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DVD cover of Strapped.jpg
Written byDena Kleiman
Directed byForest Whitaker
StarringBokeem Woodbine
Fredro Starr
Chi Ali
William James Stiggers, Jr.
Michael Biehn
Angela Jones
Theme music composerJoe Romano
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producerColin Callender
ProducersNellie Nugiel
Lydia Dean Pilcher (associate producer)
CinematographyLarry Banks
EditorGlenn Morgan
Running time104 minutes
Production companiesHBO Showcase
Osiris Films
Original networkHBO
Original releaseAugust 21, 1993 (1993-08-21)

Strapped is a 1993 American television crime-thriller/drama produced by HBO Showcase. The film, which was directed by Forest Whitaker, is the cinematic debut of Bokeem Woodbine. It features several rappers including Fredro Starr, Sticky Fingaz, Busta Rhymes, Yo-Yo and Kool Moe Dee.[1]


Diquan Mitchell (Woodbine), a 19-year old ex-con, attempts to turn his life around and start legitimate work. At the beginning of the film, Mitchell witnesses an argument between two youths Chucky and Pharaoh in the stairwell of his apartment building upon arriving home. Deciding not to expose the youth who did the shooting to law enforcement, Mitchell takes the handgun used in the killing from him and tells him to run. Mitchell, who lives in a Brooklyn public housing project apartment with his two sisters, mother and grandmother has a girlfriend named Latisha Jordan (Goodwin) who is 8 months pregnant.

Mitchell's girlfriend who is also an ex-felon (having been arrested two times prior) gets caught selling crack cocaine to an undercover New York cop. After a bond hearing, The judge sets bail at $2500 for Jordan. Due to not having the funds to bail her out, Mitchell join forces with the police in a complicated undercover operation that involves selling guns on the street while selling information to the police. In addition to becoming an informant, Mitchell is also promised a deal by the cops that the lengthy imprisonment (of either 18 months or 8 years) and the case for Jordan would be dismissed if they successfully take down a gun salesman name Ben (Wasson) who has been selling guns to neighborhood youths.

Mitchell teams up with his long-time friend Bamboo (Starr) to help out with the case while pocketing cash from gun sales on the side (Bamboo not knowing that Mitchell is involved with the cops). Shortly after bailing his girlfriend out of jail, Mitchell and Bamboo speaks with Ann (Yo-Yo), who puts them in contact with her brother in Georgia to buy guns to make their own profits. The cops later stake-out the location where Ben set-up to make sales, having arrested him earlier for possession of 150 firearms at his suburban-area home.

The cops are later informed by the ATF that they can't charge him due to lack of evidence that he is selling the weapons to youths. Due to this, the cops later tell Mitchell that they need more evidence on Ben. After his run-in with the cops, Ben later returns to the neighborhood to locate Bamboo; running into other youths who give him Bamboo's beeper (also known as a pager) number in return for multiple firearms.

Ben then reaches Bamboo via phone and lets him know that he is aware that Bamboo has been speaking with the cops about his gun selling business and threatens his life. Thereafter, Mitchell and Bamboo visits a local convenience store where Bamboo accidentally shoots a 5-year-old girl. After being interrogated by the cops for the murder, Mitchell and Bamboo are released from jail. Upon returning to the neighborhood, Mitchell is told by Lay-Lay that everybody has been saying he has been working with the cops.

Bamboo later shows up at Mitchell's apartment to confront him about the news which leads to a fight and shootout between the two. The film ends with Mitchell accepting responsibility for the youth killed at the beginning of the film, having used the gun during the shootout. In return for his guilty plea, the case against his girlfriend is dismissed. In court Mitchell is sentenced to prison. The film's title refers to the urban slang for carrying a gun.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Bernard Weinraub (1993-08-17). "Switching To a New Camera Angle". The New York Times.

External links[edit]