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USA: Universal Studios
UK: Buena Vista
Cast: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Reon Shannon, Deborah Unger, Liev Schreiber, John Hannah, Dan Hedaya, Debbi Morgan, Clancy Brown, David Paymer, Harris Yulin, Rod Steiger, Garland Whitt, Vinny Pastore, David Sparrow
Director: Norman Jewison
USA: 125 mins
UK: 145 mins
USA Rated: R for language and some violence
UK Certificate: 15 for infrequent strong violence and frequent, strong language
USA Release Date: 29 December 1999
UK Release Date: 24 March 2000
Academy award winner Denzel Washington is Rubin "Hurricane" Carter a man whose dreams of winning the middleweight boxing title were destroyed when he was arrested along with another man for the murders of three people in a New Jersey bar. Wrongly accused, Carter and John Artis were convicted and sentenced to three life terms in prison, where Carter decided to channel his frustration and despair by writing his own story from his cell.
Although his autobiography, The Sixteenth Round, did get published, Carter remained behind bars, finding inner peace by withdrawing from the outer world and the national interest which surrounded the case (including impassioned pleas from Bob Dylan and Muhammad Ali, among others).
Years later, an alienated American youth living in Canada (Vicellous Reon Shannon) found direction and purpose for the first time in his life after reading Carter's book and began corresponding with him. Convinced of his innocence, the teenager enlisted his social activist guardians: Terry Swinton (John Hannah), Lisa Peters (Deborah Kara Unger) and Sam Chaiton (Live Schreiber), to mount a full-time campaign to get Carter released.
Initially reluctant to join forces with these well-meaning strangers, Carter was soon won over by their extraordinary passion and selfless commitment to his cause, proclaiming "Hate put me in prison, love is gonna bust me out." With renewed faith and determination, Carter was able to continue his fight for justice (a 20 year fight for justice) and eventually walk out a free man.