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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 ...
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Greg Sevigny ...
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Willie Williams ...
Roosevelt Franklin ...
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Kit McDonough ...
Wren Walker ...
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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>

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Plot Keywords:

run | boy | rent | prison | breasts | See All (101) »

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

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Release Date:

7 May 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Heart - Die zweite Chance  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$384,048 (USA)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(some footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story is based on the relationship between a young runaway in the 1980s named Dewayne and his father who was incarcerated for robbery and attempted arson. They can both be seen in the 1984 documentary, Streetwise, which focuses on several of Seattle's runaway youth in the 1980s. Dewayne committed suicide at the age of 14. The story was later developed by Peter Silverman. Martin Bell, Mary Ellen Mark. Then, Silverman and Bell wrote the screenplay. 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

Normandy: What high school you put him in?
Nick Kelson: Garfield.
Jack Kelson: That's right.
Nick Kelson: You're not gonna arrest him sir? Are ya? We're jst starting out, he's a real good guy.
Normandy: I need to know you can handle this.
Jack Kelson: I can handle this.
Normandy: You sure you can handle this?
Jack Kelson: Yes, sir.
[Normandy takes the handcuffs off Jack and gives him a urine test cup]
Jack Kelson: [to Nick] Outta the way.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Big City Dick: Richard Peterson's First Movie (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Crazy 'bout My Baby
Composed by Fats Waller (as Waller), W. Alexander Hill (as Hill)
Performed by Tom Waits
Tom Waits performs Courtesy of Island Records, Inc.
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User Reviews

 
Father and son
13 July 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

"American Heart", which was released in 1992 was an excellent dramatic account of the relationship between a father and his impressionable teen age son. Jeff Bridges helped to produce the film, that is directed with great sense of style by Martin Bell, a man that should be appreciated for his uncompromising way of looking at life. Mr. Bell collaborated on the screen play with Peter Silverman, a writer that has worked extensively on television.

Jack Kelson is an ex-con who wants to go straight. In the process he inherits his own son, who has been living away. They both end in Seattle trying to make a new start. Unfortunately, Jack Kelson has left behind enemies that ultimately want him dead. Jack figured he wants to start a new life in Alaska, away from the evil environment of crime in Seattle.

Jeff Bridges is the best thing in this movie. We had seen this movie when it first was released, and we are impressed how well it still plays. Mr. Bridges is an accomplished actor who is totally believable in whatever he decides to play. It's his honesty that pulls us to him, and even this tough man he is portraying, shows redeeming qualities. Edward Furlong is also equally good as the young Nick, who clearly adores his father. The last scene at the ferry, when it's not clear Jack will make it and Nick is looking for him all over the place, has to be one of the most heart wrenching moments in this film.

The musical score is amazing. Tom Waits songs in the background contribute to the feeling of despair the director created for us. Also Fats Waller's song "Im Crazy 'Bout My Baby" is heard in the film.

This is a film that endures the passing of time thanks to the great contribution Martin Bell made to the film.


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