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TIME: Black history
Hughes brothers

Arts & Entertainment
Albert and Allen Hughes:

Interactive Profile

The Los Angeles-based twin brothers are known for depicting the gritty, violent realities of urban life. Their high school "how-to" film project was titled "How to be a Burglar." Their mother gave them a video camera at age 12 and by 19, they had sold their first script. A year later, they completed their first feature film. The two have faced off several times with the Motion Picture Association of America's ratings board about the violence in their films. The brothers oversee a production and record company and have produced music videos for several rap artists.

Albert and Allen Hughes

April 1, 1972, in Detroit, Michigan; Albert is the older of the fraternal twins.

11th grade dropouts

The brothers list Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese as people who have influenced their film directing work. At 20, they had completed their first feature film, which grossed almost $30 million at the box office. Titled "Menace II Society," it tells the story of a young African-American man who feels mired in the violent, drug-driven culture of his Los Angeles neighborhood. Other films include: "Dead Presidents," which examines the difficulties African-American veterans faced after the Vietnam conflict, and "From Hell," the duo's first period piece that tells the tale of Jack the Ripper. The Hughes brothers also produced a documentary titled "American Pimp" to explore the status and influence of prostitution bosses.

Both are unmarried. Allen Hughes has a 10-year-old son; Albert has a 7-year-old daughter.

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