6.8/10
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American Heart (1992)

R | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 7 May 1993 (USA)
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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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(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Boylan ...
...
...
Greg Sevigny ...
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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's only hope was a dream... Nick's only hope was Jack. 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  »

Filming Locations:


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:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During filming, a tarp accidentally came loose and blew into a power line, resulting in a power outage to an entire apartment block. See more »

Quotes

Jack Kelson: [to Nick] You keep me straight, I keep you straight.
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Connections

References The 400 Blows (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Refreshingly honest and very well acted
15 November 2004 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

This is a dramatic, narrative film by Martin Bell, the director of the excellent documentary "Streetwise". And while it is obvious Bell was a little uncomfortable with the narrative format, it is one of the few independent films of the 1990's that doesn't suffer from the Quentin Tarantino syndrome--i.e. it is not just a pastiche of other movies the director has seen. It's clear Bell based a lot of this movie on real life. In fact, many of the characters here were obviously based on real people in "Streetwise"--the kid and his ex-con father, the tomboy lesbian, the 14-year-old amateur hooker. The movies suffers a little in comparison to early Gus Van Sant films ("Mala Noche","Drugstore Cowboy", "My Own Private Idaho")which had similar down-and-out characters and were also set in the American Northwest. But many will find this film refreshingly honest and less pretentious, at least, than some of Van Sant's films.

What really makes this film is the acting. It marked Jeff Bridges return to independent film (five or six years before "The Big Lebowski"), and his performance here makes one forgive him for the Hollywood crap he made in the 80's like "Against All Odds". Edward Furlong is also very good. I remember reading some alarmist claptrap about him in Premiere magazine around the time of this movie, about how he was dating a 30-year-old woman (oh, the horror! the horror!) and about to become another young Hollywood casualty. Well, starting with this film he ended up carving a nice little niche for himself in independent film (i.e. "Pecker", "Animal Factory"). Turns out that just because you're not starring in "Terminator 3" it doesn't necessarily mean you're sharing needles in a crack house with guys named Corey and girls named Shannen. And as a little icing on the cake this movie has a great Tom Waits theme song which you can't find any of his albums. Definitely a recommended movie.


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