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New Jersey Drive
Directed by Nick Gomez
Produced by Larry Meistrich
Bob Gosse
Written by Nick Gomez
Michel Marriott
Starring Sharron Corley
Gabriel Casseus
Saul Stein
Cinematography Adam Kimmel
Editing by Tracy Granger
Studio 40 Acres & A Mule Filmworks
Distributed by Gramercy Pictures
Release date(s) 19 April 1995
Running time 98 min.
Language English
Budget $5,000,000

New Jersey Drive is a 1995 film about black youths in Newark, New Jersey, the unofficial "car theft capital of the world". Their favorite pastime is that of everybody in their neighborhood: stealing cars and joyriding. The trouble starts when they steal a police car and the cops launch a violent offensive that involves beating and even shooting suspects. The film stars Sharron Corley, Gabriel Casseus, and Saul Stein. At the time, the city of Newark had the highest automobile theft rate in the country, and Newark mayor Sharpe James refused to allow filming of New Jersey Drive within the city limits; therefore, the filming locations were in the surrounding locations of Newark rather than Newark itself.



New Jersey Drive opens with Jason (Sharron Corley) heading off to juvenile detention then unfolds in flashback as, chronologically, the incidents leading to his arrest surface one by one. First the audience sees his violent and poverty-ridden project; next his go-nowhere delinquent friends are introduced, as is their hobby: joy riding. Soon some of the teens, including Jason, begin to convert their hobby into a part-time job as they steal cars and sell them to a sleazy chop-shop owner for pennies on the dollar. Eventually they are caught in a police sting and one boy is shot to death by the crooked Officer Emil Roscoe (Saul Stein). Roscoe warns Jason not to tell a soul; however, the boys continue to steal cars. Meanwhile, Jason beats up a neighborhood acquaintance, Richie, on the playground for a slight to his sister and finds himself the target of the boy's murder attempts. The action draws to a head as both Roscoe and the vengeful boy close in.



Two separate soundtracks were released by Tommy Boy Records. The first volume was released on March 28, 1995 to great success, peaking at #22 on the Billboard 200 and #3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The second volume was released on April 11, 1995 and while not as success as Volume 1, still managed to make it to #58 on the Billboard 200 and #9 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Volume 1 was certified gold by the RIAA on June 6, 1995.

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