Crenshaw, where they witness Doughboy and Chris being led by police officers into a squad car after having been caught shoplifting in the local drugstore. The two end up going to juvenile hall.
Seven years later
Seven years later, a "welcome home" party is being held in the Baker home. Doughboy (Ice Cube), who had previously dropped out of high school and lost a significant amount of weight, has just been released from prison, and sits at a table playing dominoes with Chris (Redge Green), now in a wheelchair from a gunshot wound, "Dookie" (Dedrick D. Gobert), and "Monster". Ricky (Morris Chestnut), now a star running-back for Crenshaw High School, lives at home with his mother Brenda (Tyra Ferrell), girlfriend Shanice (Alysia Rogers), and their toddler son. Meanwhile, Furious has managed to tame Tre (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) into a mature and responsible teenager, who now holds a steady job as a clerk at the Fox Hills Mall and excels in school. He hopes to attend college with his girlfriend, Brandi (Nia Long), whose desire to remain abstinent is a source of tension between them. After the party is over, Tre walks home with leftovers for his father. As he walks along the street, Tre notices a toddler, the child of Cheryl, a local drug addict. He brings the toddler back to Cheryl, angrily reminding her to "keep the babies off the streets."
Continuing on the way home, Tre encounters a group of Bloods gang members, who threateningly tease Tre by pointing a double-barreled shotgun at him. When Tre gets home, he gets a haircut from Furious, lying to him about the first time he had sex. Furious seems amused at first, but then sternly asks if Tre used a condom, warning against the dangers of contacting a sexually transmitted disease and of becoming a father at a young age (using himself as an example, as he was 17 when Tre was born). Life goes on in the Hood, with scenes including Tre flirting with Brandi and a drug-addict getting beat up by Doughboy and his gang after stealing Dookie's necklace. One night, a man from the USC comes to interview Ricky about college, but Ricky's rude friends make a bad impression. Ricky hopes to earn a scholarship to USC, but is daunted by the requirement that he must earn a 700 on his SAT to pass.
Later, during a local street racing gathering, Ricky is provoked by Ferris (Raymond Turner), a Bloods member. In defense of Ricky, Doughboy, now a Crips member himself, brandishes his .45 ACP handgun and cocks it to frighten Ferris. Ferris fires his MAC-10 into the air, causing everyone to speed away from the scene. Tre and Ricky are pulled over by an LAPD patrol; the lead officer turns out to be the same one who responded to the burglary call made by Furious seven years earlier. The officer shoves a gun in Tre's neck and taunts him, asking what he will do about it. Tre arrives late to Brandi's house and breaks down crying; later that night, they have sex for the first time, ending both of their virginities.
The next afternoon, Ricky, annoyed by his girlfriend, has a fight with Doughboy. Brenda rushes to Ricky's aid while berating Doughboy. Ricky and Tre later encounter Ferris and the Bloods. Doughboy, upon seeing Ferris and his fellow Bloods roll up on the block, senses that Tre and Ricky are in trouble, and rushes to their defense. Ricky and Tre cut through back alleys and separate to avoid them, but the Bloods find Ricky and shoot him once in the leg, followed by one fatal shot to the back. Tre cradles Ricky's corpse as he mourns his friend while Doughboy and his friends arrive too late, and are just as grief-stricken as Tre. The boys take Ricky's body home where Brenda and Shanice hysterically blame Doughboy, who unsuccessfully tries to comfort them. Later that night, Brenda sobs over Ricky's test results, discovering he earned a 710 — just enough to qualify for a USC scholarship.
Angered and distraught, the remaining boys vow revenge on the Bloods. Furious finds Tre holding his .357 Magnum pistol which Furious keeps under his bed and has a fight with him over potentially becoming a killer just for a revenge, but eventually convinces him to abandon his plans. However, Brandi and Furious catch Tre sneaking out of his bedroom window to join Doughboy and the Crips. Later that night, as the gang drives around the city, Tre asks to be let out of the car. Doughboy pulls over and lets Tre out at a bus stop.
While Tre heads back home, realizing his father's words, Doughboy finds the Bloods eating at a fast-food restaurant, and Monster opens fire on them with a Type 56 assault rifle in a drive-by shooting through an empty parking lot. Despite both Monster and Dookie's pleas to flee the scene, Doughboy gets out of his car and personally kills Ferris and the other wounded gang member execution-style with his Colt Double Eagle 10mm pistol while Ferris begs for his life, thus avenging Ricky's death. Meanwhile, Tre returns home and finds his waiting father. Furious and Tre silently exchange glances for a moment, and then Furious enters his own room and slams the door.
The next morning, Doughboy visits Tre, now understanding Tre's reasons for abandoning the gang. Doughboy — having killed three men — knows that he will soon face retaliation for Ferris' death, and accepts the consequences of his crime-ridden life. He plaintively questions why America "don't know, don't show, or don't care about what's going on in the Hood." He sorrowfully says that he has no brothers left now after Ricky's death, but is embraced by Tre, who says Doughboy still has "one brother left." Doughboy then walks away, pouring out his malt liquor simultaneously.
- Cuba Gooding, Jr. (Desi Arnez Hines II, young) as Tre Styles, son of Furious and Crenshaw High School senior. Under his father, Furious, he became a responsible adult and works at the Fox Hills Mall and has a girlfriend, Brandi. He is hoping to attend college to have a normal life.
- Ice Cube (Baha Jackson, young) as Darrin "Doughboy" Baker, maternal half-brother of Ricky. He is a high-school dropout and a juvenile delinquent who never knew his father, and lives with his uncaring mother. He is street-smart, but aggressive. He earned his nickname for being overweight when he was little and is a Crips member.
- Larry Fishburne as Jason "Furious" Styles, father of Tre. He was dating Reva in his teens, and when she got pregnant, Furious was drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. He was briefly married to her, but divorced her and moved to Crenshaw. He is an intelligent young man and hopes to teach Tre life lessons and to raise him fairly.
- Morris Chestnut (Donovan McCrary, young) as Ricky Baker, maternal half-brother of Doughboy and all-star football player at Crenshaw High School, Tre's best friend. He is naive and mostly under Doughboy's shadow. He hopes to attend college as well, using a sports scholarship at the USC.
- Nia Long as Brandi, Tre's girlfriend. She started dating him aged 16, and liked his maturity and wish to go to college, which she wishes herself. However, she wanted to remain in a clear non-sexual relationship, but Tre, who was going through puberty, wasn't so pleasant with the news. However, they lose their virginity together. They later move to Atlanta and both attend college.
- Angela Bassett as Reva Devereaux, mother of Tre. She has a harsh time to be a good mother to him, since she was only 17 when Tre was born. While she couldn't handle living with Furious, she still saw him as a man with a good heart and sent Tre to live with him, since she was sure that Furious would treat him right and teach him good life lessons.
- Tyra Ferrell as Brenda Baker, mother of Doughboy and Ricky. She favors Ricky, and despises Doughboy which causes him to feel unloved and ignored.
- Redge Green (Kenneth A. Brown, young) as Chris.
- Dedrick D. Gobert as Dookie.
- Baldwin C. Sykes as Monster.
- Tracey Lewis-Sinclair as Shaniqua.
- Alysia Rogers as Shanice, Ricky's girlfriend and the mother of his son.
- Regina King as Shalika.
- Lexie Bigham as Mad Dog.
- Raymond Turner as Ferris.
- Lloyd Avery II as Thug #2, Ricky's shooter
- Tammy Hansen Grady as Rosa.
- Mia Bell as female gang member.
- Duncan Ferris as furious drug dealer.
Boyz n the Hood has received universal acclaim. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 96% based on 49 reviews, with an average score of 8.3/10, making the film a "Certified Fresh" on the website's rating system. At Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 73%, based on 18 reviews, which indicates "Generally favorable reviews".
The film has been referenced innumerable times in other works, including works by Lupe Fiasco, Game and by Ice Cube himself. In 1994, British jungle DJ duo Remarc and Lewi produced a song titled "Ricky". The song itself is built up of various sound bites from the movie. Particularly the scene where Ricky is murdered. Ice Cube's song, It Was a Good Day, also slightly references the film.
On the July 12, 2011 episode of her self-titled talk show, Mo'Nique celebrated the 20th anniversary of the release of Boyz n the Hood with director John Singleton, Cuba Gooding Jr., Yo-Yo, and Regina King.
Awards and accolades
- Nominee, Best Director, John Singleton
- Nominee, Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, John Singleton
BMI Film Music Award: 1992
- Winner, Stanley Clarke
Image Award: 1993
- Winner, Outstanding Motion Picture, Boyz n the Hood
- Nominee, Best Movie, Boyz n the Hood
- Winner, Best New Filmmaker, John Singleton
National Film Preservation Board, USA: 2002
- National Film Registry, Boyz n the Hood
- Winner, Best New Director, John Singleton
Political Film Society, USA: 1992
- Winner, PFS Award, Peace
- Nominee, PFS Award, Exposé
- Nominee, PFS Award, Human Rights
Writers Guild of America, USA: 1992
- Nominee, WGA Award (Screen), Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, John Singleton
- Winner, Young Artist Award, Outstanding Young Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture
In 2007, Boyz n the Hood was selected as one of the 50 Films To See in your lifetime by Channel 4.
|Year||Album||Peak chart positions||Certifications|
|1991||Boyz n the Hood||12||1||
- "Boyz n the Hood (1991)". Box Office Mojo.
- "Festival de Cannes: Boyz n the Hood". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-08-09.
- "Films Selected to The National Film Registry, Library of Congress 1989–2008". Loc. Retrieved July 17, 2009.
- "Boyz n the Hood". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved January 6, 2012.
- "Boyz n the Hood Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 11, 2011.
- "13th Annual Awards". Youngartistawards.org. Retrieved 2010-10-06.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Boyz n the Hood|
- Boyz n the Hood at the Internet Movie Database
- Boyz n the Hood at AllMovie
- Boyz n the Hood at Box Office Mojo
- Boyz n the Hood at Rotten Tomatoes
- Boyz n the Hood at Metacritic