Jack is now out of jail and he meets Nick, his adolescent son. Their relationship will be complicated, because Jack has a problem with alcohol. But his love for Nick will help him to get over the past and reach his dreams.
The story is located in Los Angeles in the sixties. An energetic widow, Frances Lacey, with her six children try to make a dream of theirs come true: to have a home of their own. Therefore ... See full summary »
When two poor greasers, Johnny, and Ponyboy are assaulted by a vicious gang, the socs, and Johnny kills one of the attackers, tension begins to mount between the two rival gangs, setting off a turbulent chain of events.
Francis Ford Coppola
C. Thomas Howell,
Lou is a small time gangster, who thinks he used to be something big. He meets up with a younger girl, Sally, who is learning to be a croupier. Her husband turns up with drugs he has stolen... See full summary »
Two convicts break out of Mississippi State Penitentiary in 1936 to join a third on a long spree of bank robbing, their special talent and claim to fame. The youngest of the three falls in ... See full summary »
The apartment building Jack Kelson and his son lived in was presented as Queen Anne Hill in the movie. In actuality, the movie was filmed in an apartment building on Capitol Hill in Seattle, on the 1700 block of Summit Avenue North See more »
I first heard about this movie when it was filming in Seattle, my home. Being a fan of Jeff Bridges, I had to see it when it was released. I now own it on video, and it is one of my favorites.
The Seattle locations are used well, but the basic story could happen anywhere. Ex-con Bridges tries to build a life for himself and his estranged son after his release from prison. There are subplots dealing with a pen-pal romance and Jack's ex-partner, but the focus is on the father-son relationship. What makes the film fascinating is the texture and depth of Bridges' performance. Jack is not too smart, a drunk, and flat broke. He is thrown into a harsh, uncompromising world at the very bottom rung, and somehow must find a way to survive AND stay straight. As he gradually takes responsibility for his son, Nick, he regains his self-esteem and humanity. Bridges shows us all this with humor, honesty, and zero sentimentality. He never shies away from exposing Jack's flaws, but also imbues him with a raw sort of nobility. Flashback sequences drawing a parallel between young Jack and Nick add a layer of poignancy.
There is level of verisimilitude and frankness in "American Heart" that contemporary, mainstream American movies rarely exhibit. In form it greatly resembles Dustin Hoffman's remarkable "Straight Time", but this film is about relationships, not crime. If all you want from a movie is escapism, stay away. Those who like to wander near the Edge will be rewarded.
"you keep me straight, I'll keep you straight"
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