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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The characters of Santana (Olmos), J.D. (Forsythe) and Mundo (Serna) are based on real-life Mexican Mafia leaders Rudy "Cheyenne" Cadena, Joe "Pegleg" Morgan and Roberto "Robot" Salas. 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

J.D.: We appreciate you've taken a time to talk to us.
Don Antonio Scagnelli: What can I do for you?
J.D.: It's gonna be some changes in the way business is done in East L.A. From now on our people are gonna be responsible for the East L.A. exchange. All deliveries between Mexico and exchange are gonna be done through us, all collections are gonna be done by us.
Don Antonio Scagnelli: Is that what you came here for? To tell me my business?
J.D.: From now on your business in the barrio is gonna be our business too.
Montoya Santana: [Approaches to Don Scagnelli] Let me explain...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

La Vena Dita
Arrangement by Alfredo Lopez, Abel Rocha, Fernando Nataren
Performed by Quetzlcoatl
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Dark, brutal, and powerful
21 February 2000 | by (Los Angeles, CA) – See all my reviews

A film that explores the criminal lifestyle in a remarkably brutal and cynical fashion, American Me is the stunningly assured directing debut of Edward James Olmos. Olmos also stars, and gives a terrific performance. Even better is William Forsythe as his lifelong friend and right hand man. This film features some of the most unflinching moments of violence I've seen in a mainstream American film. The violence isn't necessarily graphic, but you generally get the idea. One scene involving a brutal gang rape has deservedly achieved notoriety, and yet it doesn't seem gratuitous. It works within the confines of the story. Olmos should be applauded for this achievement, and it's a shame that this film is overshadowed by other gangster films. It belongs right up there with them.


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