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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
...
Sally
...
Grace
...
Joseph
Hollis McLaren ...
Chrissie
...
Dave
...
Alfie
...
Singer
Moses Znaimer ...
Felix
...
Vinnie
Sean Sullivan ...
Buddy
...
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:

Where dreamers can be winners. 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

In his conversation with Buddy, the reminiscent bathroom attendant, Lou mentions an incident that involved Nucky Johnson. Johnson was one of the most powerful New Jersey Republicans and a racketeer with the mob who ran Atlantic City from 1910-1941 before being jailed in 1941 for income tax evasion for which he served four years in prison. A fictionalized version of Nucky Johnson, rechristened Nucky Thompson, was depicted in the popular TV series Boardwalk Empire (2010). See more »

Goofs

Before she goes to lunch with Lou, Sally cuts her hand at the oyster bar (drawing blood). But at lunch (and afterward), Sally's hand is unbandaged and healthy. (There's even a close-up of her hands when she examines Lou's cigarette case.) See more »

Quotes

Lou: You should have seen the Atlantic Ocean back then.
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

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

La Marseillaise
(uncredited)
Music by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Grainy, Gritty And A Great Story
23 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is a little bit on the seedy side but it's well-done and Burt Lancaster, once again, provides us with a wonderful character study. This time he's "Lou Pascal," an old-time small hood playing out his days in pathetic manner in a dingy Atlantic City. In fact, "seedy" describes Atlantic City in this picture.

There's nothing seedy about the opening scene, however. It's an attention- grabber, at least if you're a male. We see Susan Sarandon, squeezing lemon juice over her breasts at the kitchen window. Later, we see her do the same thing.

The film is no lemon, however. It's an excellent film and Lancaster, Sarandon ("Sally Matthews") and her husband "Dave" (Robert Joy) comprise most the early going. Joy's role as Sally's loser druggie husband was ugly but he doesn't last long in the film.

The second half of the film features mostly the two stars, both of whom were up for Academy Awards for their performance (and lost out in a sentimental vote for the On Golden Pond crowd). Not only do Lancaster and Sarandon excel, but so does director Louis Malle.

Malle makes this almost a modern-day film noir with the grittiness of the characters and the setting, when Atlantic City looked its worst. It's just solid film-making all-around, and few people could play intense characters, young or old, as well as Lancaster.

My only regret is the transfer on the DVD. It's a little grainy and this film deserves better treatment. although, come to think of it - the grain is appropriate considering it's a gritty story.


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