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Atlantic City (1980)

In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer finds themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs, and danger.

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 25 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lou
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Sally
...
Grace
...
Joseph
Hollis McLaren ...
Chrissie
...
Dave
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Alfie
...
Singer
Moses Znaimer ...
Felix
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Vinnie
Sean Sullivan ...
Buddy
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Waiter (as Wally Shawn)
...
Bus Driver
...
Jeanne
Louis Del Grande ...
Mr. Shapiro
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Storyline

Dreams. Becoming an Atlantic City croupier will help Sally realize her dream of going to Monte Carlo, a symbol of the glamorous life that has been evading her since escaping from Saskatchewan a decade ago. Lou dreams that he was a great mobster in the old days. Grace came to Atlantic City for a Betty Grable look-alike contest and stayed to become the wife of a mobster. A brief visit to Atlantic City by Sally's estranged husband will change the course of the lives of Sally and Lou. Written by Dale O'Connor <daleoc@interaccess.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

She made him become what he always wanted to be - a lover, a hero, a rich man...and a killer! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

3 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atlantic City  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,200,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film's financing on a very limited budget was achieved by way of a Canadian tax shelter law called the Capital Cost Allowance (CCA) which provided a 100 percent tax write-off for Canadian films. The film's financiers had a requirement and stipulated that the picture must be shot prior to end of the 1979 year. See more »

Goofs

There is no channel 7 on TV in Philadelphia. However, channel 7 may have been used in order to distance the fictional portrayal from the actual Philadelphia stations. See more »

Quotes

Young Doctor: Mrs. Matthews, you can claim the body tomorrow.
Sally: [walking away to the exit] I don't want the body!
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the end credits roll, an old building on the boardwalk is demolished to some of the tunes that appear earlier in the film. Each time the wrecking ball hits, we hear a cymbal crash and the soundtrack jumps to a different song. See more »

Connections

Referenced in From Stereo to Video (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Atlantic City, My Old Friend
Music and Lyrics by Paul Anka
Special Guest Star: Robert Goulet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
French connection
28 January 2006 | by (Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico) – See all my reviews

The setting and the characters are just right for each other. Atlantic City is undergoing a transformation, with new casinos and hotels dotting its shoreline while a few blocks in, out of the tourists sight, the full time residents live in what's left over from the past. Louis Malle captures it all with this story about a retired small time member of the local organized crime syndicate (Burt Lancaster) who comes into a small fortune worth of stolen cocaine when the guy that stole it (Robert Joy) is killed by the dealers who meant to buy it in the first place down in Philadelphia, and are now hot on his heels as well. Back in the life, though unwittingly, he sells the coke to an ongoing poker game in one of the suites in a new hotel, bit by bit, and falls into the romance of his dreams with young Susan Sarandon, whom he watched every night from his hotel room as she bathed her breasts with lemon juice in her room across the way. Like the refurbishing city its set in, he feels rejuvenated and in one instance even fearless in the face of the ruthless Philly dealers. The film put Lancaster back in the limelight for a while, and refreshingly so. Its gritty realism and characters, especially Joy, who makes an excellent hippie con-man, marked the end of an era of that realistic 70's urban crime drama genre that deftly mixed romance with drugs and violence, and portrayed the underworld, mostly minus the cops, so well.


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