Dead Presidents is a 1995 American crime film written by Michael Henry Brown, also written, produced and directed by the Hughes brothers (Albert and Allen Hughes), starring Larenz Tate, Keith David, Chris Tucker, Freddy Rodriguez, N'Bushe Wright and Bokeem Woodbine. The film chronicles the life of Anthony Curtis, focusing on his teenage years as a high school graduate and his experiences during the Vietnam War. As he returns to his hometown in The Bronx, Curtis finds himself struggling to support himself and his family, eventually turning to a life of crime.
Dead Presidents is based partly on the real-life experiences of Haywood T. Kirkland, whose true story was detailed in the book Bloods: An Oral History of the Vietnam War by Black Veterans by Wallace Terry. Certain characters from the film are based on real acquaintances of Kirkland, who served time in prison after committing robbery in facepaint.
In the spring of 1969, Anthony Curtis (Larenz Tate) is about to graduate from high school. Anthony is not going to college, and needing to get away from home to find himself, he enlists in the U.S. Marine Corps shortly after graduation. He is sent to Vietnam, leaving behind his middle-class family, a pregnant girlfriend (Rose Jackson), and small time crook Kirby (Keith David), who is like a second father.