'Boyz N the Hood' Celebrates 25th Anniversary
A look back at the film about friends growing up in South Central L.A.
— -- On July 12, 1991, John Singleton's movie "Boyz N the Hood" was released in the United States. Twenty-five years later, the movie is considered one of the finest movies about urban life ever produced.
It launched the acting career of former N.W.A. rapper Ice Cube, provided breakout acting roles for Oscar-winning actor Cuba Gooding Jr. and Morris Chestnut and skyrocketed the directing career of John Singleton.
"Boyz N the Hood" also shed light on parts of California rarely illuminated in mainstream culture at the time -- life in South Central Los Angeles, as noted by Vibe Editor-at-Large Keith Murphy.
"I don't think people really understood what life was like growing up for black people in Los Angeles, from certain parts of Los Angeles. It definitely brought out West Coast culture and hip-hop culture to the masses," Murphy told ABC News.
"'Boyz N the Hood' humanized the gangsters," he said, "and humanized the people in the hood."
The 1991 film also spawned a legion of inspired dramatic urban movies and parodies, such as "Juice," which starred late rapper Tupac Shakur in his first leading film role, and Keenan Ivory Wayans' "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka."
"I think that was the blueprint for a lot of things..."Jason's Lyric"..."Set it Off" with Queen Latifah that kind of made her into a star," Murphy said. "There's a lot of different movies, quote-unquote black movies that followed the blueprint."
"Boyz N the Hood" was nominated for two Academy Awards, one for Best Director and the other for Best Original Screenplay, in 1992. It won a New York Film Critics Circle Award in 1991 for Best New Director and was added to the National Film Registry by the National Film Preservation Board in 2002.
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