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American Me (1992)

 -  Biography | Crime | Drama  -  13 March 1992 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 4,802 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 43 user | 16 critic | 11 from Metacritic.com

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 »
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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
Edit

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 year 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

According to 60 Minutes (1968), three people who acted as consultants on this film were later murdered because of the depiction of a homosexual rape scene that reportedly deeply offended the Mexican Mafia's machismo. 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 laying in just a t-shirt on his bed and in the next scene after hes caught on fire he's wearing his long sleeve button up. See more »

Quotes

Montoya Santana: What we'd done in Compton was wrong. It was supposed to be business, but came out racial. We wanted to send a message to BGF about staying away from our business. And we sent a bunch of fucking cowboys in other people's home turf, talkin trash and shooting some guy in the dick.
J.D.: I don't know what's wrong with you. I don' know if it is that woman or what? But you're starting to show weakness and we both know that you can't do that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cleveland Show: Hot Cocoa Bang Bang (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Shotgun
Written by Junior Walker (as Autry DeWalt)
Performed by Los Lobos
Courtesy of Slash Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Intense Disturbing and Underrated Film
24 November 2005 | by (Los Angeles) – See all my reviews

"American Me" is arguably the most significant film not discussed in the same breath with crime epics such as "The Godfather." It was clearly made, both consciously and perhaps subconsciously to be the Mexican Godfather film and that is hardly a bad thing. Its honesty regarding the emotional costs of violence and murder are on par with that film. I don't know what to say to anyone who critiques Edward James Olmos. First, this actor's capacity to convey a complicated range of emotions without words is absolutely staggering and has been seen to great effect in many great films including "Blade Runner." Additionally, he is inarguably the premiere Latino / Chicano filmmaker and actor of all time. If you look at the films he has been involved with, think about how they have dominated the way Hispanic people, Mexicans in particular, have been seen by others who would, largely, not even know of the experiences of their neighbors. "American Me" is so unflinching that, after seeing it, I had to see it again to believe it was actually made by or released by a major studio. Once upon a time studio films featured honest portraits of life but rarely any more. "American Me" tho hardly the knee-slapping comedy some reviewer wanted or expected, conveys an honest sense of the life lived by many without the hope of education or prosperity but with the same need for respect and something bigger than themselves to believe in that you or anyone else has and lives their life by. If you want to see a life perhaps very different than yours depicted with uncommon honesty, watch this film.


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