A young and impatient stockbroker is willing to do anything to get to the top, including trading on illegal inside information taken through a ruthless and greedy corporate raider who takes the youth under his wing.
Following the death of his employer and mentor, Bumpy Johnson, Frank Lucas establishes himself as the number one importer of heroin in the Harlem district of Manhattan. He does so by buying heroin directly from the source in South East Asia and he comes up with a unique way of importing the drugs into the United States. As a result, his product is superior to what is currently available on the street and his prices are lower. His alliance with the New York Mafia ensures his position. It is also the story of a dedicated and honest policeman, Richie Roberts, who heads up a joint narcotics task force with the Federal government. Based on a true story. Written by
Clarence Williams III:
uncredited as Ellsworth 'Bumpy' Johnson. Williams was in another Harlem crime drama, Hoodlum (1997), which was about 'Bumpy' Johnson. In that, he played gangster 'Bub' Hewlett. See more »
During the Bronco chase after the $20,000 drug purchase, interior shots of show a Torino name plate on the dashboard. Exterior shots show a Cadilac. See more »
Only the Strong Survive
Written by Kenny Gamble (as Kenneth Gamble), Leon Huff, Jerry Butler
Published by Ensign Music obo itself and Downstairs Music Co.
Performed by Jerry Butler
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises See more »
Detractors of this film were fooled by the trailer.
American Gangster has been really hated upon in many of the former posts I have read. Yet it seems like they are all saying the same thing, that Gangster didn't have enough action and was really drawn out. Anyone who has every seen a Ridley Scott film will know that his films are long! Blade Runner, A Good Year, Matchstick Men, Hannibal, Black Hawk Down, Gladiator, G.I. Jane, Thelma and Louis, and Alien all ran for at least two hours or more, so big surprise there guys. In addition Scott didn't set out to film another scarface, he set out to tell a story not just about Frank Lucas but rather a tale of corruption and how pervasive it is. One user commented that this film had many side story lines that "bloated" the story. This is completely untrue as every "side story" is actually the overarching story about the fight against corruption in every facet of life, even Frank Lucas attempts several times to eradicate the corruption in his organization.
Over all this is a great film which really gets into every nook and cranny of an issue. Don't see this film if your just looking for cheap thrills, this is a thinking film about the pervasive dishonesty of our culture.
I gave this film 8 stars because i could find nothing solid that detracted from it, but rather a slew of minor details which gradually brought its score down. But I will put this film in my top films for the year, if only because I have been immensely unsatisfied with the bulk of releases this year.
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