A young street hustler attempts to escape the rigors and temptations of the ghetto in a quest for a better life.

Directors:

Albert Hughes (as The Hughes Brothers), Allen Hughes (as The Hughes Brothers)

Writers:

Allen Hughes (story), Albert Hughes (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
2,662 ( 22)
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tyrin Turner ... Caine
Larenz Tate ... O-Dog
June Kyoto Lu ... Grocery Store Woman (as June Kyoko Lu)
Toshi Toda ... Grocery Store Man
Samuel L. Jackson ... Tat Lawson
Anthony Johnson ... Tony
Brandon Hammond ... Five Year Old Caine
Glenn Plummer ... Pernell
Reginald Ballard ... Clyde
Khandi Alexander ... Karen Lawson
Eugene Lee ... Man #1
James Pickens Jr. ... Man #2 (as James Pickins Jr.)
Nancy Cheryll Davis Nancy Cheryll Davis ... Teacher (as Nancy Cheryl Davis)
Jullian Roy Doster Jullian Roy Doster ... Anthony
Jada Pinkett Smith ... Ronnie (as Jada Pinkett)
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Storyline

This urban nightmare chronicles several days in the life of Caine Lawson, following his high-school graduation, as he attempts to escape his violent existence in the projects of Watts, CA. Written by Daniel Bredy <gt3655a@prism.gatech.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This is the truth. This is what's real.

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong bloody violence, drug use and pervasive language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Al Essey was a regular on Crenshaw Boulevard and was used to help choose and "herd" the extras in the movie. He has remained in the Inglewood area. See more »

Goofs

When Caine gets his car, the camera is reflected in a car window. See more »

Quotes

Insurance Man: It's gotta be in excellent working condition, all right? Insurance company won't give you no money for a car that doesn't run. Ca-can you hang with this?
Chauncy: Yeah, I'll hook you up. Be here tomorrow night at about, uh, about ten-thirty.
Insurance Man: I'm-I'm sorry. Did you? Are you sure you mean tomorrow night?
Chauncy: D-d-do I stutter, motherfucker?
Insurance Man: No, no problem. Tomorrow night. That's fine.
Chauncy: Did I stutter, motherfucker?
Insurance Man: No, you're right.
Chauncy: What? You scared to come through this neighborhood at night, motherfucker? Huh?
Insurance Man: [timidly]
Chauncy:
[...]
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Alternate Versions

The Hughes brothers, when queried about the film's explicit content, have often talked about a "prison riot" scene that studio execs forced them to cut in order to avoid an NC-17 rating. The scene has yet to appear in any of the released versions of the film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Gangsta Vision: Making 'Menace II Society' (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

LOVE AND HAPPINESS
Written by Al Green and Teenie Hodges
Performed by Al Green
Courtesy of Hi-Cream Records
Under license from CEMA Special Markets
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User Reviews

powerfully good
28 September 2002 | by Special-K88See all my reviews

Extremely brutal, but gripping and compelling story of a volatile, alienated young teenager (Turner) growing up in the violent atmosphere of the L.A. Watts District and—against the advice of family and friends—makes no effort to transcend the harshness and ignorance of his surroundings, instead choosing to head down a dead-end path. Violent, almost unbearable at times, but faultlessly acted by the cast, and filled with powerful, authentic scenes. Tate is an absolute powerhouse as Turner's younger, impulsive, and extremely cold-blooded pal. Obviously not for all tastes, but a monumental achievement regardless, thanks to a superior cast of actors. ***½


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Menace II Society See more »

Filming Locations:

USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,816,393, 31 May 1993

Gross USA:

$27,912,072

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,912,072
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

New Line Cinema See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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