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The Corner

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Title: The Corner  
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Subject: David Mills (TV writer), Khandi Alexander, Clarke Peters, Baltimore in fiction, List of films shot in Baltimore
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The Corner

The Corner
The Corner DVD cover
Genre Drama miniseries
Written by David Simon
David Mills
Directed by Charles S. Dutton
Starring T. K. Carter
Khandi Alexander
Sean Nelson
Theme music composer Corey Harris
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of episodes 6
Producer(s) Robert F. Colesberry
David Mills
David Simon
Nina Kostroff Noble
Location(s) Baltimore, Maryland
Cinematography Ivan Strasburg
Running time 376 minutes
Production company(s) Blown Deadline Productions
HBO Films
Knee Deep Productions
Original channel HBO
Original release April 16 – May 21, 2000 (2000-05-21)

The Corner is a 2000 HBO drama television miniseries based on the nonfiction book The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood (1997) by David Simon and Ed Burns, and adapted for television by Simon and David Mills. It premiered on premium cable network HBO in the United States on April 16, 2000 and concluded its six-part run on May 21, 2000. The series was released on DVD on July 22, 2003.[1] It won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries in 2000.

The Corner chronicles the life of a family living in poverty amid the open-air drug markets of West Baltimore. "The corner" is the junction of West Fayette Street and North Monroe Street (U.S. Route 1) ().

Cast and characters

  • T. K. Carter as Gary McCullough, a drug addict. Father of DeAndre and ex-husband of Fran. He dropped out of college when Fran became pregnant, and became addicted to drugs after their marriage ended.
  • Khandi Alexander as Francine "Fran" Boyd, a drug addict. Mother of DeAndre and DeRodd. Lives in the "Dew Drop Inn" with her sisters, Bunchie and Sharry, and brother Stevie and his son.
  • Sean Nelson as DeAndre McCullough, a drug dealer. Son of Gary McCullough and Francine "Fran" Boyd.
  • Clarke Peters as Fat Curt
  • Toy Connor as Tyreeka Freamon
  • Maria Broom as Bunchie Boyd
  • Sylvester Lee Kirk as DeRodd
  • Corey Parker Robinson as R.C.
  • Reg E. Cathey as Scalio
  • Rodney Scott as Little Deandre

Many actors from The Corner later appeared on David Simon's next television series, The Wire, often playing very different roles. They include Clarke Peters, Maria Broom, Corey Parker Robinson, Reg E. Cathey, Clayton LeBouef, Donnell Rawlings, Tootsie Duvall, Robert F. Chew, Lance Reddick and Delaney Williams. Alexander and Peters later starred in Simon's Treme. Many of the actors had also previously appeared on Homicide: Life on the Street, which was adapted from Simon's book.


A review by Hugh K. David of DVD Times praised The Corner as raw, "gritty, uncompromising, realistic, smartly directed, supremely well-acted, compulsively watchable, but harrowing and with little light at the end of the tunnel", comparing it to the television equivalent of such films as Last Exit to Brooklyn or Requiem for a Dream (also adapted from novels), with elements in common with both La Haine and Cidade de Deus.[2]


The miniseries received four Emmy nominations at the 52nd Primetime Emmy Awards. It was nominated for Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special and won for Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie or a Special (Charles S. Dutton); Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries or a Movie (David Simon and David Mills) and Outstanding Miniseries.[3] It also won a Peabody Award in 2000.[4]


Each episode starts and ends with a documentary style interview, wherein a lead character answers questions from the director Charles S. Dutton.

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date
1 "Gary's Blues" Charles S. Dutton David Simon & David Mills April 16, 2000 (2000-04-16)
"Gary, you should have never got caught up in this."
Thirty-four-year-old Gary McCullough has seen four years of drug addiction strip him of his money, his career...and his family. Now he has one mission: to get his next drug fix. When he's not shooting up with his girlfriend Ronnie - a ruthless, scheming addict who even steals from Gary when he isn't looking - Gary scours the neighborhood for heroin or spare cigarettes, and scrounges for money selling scrap metal and stolen appliances.
2 "DeAndre's Blues" Charles S. Dutton David Simon & David Mills April 23, 2000 (2000-04-23)
"I can jail if I have to."
DeAndre spends his life walking a fine line between childhood and maturity - a very fine line, since both of his parents are addicts, and he's been dealing drugs since he was 13 years old. DeAndre hangs out with his girlfriend Tyreeka while struggling to attend school so he can achieve a promotion from 9th to 10th grade. Getting into a fight with his mother, Fran, he leaves to stay with his father, Gary, who ends up stealing some of his drugs.
3 "Fran's Blues" Charles S. Dutton David Mills April 30, 2000 (2000-04-30)

"How we look, trying to raise children up in the middle of this craziness?"
Fran has her own drug habit that her son has so far avoided, but DeAndre, still a child, helps support his mother and younger half brother De'Rodd by selling cocaine on the corner. Fran's warnings to her son about selling drugs continue to go unheeded and DeAndre gets busted again. This time, to teach him a lesson, Fran makes no effort to get him out, and he's transferred to the "Boy's Village" for a wake-up call.

The real Fran Boyd makes a cameo appearance in this episode as a receptionist.
4 "Dope Fiend Blues" Charles S. Dutton David Simon May 7, 2000 (2000-05-07)

"We sitting here day after day making ourself a little bit less human."
Attempting to go straight, Gary gets a seasonal job at the crab market where he worked in his youth. When an addict gets shot, a local artist named Blue realizes the time to clean up his life is now or never. DeAndre has a new girlfriend, not knowing that Tyreeka, whom he's been ignoring, is pregnant with his child. With his mother in rehab, DeAndre turns to Gary for some money to feed the family.

The real DeAndre McCullough makes a cameo appearance in this episode as the police officer arresting Blue, the real Tyreeka Freamon makes a cameo appearance in this episode as a Checkers employee and the real George "Blue" Epps makes a cameo appearance in this episode as a counselor.
5 "Corner Boy Blues" Charles S. Dutton David Simon & David Mills May 14, 2000 (2000-05-14)
"I can't be locked up when my baby born, man"
Things are going well for Fran, who proudly moves the family into a new home, but not so well for Gary, who loses his job as the crab season ends. With a baby on the way, DeAndre attempts to walk a straight line, taking a job at a fast food restaurant while still earning off the corner, and agreeing to a midnight curfew imposed by Fran. Drugs are starting to take their toll on an aging corner seller, Curt, who collapses and ends up in the hospital.
6 "Everyman's Blues" Charles S. Dutton David Simon & David Mills May 21, 2000 (2000-05-21)
"Ain't no job harder in America"
The entire Boyd family gathers for Thanksgiving, a celebration that also marks the birth of DeAndre's son. It's a happy time for all, but it is to be short-lived as old addictions are revisited and new ones are born. DeAndre himself falls into a life of drugs.


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