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Billy Bathgate

Original Theatrical Poster
Directed by Robert Benton
Written by Novel:
E.L. Doctorow
Tom Stoppard
Starring Dustin Hoffman
Nicole Kidman
Loren Dean
Steven Hill
Steve Buscemi
and Bruce Willis
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Néstor Almendros
Distributed by Touchstone Pictures
Release date(s) November 1, 1991
Running time 106 min.
Country United States
Language English

Billy Bathgate is a 1991 American crime film directed by Robert Benton, starring Loren Dean as the titular character and Dustin Hoffman as gangster Dutch Schultz. The film co-stars Nicole Kidman, Steven Hill, Steve Buscemi, and Bruce Willis. It is based on the novel of the same name by E.L. Doctorow. Doctorow has distanced himself from the film for the extensive manner in which it deviates from the book in style and content.



Billy Behan is a poor 15-year-old kid in the 1930s Bronx. After the wealthy gangster Dutch Schultz takes him under his wing, Billy adops the name of a neighborhood street and begins to work for the organization.

Billy is taught the ropes by Dutch's business associate Otto Berman and given menial chores. Dutch, meanwhile, is busy trying to beat a rap in court and also determine whether his partner Moe Weinberg has been betraying him. Even though he likes Moe, it is Billy who eventually helps prove that Moe lied about his whereabouts.

Dutch and his thugs take Moe captive and prepare to send him to a watery grave. Dutch proceeds to claim the attentions of beautiful Drew Preston, a married young socialite Moe has been seeing who clearly has a weakness for powerful, dangerous men.

Facing a court case in an upstate New York rural community, Dutch brings along his "protege" Billy and the sophisticated lady Drew to put up a front of respectability, ingratiating himself to the locals with good manners and money. While his boss Dutch stands trial, Billy's job is to keep an eye on Drew, a free spirit who likes having Billy's eye on her as she bathes nude in the woods.

Billy falls for her and admires his new boss, at least until witnessing first-hand exactly how ruthless a criminal Dutch really is. Unable to intervene on Moe's behalf, the best Billy can do in the end is try to save Drew's life and his own.



The film was shot in Hamlet, North Carolina and Saratoga Springs, New York.

In an episode of VH1 television's Confessions of a Teen Idol, Jamie Walters claimed he was up for a part in Billy Bathgate and even went to Dustin Hoffman's house to audition, but ultimately did not get the part.

Awards and nominations

The film received one Golden Globe nomination;

External links



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