For this week’s “Things That Bring Back Memories” post, I am going to pick something in the topic of “MOVIES” and go with Boyz ‘n the Hood. This movie was released in 1991, and was one that had a bit of everything. Family, Gangsters, Sadness and Brotherly Love. It was one that had a lot of people talking, some in a good way, others voicing their unfair opinions, and those that just didn’t care.
The movie was one that was a breakout for many stars and had a lot of people waiting in line to see. There was a lot of drama in the movie that really made you think of families around you…those in your town, other towns and parents looking out for their kids, even if their town wasn’t one of the greatest. If, for some reason, you are of an age that makes it difficult to remember Boyz ‘n the Hood, here’s a preview of the movie that we all saw before it came out:
Did you ever watch the Boys ‘N the Hood movie when you were younger? or have you seen it on TV or Netflix later in life? Let me know what you thought of it, and if you have any memories of it in your life!
More Info on Boyz ‘n the Hood:
Boyz n the Hood is a 1991 American teen hood drama film written and directed by John Singleton in his directorial debut, and starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Morris Chestnut, Laurence Fishburne, Nia Long, Regina King and Angela Bassett. This was the film debut for both Ice Cube and Morris Chestnut.
Boyz n the Hood was filmed in (then called) South Central Los Angeles, California from October 1 to November 28, 1990 and released in the United States on July 12, 1991. It was nominated for both Best Director and Best Original Screenplay during the 64th 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, historically, or aesthetically significant” and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.
In 1984, 10 year old Tre Styles lives with his mom, Reva in Watts, Los Angeles. After Tre gets into a fight at school, his teacher informs Reva that Tre is highly intelligent but has a volatile temper and lacks respect. Worried about Tre’s future, Reva sends him to live in the Crenshaw neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles with his dad, Furious Styles, from whom she hopes Tre will learn valuable life lessons and how to be a man. In Crenshaw, Tre reunites with his friends, Darrin “Doughboy” Baker, Doughboy’s maternal half-brother Ricky, and Chris, their mutual friend. After chatting for a bit, Furious immediately has Tre rake the leaves off the front lawn. That night Furious tells Tre that he has him work to teach him to be responsible. That night, Tre hears his dad shooting at a burglar who tries to rob the house. Two policemen arrive an hour later, and while the white officer is civil, the black one is disrespectful towards Furious. The next day, Tre and his friends go out with Chris who shows them a dead body. While there, a group of older boys in the Watts Crip gang steal Ricky’s football and Doughboy tries to retrieve it, but is defeated. While the older boys walk away, one of them gives Ricky his ball back . Later in the day, Furious spends father/son bonding time with Tre, taking him to fishing by the seaside and tells the boy more about his life prior to becoming a dad, including his military experience in the Vietnam War, in hopes of making his son proud of him. He concludes his story by advising Tre to never join the army, stating that a black man has no place in the army. When returning home, they see Doughboy and Chris being arrested for shoplifting (Doughboy had said earlier on that they were going to the store, but had no money), while Ricky and Tre look on.
The film then flashes forward seven years to summer 1991. At a barbecue, Doughboy is now a Crip and is celebrating his recent release from jail, along with most of his friends, including Chris, who is now paralyzed and wheelchair-bound from a gun wound, and new friends Dooky and Monster, also Crips. Ricky, now a star running back for Crenshaw High School, lives with his mom Brenda, girlfriend Shanice, and their infant son. Tre has grown into a mature and responsible teenager, works at a clothes shop at the Fox Hills Mall, and aspires to attend college with his girlfriend, Brandi.
Ricky hopes to win a scholarship from USC, but the recruiter tells him he must score a 700 or higher on the SATs in order to qualify. Ricky and Tre take the test on the same day. Afterwards, they go to see Furious at his office to unwind. Furious takes Tre and Ricky to Compton, California to talk about the dangers of decreasing property values in the Black community. That night, during a local street racing gathering, Ricky is provoked by Ferris, a member of the Bloods. In response, Doughboy brandishes his handgun, leading to a brief argument between the two gangs. When the two gangs are finished arguing, Ferris fires his gun in the air to signal everyone to leave. While Tre talks about leaving Los Angeles, he and Ricky are pulled over by the police. The cop is the exact same cop who was disrespectful towards his father seven years earlier; he intimidates and threatens Tre with his gun, knowing he can’t do anything. Distraught, Tre goes to Brandi’s house, where he finally breaks down. After she consoles him, they have sex for the first time.
The following day, Ricky has a fight with Doughboy. While Ricky and Tre walk to a nearby store, they see Ferris and his gang driving around the neighborhood and in an attempt to avoid them, the pair cut through back alleys and split up. Ferris’ car closes in on Ricky, and one of Ferris’ gang members kills Ricky. Doughboy and his gang, who had sensed that Tre and Ricky were in trouble, catch up with them, but are too late. Devastated and helpless, the boys carry Ricky’s lifeless body back home. When Brenda and Shanice see Ricky’s corpse, they break down in tears and blame Doughboy, who unsuccessfully tries to comfort them and explain the truth. That night, Brenda reads Ricky’s SAT results, discovering he scored a 710, enough to qualify for the scholarship he wanted.
The remaining boys vow vengeance on Ferris and his crew. Furious finds Tre preparing to take Furious’ revolver, but convinces Tre to abandon his plans for revenge. However, Brandi and Furious catch Tre sneaking out of his bedroom window to join Doughboy. That night, as the gang drive across the city, Tre asks to be let out of the car and returns home, realizing that his father was right to keep him from falling into an endless cycle of violence. When Tre gets home, Furious is waiting for him; they look at each other without saying a word, and then Furious retreats to his bedroom. Doughboy finds Ferris’ gang at a local fast-food outlet, and Monster opens fire on them, killing 1 and wounding the other 2. Doughboy gets out and kills the other wounded gang member and Ferris.
The next day, Doughboy visits Tre, now understanding Tre’s reasons for leaving the gang. Doughboy knows that he will soon face retaliation for Ferris’ death, and accepts the consequences of his crime-ridden lifestyle. He plaintively questions why America doesn’t care about the ghetto. He sorrowfully says that he has no family left now after Ricky’s death and Brenda’s disownment of him, but is embraced by Tre, who says to Doughboy “You still got one brother left man.”
The epilogue reveals that Doughboy saw Ricky buried the next day and was murdered two weeks later. Tre and Brandi resume their relationship, and go on to attend Morehouse and Spelman Colleges in Atlanta, respectively.Some of the Boyz ‘n the Hood Characters:
Cuba M. Gooding Jr. (Tre Styles) was born January 2, 1968, and is an American actor. He gained his breakthrough role as Tre Styles in Boyz n the Hood (1991); he would go on to appear in The Tuskegee Airmen (1995), Jerry Maguire (1996). He gained later attention for his role in the epic Pearl Harbor (2001) as historical figure Doris Miller, and his major role in the 2012 World War II film Red Tails. He co-starred as actor Dominic Banks in the sixth season of the FX anthology series American Horror Story, subtitled Roanoke. He has also held roles in films such as As Good as It Gets (1997), American Gangster (2007), Lee Daniels’ The Butler (2013), and Selma (2014), playing civil rights attorney Fred Gray. He recently did a portrayal of O.J. Simpson in the FX drama series The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story (2016).
O’Shea Jackson Sr. (Darrin “Doughboy” Baker) was born June 15, 1969, and is known professionally as Ice Cube, is an American rapper and actor. He began his career as a member of the hip-hop group C.I.A. and later joined the seminal rap group N.W.A (Niggaz Wit Attitudes). After leaving N.W.A in December 1989, he built a successful solo career in music and films such as a role in drama Boyz ‘n the Hood. Additionally, he has served as one of the producers of the Showtime television series Barbershop and the TBS series Are We There Yet?, both of which are based upon films in which he portrayed the main character. Ice Cube is one of the founding artists of gangsta rap, and much of his musical output has contained harsh socio-political commentary. He was ranked number 8 on MTV’s list of the 10 Greatest MC’s of All Time, while fellow rapper Snoop Dogg ranked Ice Cube as the greatest MC of all time. AllMusic has called him one of hip-hop’s best and most controversial artists, as well as “one of rap’s greatest storytellers”. In 2012, The Source ranked him number 14 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. In 2014, About.com ranked him number 11 on their list of the “50 Greatest MCs of All Time”.
Morris Lamont Chestnut, Jr. (Ricky Baker) was born January 1, 1969, and is an American actor. He first came to attention for his role in the 1991 film Boyz n the Hood. He has appeared in numerous feature films and on television series, including the starring role of pathologist Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, Jr. in the Fox TV series Rosewood. Chestnut was born in Cerritos, California, the son of Morris Lamont Chestnut, Sr. & Shirley Chestnut. He graduated from Richard Gahr High School in 1986, and subsequently studied finance and drama at California State University, Northridge. In 1998, he won the annual Madden Bowl video game competition. In 1999, Chestnut starred in The Best Man with Taye Diggs and Nia Long, as a professional football player on the eve of his wedding. The Best Man earned positive reviews from the press and did well at the box office. For his performance Chestnut earned an NAACP Image Award nomination. He again played a football player in The Game Plan (2007). In 2001, he starred in The Brothers, a film centering on the themes of fidelity and success among young professionals. In 2004, he appeared as a firefighter in Ladder 49. He has worked with Steven Seagal three times. In Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995), Chestnut is Seagal’s reluctant partner. In both Half Past Dead (2002) and Prince of Pistols (2008), he co-stars as the main villain.
Laurence John Fishburne III (Jason “Furious” Styles Jr) was born July 30, 1961 and is an American actor, playwright, director and producer, best known for playing Morpheus in The Matrix trilogy, Jason “Furious” Styles in the 1991 drama film Boyz n the Hood and Tyrone “Mr. Clean” Miller in the 1979 war film Apocalypse Now. Fishburne became the first African American to portray Othello in a motion picture by a major studio when he appeared in Oliver Parker’s 1995 film adaptation of the Shakespeare play. For his portrayal of Ike Turner in What’s Love Got to Do With It, he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He won a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play for his performance in Two Trains Running (1992), and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his performance in TriBeCa (1993). Fishburne starred in several cult classics, including Deep Cover and King of New York. From 2008 to 2011, he starred as Dr. Raymond Langston on the CBS crime drama CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and from 2013 to 2015 starred as Special Agent Jack Crawford on the NBC thriller series Hannibal. In 2013, he portrayed Perry White in the Zack Snyder-directed Superman reboot Man of Steel and in 2016 reprised his role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Boyz ‘n the Hood Facts – Did You Know?
Working as a script reader at Columbia Pictures, Singleton got his own script passed all the way to studio chief Frank Price. He was offered $100,000 for it on the condition that he let someone with more experience direct it, but he refused to sell “Boyz” unless he could direct his own screenplay.
Coppola’s influence on “Boyz” is clear, from the “Godfather”-style cross-cut editing to the “Apocalypse”-like sound design behind the omnipresent police helicopters patrolling the neighborhood. Singleton never actually shows the choppers, he merely suggests them through rotor noise and sweeping spotlights. In fact, he pitched this helicopter hack to studio chief Price as a way of keeping the budget modest.
“Boyz” cost just $6.5 million to produce. It earned back $57.5 million in North America.
Violence broke out at screenings of “Boyz” around the country, with one fatality and 33 moviegoers injured. Some observers blamed the movie’s gang content for the gunplay, even though “Boyz” was explicitly anti-violence. Singleton blamed the strife on the same social pathologies that the movie condemned — street codes of vengeance and the scarcity of strong paternal role models in the community.
“Boyz” was nominated for two Oscars, for Singleton’s original screenplay and his directing. At 24, he was the youngest person ever nominated for Best Director and the first African-American.
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