six years ago, wow. i can't believe i haven't been to this board in that long.
i agree it is really well done. caught it on HBO the first month it was out in 98 and have rewatched it many many times since. it is one of my main go-to's. love the story, love the characters, love the location/settings. there's just something about this film that strikes a deep chord. oh yes, and the music.
i have not been able to find a copy of the script. been trying for years. mosley always has great stories and characters. because of this movie, i watched devil in a blue dress and loved it too. it has a similar 'pathos' vibe to always outnumbered, in the 'struggle for survival' and 'one man fighting the system' and 'life in los angeles' kind of ways, except it is set in the 1940s.
the end scene tears me up every time, burke sitting on that bench as the bus pulls away. mosley really knows how to nail you where you live. i don't like his politics and activism, but i love his writing.
natalie cole's diner was a cool thing too. i bought the book in the early 2000s and have read it twice. the movie and the book are closely aligned, i guess since mosley wrote the script. also there was a 2nd book and i bought it too, but i don't remember much about it.
the socrates character was masterly conceived, and touches a nerve with anyone i have ever known who saw this film, even the 'non sentimental' types. it is truly a masterpiece of cinema, and a snapshot of life on the streets in LA during the 1990s. a definite underrated gem which has flown under the radar.
for anyone who likes this film, you may also enjoy 'the saint of ft washington' with danny glover. check it out.