28 user 10 critic

American Heart (1992)

R | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 7 May 1993 (USA)
1:51 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

An ex-convict is tracked down by his estranged teenage son, and the pair try to build a relationship and life together in Seattle.



(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

The story begins in Los Angeles when Frances Lacey (Kathy Bates) takes her six children and drives north to find a home of their own away from the bad influences of the big city.

Director: Tony Bill
Stars: Kathy Bates, Edward Furlong, Clarissa Lassig
Rancho Deluxe (1975)
Comedy | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two drifters, of widely varying backgrounds, rustle cattle and try to avoid being caught in contemporary Montana.

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Sam Waterston, Elizabeth Ashley
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After his mother's death, Collin Fenwick goes to live with his father's cousins, the wealthy, avaricious, and controlling Verena Talbo, and her compliant, earthy sister Dolly. When a city ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Matthau
Stars: Piper Laurie, Sissy Spacek, Walter Matthau
Fearless (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man's personality is dramatically changed after surviving a major airline crash.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez
Brainscan (1994)
Comedy | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A teenager is part of an interactive video game where he kills innocent victims. Later, the murders become real.

Director: John Flynn
Stars: Edward Furlong, Frank Langella, T. Ryder Smith
Pecker (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A talented young photographer, who enjoys snapping photos of his satirical, perverted Baltimore neighborhood and his wacky family, gets dragged into a world of pretentious artists from New York City and finds newfound fame.

Director: John Waters
Stars: Edward Furlong, Christina Ricci, Bess Armstrong
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Scudder is a detective with the Sheriff's Department who is forced to shoot a violent suspect during a narcotics raid. The ensuing psychological aftermath of this shooting worsens his ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Rosanna Arquette, Alexandra Paul
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Three years after his divorce from his model-wife is the psychologist Larry Livingstone ready for a new commitment. He falls in love with the young widow Beth who has two children. But Beth... See full summary »

Director: Alan J. Pakula
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Alice Krige, Farrah Fawcett
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Two misunderstood suburban kids challenge society and run from the police while documenting all of their deeds with a digital camera.

Directors: Randall Rubin, Jonathan Schroder
Stars: Edward Furlong, Rachael Bella, William Sadler
Texasville (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

The summer of 1984: 32 years after Duane Jackson captained the high school football team and Jacy Farrow was homecoming queen, the small town of Anarene, Texas prepares for its bicentennial... See full summary »

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Timothy Bottoms
Western | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Lewis Tater writes Wild West dime novels and dreams of actually becoming a cowboy. When he goes west to find his dream he finds himself in possession of the loot box of two crooks who tried... See full summary »

Director: Howard Zieff
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Andy Griffith, Donald Pleasence
Little Odessa (1994)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Early 1990s drama about a family of Soviet Jews living in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach ocean-side neighborhood nicknamed Little Odessa.

Director: James Gray
Stars: Tim Roth, Edward Furlong, Moira Kelly


Cast overview, first billed only:
John Boylan ...
Greg Sevigny ...
Willie Williams ...
Roosevelt Franklin ...
Melvyn Hayward ...
Kit McDonough ...
Wren Walker ...
Cristine McMurdo-Wallis ...
Charlotte London ...


After leaving jail, Jack Kelson wants to live a normal life. He rents a small flat, moves in with his son Nick and tries to get a steady job. But then a former friend steps into his life again. Written by Markus Lasermann <mslaserm@trick.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Jack Kelson is going straight. And his son's breaking the law to help him. See more »


Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual situations | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 May 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Heart - Die zweite Chance  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$10,000,000 (estimated)


$384,048 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The wine that Jack and Charlotte drink in the taxi car is Pouilly-Fuissé, which is a white whine. See more »


Nick Kelson: My crib's upstairs.
Molly: You sleep in a crib?
See more »


References The 400 Blows (1959) See more »


Waiting for My Child
Composed by Sullivan Pugh
Performed by The Gospel Fireballs
Courtesy of AVI Music Publishing
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great Unknown Film
29 July 2001 | by (Seattle, WA) – See all my reviews

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"

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Tracey Kapisky sinchri
love this movie jerikaljdkf
great film !!! Frozilla_Firefox
American heart video.. cuppckae
Great Cast! Vantheman1790
Discuss American Heart (1992) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page