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The Hurricane Details


In 1966, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter was a top-ranked middleweight boxer whom many fight fans expected to become world champion. When three people were shot to death in a bar in Paterson, New Jersey, Carter and his friend John Artis, driving home from another club in Paterson, were stopped and questioned by police. Although the police asserted that Carter and Artis "were never suspects," a man named Alfred Bello, himself a suspect in the killings, claimed that Carter and Artis were present at the time of the murders. On the basis of Bello's testimony, Carter and Artis were convicted of murder, and Carter was given three consecutive life sentences. Throughout the trial, Carter proclaimed his innocence, saying that his African-American race and work as a civil rights activist were the real reasons for his conviction. In 1974, Bello and Arthur Bradley, who also claimed that Carter was present at the scene of the crimes, recanted their testimony, but Carter and Artis were reconvicted. In the early 1980s, Brooklyn teenager Lesra Martin worked with a trio of Canadian activists to push the State of New Jersey to reinvestigate Carter's case; in 1985, a Federal District Court ruled that the prosecution in Carter's second trial committed "grave constitutional violations" and that his conviction was based on racism rather than facts. Carter was finally freed, and he summed up his story by saying, "Hate got me into this place, love got me out." The Hurricane is based on Carter's incredible true story and stars Denzel Washington as Carter, Vicellous Shannon as Lesra Martin, and John Hannah, Liev Schreiber and Deborah Unger as the Canadian activists. Veteran filmmaker Norman Jewison directed. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

  • Release date:December 29, 1999


Awarded by
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Denzel Washington Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama 1999 Winner
Screen Actors Guild Denzel Washington Best Actor 1999 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Denzel Washington Best Actor 1999 Nominee
Berlin International Film Festival Denzel Washington Silver Bear for Best Actor 2000 Winner
Hollywood Foreign Press Association Norman Jewison Best Director 1999 Nominee


Denzel Washington
as Rubin "Hurricane" Carter
Vicellous Shannon
as Lesra Martin
Deborah Kara Unger
as Lisa
Liev Schreiber
as Sam
John Hannah
as Terry
Dan Hedaya
as Della Pesca
Debbi Morgan
as Mae Thelma Carter
Clancy Brown
as Lt. Jimmy Williams
David Paymer
as Myron Bedlock
Harris Yulin
as Leon Friedman
Rod Steiger
as Judge Sarokin
Garland Whitt
as John Artis


Norman Jewison
Norman Jewison
Armyan Bernstein
John Ketcham
Terry Swinton
Book Author
Armyan Bernstein
Dan Gordon
Sam Chaiton
Book Author
Roger Deakins
Christopher Young
Composer (Music Score)
G. Marq Roswell
Musical Direction/Supervision
Stephen E. Rivkin
Philip Rosenberg
Production Designer
Dennis Davenport
Art Director
Suzann Ellis
Michael Jewison
Jon Jashni
William Teitler
Executive Producer
Thomas A. Bliss
Executive Producer
Tom Rosenberg
Executive Producer
Rudy Langlais
Executive Producer
Marc Abraham
Executive Producer
Irving Azoff
Executive Producer
Gordon Sim
Set Designer
Aggie Guerard Rodgers
Costume Designer
Bruce Carwardine
Sound/Sound Designer
Avy Kaufman
Stephen E. Rivkin
Line Producer