6.8/10
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29 user 10 critic

American Heart (1992)

R | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 7 May 1993 (USA)
An ex-convict is tracked down by his estranged teenage son, and the pair try to build a relationship and life together in Seattle.

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 May 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Heart - Die zweite Chance  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$384,048 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of "Freddie" was based on a real life street kid, named Lulu. Lulu was featured in the documentary Streetwise, and just like Freddie, she stood up for other street kids. Lulu was stabbed to death after Streetwise filmed, her funeral was covered by CNN and over 200 people attended. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, the ferry is leaving Seattle (towards Bainbridge Island or Bremerton). However a few seconds later we see the boat wake with the Olympic Mountains in the distance indicating the boat is headed towards Seattle, not away from it. See more »

Quotes

Jack Kelson: I was afraid something like this was going to happen. His mother was a mess. I mean he was coming along learning stuff, he had a hell of potential that kid coulda, been anything. what happened to him?
Charlotte: He isn't dead.
Jack Kelson: No not yet.
Charlotte: Why do you think he's out there?
Jack Kelson: Well, he started hangin' out with that chippy downstairs and and those street punks and next thing hes coming home with a pair of high heels. The rest is history.
Charlotte: You don't think that filling up that boys head with dreams and them kicking...
[...]
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Connections

Version of Streetwise (1984) See more »

Soundtracks

Sunny Side of The Street
Composed by Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields
Performed by Jeff Bridges
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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"


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