7.2/10
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American Me (1992)

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A Mexican-American Mafia kingpin is released from prison, falls in love for the first time, and grows introspective about his gangster lifestyle.

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(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Pedro Santana
Vira Montes ...
Esperanza Santana
Roberto Martín Márquez ...
Acha (as Robert Martin Marquez)
...
Yolanda
Joe Aubel ...
Tattoo Artist
Rob Garrett ...
Zoot Riot Bystander
...
Young Sailor
Cody Glenn ...
Older Sailor
...
Police Officer
Panchito Gómez ...
Young Montoya Santana (as Panchito Gomez)
Albert Joe Medina Jr. ...
Street Mechanic
Alex Solís ...
Street Mechanic (as Alex Solis)
Raymond Amezquita ...
Abuelito
...
Young JD
...
Young Mundo
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Storyline

This epic depiction of thirty years of Chicano gang life in Los Angeles focuses on a teen named Santana who, with his friends Mundo and the Caucasian-but-acting-Hispanic J.D., form their own gang and are soon arrested for a break-in. Santana gets into trouble again and goes straight from reform school to prison, spending eighteen years there, and becoming leader of a powerful gang, both inside and outside the prison, while there. When he is finally released, he tries to make sense of the violence in his life, in a world much changed from when last he was in it. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In prison they are the law. On the streets they are the power.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sensuality, and for language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sans rémission  »

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$13,086,430 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Rudy "Cheyenne" Cadena was not killed by his own gang as shown in the movie. In reality, he was killed by the Nuestra Familia, the rivals of the Mexican Mafia. As a result of this murder, the Mexican Mafia formed an alliance with the Aryan Brotherhood in 1972, and the Nuestra Familia formed an alliance with the Black Guerilla Family. See more »

Goofs

When the Mexican inmates are walking up with the mop and bucket to assassinate the African-American inmate, it shows the African-American inmate lying in just a t-shirt on his bed. In the next scene, after he's caught on fire, he's wearing his long sleeve button up. See more »

Quotes

Montoya Santana: I'm sorry to hear about Neto.
Julie: I don't know what to say to you.
Montoya Santana: Whatever, you know.
Julie: You're like two people. One is like a kid. Doesn't know how to dance, doesn't know how to make love. That's the one I cared about. But the other one, the other one I hate. The one who knows, the one who has this wrapdown, who knows how to run drugs, who kills people!
Montoya Santana: I don't have to listen to this shit, alright? If you were a man, I'd...
Julie: You'd kill me! Oh no. No, you'd fuck me in the ass, right? Right?
Montoya Santana: I guess we...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Heaven and Paradise
Written by Don Julian
Performed by Don Julian & The Meadowlarks
Courtesy of Dooto Records
by arrangement with Original Sound Entertainment/Celebrity Licensing Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

the greatest description of gang and prison life
12 February 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

this had the right amount of story, realism, and a great ending. people say it's too violent, but it's a prison movie it has to be violent, because prison is not sweet. Edward James Olmos is not only brave for doing this movie with actual prisoners and gang members, but he was great at depicting what happens to people when they get involved in a gang and do not do what the gang leader says, because when they tell you to kill someone, that person is going to get killed. either he goes down by your hands, or you end up getting killed with him. one of my favorite movies, i give it a 10/10


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