In a few weeks, all eyes will be on “American Gangster” and Denzel Washington’s portrayal of former Harlem drug dealer Frank Lucas.
But a documentary opening October 26 tells the tale of Leroy “Nicky” Barnes, the true heroin kingpin of 1970s Harlem.
It’s called “Mr. Untouchable,” and it features Nicky Barnes himself... talking from the shadows, because he’s now in the Witness Protection Program. And how that came to pass is best discovered by watching the movie.
“Mr. Untouchable” is a fascinating social history of the black underworld, told mainly by ex-players. For example, members of the Nicky Barnes organization recall Frank Lucas’s crew disdainfully as “the country boys” because of how they dressed and spoke. The Barnes crew prided itself on “sophistication.”
I’ll be writing more about “Mr. Untouchable” in the coming weeks. For now, you can watch the trailer: