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Allen Hughes

THE HUGHES BROTHERS, twins Allen Hughes and Albert Hughes, made a major leap into the entertainment industry with their debut as the 20-year-old creators and directors of Menace II Society, a compelling, realistic look at inner-city life that premiered at the 1993 Cannes Film Festival to international critical acclaim. With a budget of roughly $3 million, the Hughes took a story they came up with at age 14 and turned it into a motion picture that grossed nearly $30 million at the box office. Menace II Society was named one of the 10 best films of the year by several major critics across the country, and received Best Picture honors at the 1994 MTV Movie Awards.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, to a mother highly supportive of her sons' creativity, the Hughes Bros. began making home movies at age 12. Their film education began in their freshman year of high school when Allen took a TV production class. They soon made a short film entitled How to Be a Burglar, and people began to take notice. Their next work, Uncensored Videos, was broadcast on cable, introducing them to a wider audience. After high school, Albert began classes at LACC Film School. With the making of a short film entitled Menace, about a bank robbery getaway, and their next film, The Drive By, the twins' growing reputation as innovative filmmakers attracted offers to direct features. But they couldn't seem to find the right project, which led to their creating their own: Menace II Society.

Their follow-up film, Dead Presidents, written by award-winning playwright Michael Henry Brown and starring Larenz Tate, Chris Tucker, Bokeem Woodbine, Seymour Cassel, Martin Sheen, Keith David and N'Bushe Wright, was the story of a young man whose life turns to shambles after he returns from Vietnam. The film made its debut at the New York Film Festival in 1995. Next came the brothers' feature-length documentary American Pimp, an examination of the men behind the world's oldest profession, which made its debut at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival.

In 2001 the Hughes directed From Hell, a Jack the Ripper biopic starring Johnny Depp and Heather Graham, based on an investigation into the murders and their alleged link to the Royal Family.

Their debut as executive producers for the small screen came with the USA Network series Touching Evil, for which Allen Hughes also served as director of the pilot. They are currently developing the HBO series Gentleman of Leisure, a drama centering on a legendary pimp who contemplates retirement.

In addition to their vision as filmmakers, Allen and Albert Hughes have proven their talents in the music field. Their first two soundtracks, Menace II Society and Dead Presidents, which they produced, went platinum.

Some of their past projects include music videos for multiple award-winning artists, including Marvin Gaye's Inner City Blues, as well as the re-release of Isaac Hayes' Walk On By. The Hughes also directed two PSAs on gun control entitled Stray Bullet and These Walls Have No Prejudice, which have won 44 awards to date, including four Clio Awards.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2010.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Allen Hughes Facts

Also known asThe Hughes Brothers
OccupationProducer, Director, Screenwriter
BirthdayApril 1, 1972 (51)
BirthplaceDetroit, Michigan, USA

Selected Filmography

American Pimp
Crazy On The Outside
The Great Flamarion
Lalaoopsy Babies: First Steps
The Battle Begins...
New York, I Love You
Fell, Jumped or Pushed
The Ghost In The Invisible Bikini
Another Perfect Stranger
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