American Gangster Movie: Will The REAL Frank Lucas Please Stand Up?

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Frank Lucas (also known as “Superfly” in the underground world) is the star of the show in the movie American Gangster which opened in theaters this week.

Jim and I were among the first to see it. We both really enjoyed this movie!

American Gangster is based on a true story (…which is what initially sold me). Like usual, after I see a “fact-based” movie, I run home to learn all I can about the real characters that the movie is based on. In this case… Frank Lucas.

Here’s what I found out about Frank “Superfly” Lucas…


The “American Gangster” Movie

“American Gangster is based on a true story and presents Frank Lucas as an elegant man and an innovative entrepreneur. He is a loving husband and son, but also the most ruthless drug lord in 1970s New York… This is an interesting film because it throws light on the understated power of an African-American mobster who ran his business as effectively and professionally as any successful CEO would today.”


See a current photo of Frank Lucas, as well as a great summary of his life & times.

Here’s an excerpt from the piece:
“Frank Lucas, at 77 years old and in a wheelchair, still has a small gang doting on him. Sons, publicists and friends swirl around Lucas in nearly perpetual commotion, fetching him everything from pills to a cooling fan. A recent visitor is directed kindly _ though in no uncertain terms _ in and out of the room. There’s still plenty of power left in Lucas’s presence, even though his days as a Harlem drug lord are decades past, his millions long ago seized by the government.” Source

If you saw the American Gangster movie, and you’re wondering if that flamboyant black & white chinchilla coat and hat (that Frank Lucas wore in the movie, which in a small way led to his demise) were “real” or accurately portrayed in the film… Yep, that part was accurate!

Check out this recent photo of Richie Roberts, plus other fact-based accounts from the movie.


The “Mr. Untouchable” Movie

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There’s another movie (also playing in theaters right now) that shows a different side of the same story. Mr Untouchable is an independent film that gives the point of view of a different character in the American Gangster movie — Leroy “Nicky” Barnes (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.). Unfortunately, this independent film isn’t showing anywhere near me. Bummer. I guess I’ll have to wait for the DVD rental.

All in all, it’s quite an interesting story.

Here’s a rare modern-day conversation between Frank Lucas and Nicky Barnes where they discuss how they did what they did in the 70’s and 80’s.

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Now, have you got some time to kill?… If so, then you’re sure to enjoy this full-length documentary about Frank Lucas that originally aired on BET. It’s in video form for online viewing. Enjoy!

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I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money -- so I write about "outside the box" ideas that most wouldn't think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I'm truly passionate about. I've worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo -- to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).

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