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American History X (1998)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  20 November 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 709,902 users   Metascore: 62/100
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A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.



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Top 250 Movies #32 | Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jason Bose Smith ...
Little Henry (as Jason Bose-Smith)


Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving 3 years in prison for killing two thugs who tried to break into/steal his truck. Through his brother, Danny Vineyard's narration, we learn that before going to prison, Derek was a skinhead and the leader of a violent white supremacist gang that committed acts of racial crime throughout L.A. and his actions greatly influenced Danny. Reformed and fresh out of prison, Derek severs contact with the gang and becomes determined to keep Danny from going down the same violent path as he did. Written by Nitesh D.(

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Si usted sigue el camino del odio, tarde o temprano va a pagar el precio. (If you follow the path of hatred, sooner or later will pay the price.) (Spanish DVD) See more »


Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic brutal violence including rape, pervasive language, strong sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American History X  »

Box Office


$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$156,076 (USA) (30 October 1998)


£291,438 (UK) (2 April 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

| |

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


During the party scene the swastika on the back of Seth's jacket is counter-clockwise. In the skinhead world the counter-clockwise swastika indicates that the person bearing it leads, not follows. See more »


Position of Dr. Sweeney's hands during conversation with Derek after the attack in the shower. See more »


Cameron: This is stupid. Go cool off, get laid, do something, come back when you're ready to talk.
Derek Vinyard: Yeah, but it really doesn't matter if I do, does it? Because you got a whole crop already lined up, you fuckin' chicken hawk!
Cameron: Excuse me?
Derek Vinyard: You prey on people Cam. I lost three years of my life for your fuckin' phony cause, but I'm onto you now, you fuckin' snake.
Cameron: Hey, watch it Derek, be careful. Remember where you are. This isn't some fuckin' country club where you can waltz in and outta here!
Derek Vinyard: Shut up! Shut ...
See more »


Referenced in The Simpsons: American History X-cellent (2010) See more »


The White Man Marches On
by Johnny Rebel
[To the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic.]
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

One of the most powerful movies I have ever seen.
19 July 2005 | by (Groningen, The Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I was expecting a kind of a moralistic movie with an overly present, almost preaching like message. The movie however turned out to be extremely powerful mainly due to the professionalism it was made with.

The movie its story is told 'beautifuly' in black & white and color. The quite original directing from Tony Kaye gives the movie a nice visual style and certain atmosphere. The story itself isn't that complicated or extremely original on its own and perhaps at most points even predictable but the way the story is told is phenomenal. This is not a movie with an happy ending or a movie that provides a solution to the racial discrimination problems. It shows what is NOT the solution to the problems and that everything that is occurring is like a vicious circle. The movie does not give a hopeful message but instead shows the dangers and pain you're causing to yourself and your close environment when you're thinking as a white supremacist.

As an anti Neo-Nazi movie this movie works really powerful. I think that its a really good and important thing that this movie is often shown in classrooms.

Edward Norton is truly fantastic in his role. He is very well believable as a Neo-Nazi as well as the reformed person he later turns into in the movie. It's almost like he's playing 2 different characters and he does that so extremely well. Also really good was Edward Furlong who we all long had not seen in a big production. Furlong and Norton are both acting well together in their scene's are highly believable as two brothers.

Also surprising good was the musical score by Anne Dudley who had already won an Oscar for "The Full Monty", the year before.

This was a movie that surprisingly impressed me. As a movie its extremely powerful and important.


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