Casper Holstein has been portrayed in one movie “The Cotton Club” in a don’t blink or you’ll miss it performance by Rony Clanton and half heartedly fictionalized in the binge worthy “Boardwalk Empire” as Jeffrey Wright’s character Dr. Valentin Narcisse.
By contrast Bumpy Johnson’s been immortalized in film on at least four occasions. Moses Gunn’s Bumpy Jonas in “Shaft”, Laurence Fishburne’s Bumpy Rhodes in “The Cotton Club” and Bumpy Johnson in “Hoodlum” and Clarence Williams III’s Bumpy Johnson in “American Gangster”.
A bold mix of activism, policy, philanthropy, Black nationalism, and vice, Casper Holstein is the genuine article, the primordial Black Gangster in the DNA of Johnson and others. His lasting impact on the culture in high and low places alike makes his lack of cinematic treatment a grave misfortune and near travesty.
I could see a young Harlem prince like A$AP Ferg taking on the role.
How about you, who would you cast to portray the dynamic Harlem Bolito King?