AFI Movie Club: BOYZ N THE HOOD
The directorial debut of John Singleton, BOYZ N THE HOOD features an all-star cast that includes Ice Cube, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett and Regina King.
Watch Chiwetel Ejiofor announce BOYZ N THE HOOD:
Movie Trivia About BOYZ N THE HOOD
DID YOU KNOW? BOYZ N THE HOOD writer/director John Singleton received two Academy Award® nominations for Best Directing and for Best Original Screenplay. Singleton became the youngest person – and the first Black director – to receive an Oscar® nomination for Best Director.
DID YOU KNOW? During an internship at Columbia Pictures, John Singleton submitted the script for BOYZ N THE HOOD to executive Stephanie Allain, who brought it to the attention of studio chief and former AFI Trustee Frank Price. Columbia initially offered Singleton $100,000 “to walk away,” but Singleton refused the money and insisted on directing the project himself. Despite his lack of experience, Price was reassured by his confidence and eventually greenlit the picture with Singleton as director.
DID YOU KNOW? Filming of BOYZ N THE HOOD took place in South Central Los Angeles, where many of the background actors were neighborhood locals picked from crowds that were checking out the production.
DID YOU KNOW? BOYZ N THE HOOD marked the first major motion picture roles for Morris Chestnut, Nia Long, Regina King and Cuba Gooding Jr. and was Ice Cube’s acting debut. According to Ice Cube, he used his own experience growing up in South Central as inspiration for the character Doughboy.
DID YOU KNOW? BOYZ IN THE HOOD premiered at the 1991 Cannes Film Festival, where the response to the film was a 20-minute standing ovation. Film critic Roger Ebert called BOYZ N THE HOOD one of the best American films of recent years and acknowledged it as “an American film of enormous importance.”
DID YOU KNOW? BOYZ IN THE HOOD set an overseas record at the time as the most lucrative film with a predominantly Black cast to ever open in Paris, France, with 11,954 admissions on 23 screens in its first day.
DID YOU KNOW? According to Laurence Fishburne, he was first introduced to the idea of BOYZ N THE HOOD while working on television’s PEE WEE’S PLAYHOUSE. It was there that he met director John Singleton, who at the time was a production assistant on the show.
Learn more at the AFI Catalog.
The movie doesn’t end at the credits: Family-friendly Discussion Questions
-Would it have been better for Trey to stay with his mom instead of moving in with his father ?
-Given the film’s focus on race relations and tensions between police and civilians, why do you think director John Singleton chose to have an African American LAPD officer in the confrontation with Trey? What does the scene convey – and how would it have been different with a white officer?
-Why did Furious take Trey and Ricky to see the billboard that was put up in the neighborhood?
-Why does Trey get out of the car at the end of the movie? Why is Doughboy understanding with Trey when he gets out?
-Why do you think director John Singleton chose to fill the film’s background noise with sounds of police sirens, helicopters and gun shots? How does that illustrate time and pace?
-How did the lack of sound except for the gunshot enhance the magnitude of the moment of Ricky being shot?
-Why do you think director John Singleton added the phrase “Increase the Peace” under the film’s title at the end of that film? What is the importance of that phrase?
-After almost 30 years, why is BOYZ N THE HOOD still an important story in today’s society?
-How would you rate BOYZ N THE HOOD?
Watch director John Singleton talk about his first Hollywood meeting in this exclusive AFI Archive clip:
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