7.0/10
25,488
125 user 71 critic

King of New York (1990)

A drug kingpin is released from prison and seeks to take total control of the criminal underworld in order to give back to the community.

Director:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

While investigating a young nun's rape, a corrupt New York City police detective, with a serious drug and gambling addiction, tries to change his ways and find forgiveness.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Brian McElroy, Frank Acciarto
The Funeral (1996)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In the 30's, in New York, the coffin of the leftist gangster Johnny Tempio is brought to the house of his older brother Ray for the wake of family and friends. Ray is a cold gangster that ... See full summary »

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Christopher Walken, Chris Penn, Annabella Sciorra
China Girl (1987)
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A modern day Romeo & Juliet story is told in New York when an Italian boy and a Chinese girl become lovers, causing a tragic conflict between ethnic gangs.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: James Russo, Richard Panebianco, Sari Chang
Deep Cover (1992)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A black uniformed policeman is recruited by a devious drug enforcement agent to infiltrate a smuggling organization seeking to expand into designer drugs. This 'ugly side of the war on ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Duke
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Jeff Goldblum, Lira Angel
New Jack City (1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A crime lord ascends to power and becomes megalomaniacal while a maverick police detective vows to stop him.

Director: Mario Van Peebles
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne
Ms .45 (1981)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A timid and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York City after dark and randomly shoots men with a .45 caliber pistol.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Zoë Lund, Bogey, Albert Sinkys
The Addiction (1995)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A New York philosophy grad student turns into a vampire after getting bitten by one, and then tries to come to terms with her new lifestyle and frequent craving for human blood.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A New York film director, working on his latest movie in Los Angeles, begins to reflect the actions in his movie and real life, especially when he begins an affair with the lead actress.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Madonna, James Russo
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Maas and Hosaka are two large Corporations in the future world. They are fighting to get control over the best minds of the world. The best is Hiroshi and at the moment he is working for ... See full summary »

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Christopher Walken, Willem Dafoe, Asia Argento
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A New York cop is recruited to return to his hometown and infiltrate the mob ran by his best friend's brother.

Directors: Phil Joanou, Michael Lee Baron
Stars: Sean Penn, Ed Harris, Gary Oldman
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jimmy Jump (as Larry Fishburne)
...
...
...
Joey Chin ...
...
...
...
...
...
Blood (as Leonard Lee Thomas)
...
Tanner (as Roger Smith)
Carrie Nygren ...
Melanie
Ernest Abuba ...
King Tito
Edit

Storyline

After completing a lengthy prison sentence, one-time drug kingpin Frank White returns to New York intent on reestablishing his empire and making things as they were before he left. Others of course have taken over the business during his absence but that clearly isn't going to stop White. While he is gunning down the opposition, he decides he's going to give away the money he'll make to modernize the hospital in his old neighborhood. Drug dealers aren't the only thing he has to worry about however: a group of rogue cops decide they are going to take him down. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where "Scarface" left off... "King of New York" begins. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

28 September 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El rey de New York  »

Box Office

Gross:

$2,554,476 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Christopher Walken's shower scene early in the film was shot in a set constructed by the set designer on a NYC rooftop. See more »

Goofs

When Bishop is reviewing Frank White's rap sheet on his computer, the word "parole" is misspelled as "parol", and "personnel" is misspelled as "personel". See more »

Quotes

Frank White: [to Bishop] I'm not your problem. I'm a business man.
See more »


Soundtracks

Saturday Night
Written and Performed by Schooly-D (as Schooly D)
Courtesy of Jive Records
Published by Willesden Music Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A crime kingpin re-enters the underworld upon his release from prison!
4 October 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This film for many will be too much and by that I mean in every way possible; the amount of grim and grime in Abel Ferrara's portrayal of New York City at the turn of the '90's, the perpetual display of crime and gang activity, the almost impenetrable bad language, the shocking violence and the in-your-face portrayal of hard life and sudden death from the perspectives of both criminals and cops. Saying that, this is one of the first and few greats from writer and director Abel Ferrara, notorious creator of schlock-horror trash 'Driller Killer' and I love it for all the reasons that people tend to hate it.

The inimitable and irreplaceable Christopher Walken plays Frank White, whose Lieutenants - led by intimidating and possibly demented Jimmy Jump played by Laurence Fishburne - have been guarding his territory, awaiting his return from prison. But when he gets out and goes back home to see that the streets have become every man's nightmare and every crackhead's dream, he decides that through rebuilding his empire, he will clean up the streets and give back to the community what the gangs have taken.

What results of this new resolution is the start of an unprecedented bloodbath in White's attempt to rid the streets of these crack dealing gangs and this catches the attention of Roy Bishop - White's nemesis, a jaded New York cop - who proceeds to chase the kingpin with the help of his toughest men Gilley and Flanigan, played with integrity and even a clever hint of villainy by David Caruso and Wesley Snipes.

Ferrara's distinctive independent style of filmmaking truly comes to fruition in this one, as it did with 'Bad Lieutenant', giving the audience a glimpse of everyday life on the grimmest streets of New York, while allowing his characters to run wild. There seems to be no clear line in the sand designating who is supposed to be the villain here as both Frank White and Roy Bishop seem to be corrupted characters with little redeeming features, the same not exactly applying to their supporting characters.

White is a man with no qualms in spilling blood for what he sees as the greater good because he targets only the lowest of the low throughout the film until the cops' war with him becomes personal. Bishop's war with him is nothing but personal however and the only thing that suggests he isn't the true villain of the film is the fact that he's a cop. Fishburne's character, Jimmy Jump, is a devil with no need for disguise, a loyal animal that never questions the man he works for because the only kick he needs is to kill who he sees as the bad guys, even though he is possibly the most intimidating face in 'King...' And Gilley and Flanigan, as straight and clean-cut as they seem throughout the film, are in fact corrupted. Corrupted by hate, by the need for revenge and through the grudges that they bear.

If anything, Ferrara's crime thriller is a film study applying an old philosophy to modern social politics. That philosophy being, "he who fights monsters should see to it that he too does not become a monster in doing so..." The film relies on the talents of its actors as physical and emotional forces of nature, as their performances run along on little comprehensible dialogue in relation to the plot but this is strengthened by a simplistic plot with easily picked out references to classic crime thrillers and although we see where the film is headed from the start, personally found myself excited and in awe of how it got there and honestly didn't see the end coming. It goes far beyond where others dare to go and still keeps it real.

In the end I find myself thinking, this is the kind of film 'The Untouchables' and 'Carlito's Way' didn't have the balls to be!


11 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?