Carlito's Way: Rise to Power

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Carlito's Way: Rise to Power
Carlitos way rise to power.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byMichael Bregman
Produced byMartin Bregman
Screenplay byMichael Bregman
Based onCarlito's Way
by Edwin Torres
StarringJay Hernandez
Mario Van Peebles
Luis Guzmán
Sean Combs
Music byJoe Delia
CinematographyAdam Holender
Edited byDavid Ray
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • September 7, 2005 (2005-09-07)
Running time
93 minutes
CountryUnited States

Carlito's Way: Rise to Power is a 2005 prequel to Brian De Palma's 1993 film Carlito's Way, based on the novel Carlito's Way by Edwin Torres. The previous film was based on the Torres novel After Hours, but was retitled to avoid it being confused with Martin Scorsese's 1985 film of the same name. The film was written and directed by Michael Bregman, who produced the first film. His father, Martin Bregman, produced both films.[1] The film was released in limited theaters twenty days prior to being released on DVD.[2]

Carlito's Way: Rise to Power stars Jay Hernandez as Carlito Brigante, and chronicles Brigante's rise as a heroin drug czar in 1960s Harlem, New York. The film also features Mario Van Peebles, Michael Joseph Kelly, Luis Guzmán, Jaclyn DeSantis, Sean Combs, Burt Young, and Domenick Lombardozzi.

Critically panned, the film nevertheless received Torres's commendation as an accurate adaptation of the first half of his novel.[3]


The story begins in the 1960s with three inmates in a New York prison — Earl (Van Peebles), Rocco (Kelly), and Carlito (Hernandez) — controlling their criminal empire within their cell. Upon their release, they all look to control the drug trade in Harlem, which is currently in a power dispute between the Italian Bottolota crime family and black gangsters led by Hollywood Nicky (Combs). Rocco takes them to Artie Bottolota (Young) who at first is reluctant to work with blacks and Puerto Ricans, but who eventually cuts a deal with them in heroin distribution. The friends also meet Artie's son, Artie Jr. Soon, Earl's troubled younger brother Reggie joins them. It does not take long for Reggie to cause trouble; eventually endangering both himself and Carlito's deal with the Bottolotas.

Artie Jr. attempts to kill Reggie with a straight razor, while Carlito is restrained. Rocco pulls up and tells Artie Jr. to let him go, reasoning they will "take care of him." Carlito also meets a young lady named Leticia and meets her brother Sigfredo. Sigfredo knows who and what Carlito really is, which leads to confrontation. Carlito eventually proves himself to Leticia's family, but Sigfredo leaves.

Reggie, after being kicked off the crew by Carlito, attacks and kidnaps Artie Jr. outside of his house, with the help of two other thugs. After Reggie gets the ransom, Artie Jr. is released by police and returns to his family.

The Bottolotta Family blames Carlito, Rocco, and Earl for assisting Reggie in the kidnapping. Artie Sr. puts out a contract on the trio. The hitman contracted to kill them, Nacho Reyes (Luis Guzmán), and Carlito's accomplice, Colorado help them find the hoodlums with Reggie. Reggie's location is learned.

Carlito and Nacho find Reggie in an apartment, along with Earl. The four men draw guns, Nacho holding two revolvers and Carlito holding a revolver and Reggie threatening Carlito, taking no responsibility for the trouble he has caused. Reggie is killed, and Nacho leaves. Carlito, Earl and Rocco continue working for the Bottolotta Family, dealing heroin.

Carlito and Earl pay off the N.Y.P.D., the team led by the most corrupt, feared cops in Harlem to raid and kill the entire Bottolotta Family. Carlito, Rocco and Earl fly to the islands with Earl for his wedding. Earl retires, and Carlito reunites with Leticia, retiring temporarily.


The character of Hollywood Nicky played by Sean Combs is based on real New York City drug lord Nicky Barnes.

In the film, the character Earl played by Mario Van Peebles makes a reference to Governor Rockefeller setting some new drug laws into effect. This is in reference to the Rockefeller drug laws which are tough mandatory sentencing laws for drug dealers.

Three actors appear in both Carlito's Way films: Luis Guzmán plays Pachanga in Carlito's Way and Nacho in Carlito's Way: Rise to Power, Jaime Sánchez plays Rudy in Carlito's Way and Eddie in Carlito's Way: Rise to Power, Jaime Tirelli plays Valentin in Carlito's Way and Mr. Cruz (Leticia's Father) in Carlito's Way: Rise to Power.



  1. ^ Scott Weinberg (2005-10-09). "DVD Talk". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  2. ^ Anita Gates (2005-10-01). "Carlito, When He Was Young". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-18.
  3. ^ "Carlito's Way Rise to Power". Retrieved April 10, 2008.

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