Vicenarian Richard travels to Thailand and finds himself in possession of a strange map. Rumours state that it leads to a solitary beach paradise, a tropical bliss. Excited and intrigued, he sets out to find it.
Having seen his father killed in a major gang fight in New York, young Amsterdam Vallon is spirited away for his own safety. Some years later, he returns to the scene of his father's death, the notorious Five Points district in New York. It's 1863 and lower Manhattan is run by gangs, the most powerful of which is the Natives, headed by Bill "The Butcher" Cutting. He believes that America should belong to native-born Americans and opposes the waves of immigrants, mostly Irish, entering the city. It's also the time of the Civil War and forced conscription leads to the worst riots in US history. Amid the violence and corruption, young Vallon tries to establish himself in the area and also seek revenge over his father's death. Written by
Martin Scorsese got interested in the project in the early 1970s after he read the book while house-sitting on Long Island one New Year's Eve. See more »
When Amsterdam is placed on the table at the pagoda, Bill the Butcher lowers his arm after tossing the cleaver in to the air. In the next shot, he lowers his arm again. See more »
The past is a torch that lights our way. Where our fathers have shown us the path, we shall follow. Our faith is the weapon most feared by our enemies. For thereby shall we lift our people up against those who would destroy us.
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Noises from the modern day New York streets play over the second half of the closing credits. See more »
Along with so many people, I had waited for this movie to come out, but for a different reason. I have studied the Five Points at great length and wanted to see how Scorcese would deal with the subject. I was never more disappointed than when I left the theater after this drivel.
The storyline was okay if it stuck to the story. However, the action went in too many directions. But to an amateur historian, the fallacies are far too glaring. Fights between gangs were not agreed to in some formal setting, they just happened. And no one ever agrees to not use firearms...they were too frequently used. The Draft Riots were not central to the Five Points...the neighborhood had actually started to improve by the Civil War. By then, the Irish already controlled the Points and simply ignored the natives. The worst riot was in 1857, when the Bowery Boys' Riot flared up and left over 100 dead. The actual Bill the Butcher was a bit different from this one. William Tweed did not ascend to the head of Tammany until after the Draft Riots...
I could go on and on. Read Tyler Anbinder's "Five Points" or selections from "Gotham" to get a more accurate picture of the period.
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