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Billy Bathgate


In the 1935, fifteen year old street hustler Billy Bathgate becomes the protege of fledgling gangster Dutch Schultz and begins a love affair with a flighty moll.

Release Year: 1991

Rating: 5.8/10 (6,408 voted)

Robert Benton

Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Nicole Kidman, Loren Dean

Based loosely on the organized crime syndicates of the 20's and 30's, Billy Bathgate is the story of a young man's rise from gopher to right hand man in Dutch Schultz' gang. Having been impressed by the youth, Schultz takes him under his wing so to speak. Billy soon finds himself in a world where wealth and fortune live next door to danger and death.

Writers: E.L. Doctorow, Tom Stoppard


Dustin Hoffman

Dutch Schultz

Nicole Kidman

Drew Preston

Loren Dean

Billy Bathgate

Bruce Willis

Bo Weinberg

Steven Hill

Otto Berman

Steve Buscemi


Billy Jaye


John Costelloe


Timothy Jerome

Dixie Davis

(as Tim Jerome)

Stanley Tucci

Lucky Luciano

Mike Starr

Julie Martin

Robert F. Colesberry

Jack Kelly

Stephen Joyce

Mr. Hines

Frances Conroy

Mary Behan

Moira Kelly


In 1935, a New York kid was looking for a hero. He found Dutch Schultz.

Release Date: 1 November 1991

Filming Locations: Durham, North Carolina, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $45,000,000


Opening Weekend: $4,051,590
(3 November 1991)
(912 Screens)

Gross: $15,965,919

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Final film for cinematographer Néstor Almendros.


When Billy and Becky are first seen on the roof in long shot she is exhaling smoke; in the close-up immediately after, she doesn't have a cigarette.


[first lines]

Bo Weinberg:
[being tied up]
What do you think, Irving? Makes this cheap dago move on me, Bo Weinberg. The man who took out @Vincent Coll. The man who held Jack Diamond's ears so he could put the gun in his mouth. Who found the rackets he was to *stupid* to find for himself, who made him something more than the lowdown fucking guy that he is! The schmuck, I should expect something else. He pulls me off the the street right in front of my girl, like he don't know no better. Schmuck!

Dutch Schultz:
Don't talk to Irving. Talk to me.

Bo Weinberg:
Men talk. If they are men they talk. They have disagreement, they discuss these things. But you, I don't know Dutch. I don't know what stickin' womb of puss and scum and ape shit you came out of!

Dutch Schultz:
Bo you should understand, I am past the madness part, I am past the anger. Don't waste your breath.

User Review

This Movie Deserves More Discussion

Rating: 8/10

It's kind of shocking to see less than 20 reviews (as of March, 2006)
for a movie that stars Dustin Hoffman and Nicole Kidman and also has
Bruce Willis and Loren Dean.

This story of gangster "Dutch" Schultz is told, like the beginning of
Goodfellas, through the eyes of a young guy (Dean) who breaks into the
business, so to speak. Probably in this case, he was more attracted to
Kidman than the business, and who could blame him?

Dean was a complete no-name at the time and is a fine actor. Hoffman
plays the crude Schultz and Kidman is his immoral wife. For some
people, this film is remembered for quick full frontal nudity shots of
Kidman. The most interesting person in the film, I thought, was
Schultz' lawyer/confident Otto Berman, played by Steven Hill. Willis
also helps make up a good cast, but his role is short.

For a gangster/action flick, there wasn't a lot of violence in here and
I liked the period detail. It looks nice, especially on DVD. One
downfall on some of these modern-day films: there isn't one morally
upright character in the story and the filmmakers make Dean and Kidman
into sympathetic figures. Overall, however, a good crime movie.