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American Gangster (2007)

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In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Eva
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Lou Toback
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Doc
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Skyler Fortgang ...
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Storyline

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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When Hoodlum Bumpy influences American Gangster Frank Lucas See more »

Genres:

Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, pervasive drug content and language, nudity and sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Language:

Release Date:

2 November 2007 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Return of Superfly  »

Box Office

Budget:

$100,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$24,028,445 (USA) (2 November 2007)

Gross:

$130,127,620 (USA) (25 January 2008)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Terry George was set to direct the film with Don Cheadle as Frank Lucas, Joaquin Phoenix was a definite consideration for the role of Richie Roberts. Phoenix previously co-starred with Russell Crowe in Gladiator (2000), which was also directed by Ridley Scott. See more »

Goofs

In one scene, a bill counter has a numeric green LED display. Computerized bill counters first appeared in 1981. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bumpy Johnson: Happy Thanksgiving!
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Crazy Credits

At the end of the closing credits, Frank Lucas approaches the camera and fires one shot from a pistol directly at the audience. See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

No Shoes
(1960)
Written by John Lee Hooker
Published by Conrad Music
Performed by John Lee Hooker
Courtesy of Vee-Jay Ltd. Partnership
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Keeps The Viewer Involved And Interested....Well Done.
26 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The story about Frank Lucas is one that proves fact is more interesting than fiction. The fact that such a character really did exist yet I do not remember it certainly intrigues me. I guess I was just too young at the time it broke. Now approaching my later forties finds me longing to research it further after seeing this movie.

I get the feeling Ridley Scott was amazed a person such as Frank Lucas was actually able to do what he did and live to tell about it. I certainly share that amazement. The care in which he tells the story serves it well. Though it's basically a gangster movie it's not particularly graphic in violence except in a few scenes. Even Denzel's and Russel's portrayals of the two central characters are not quite as dark as the usual more stereotypical gangster/cop persona...Still there is a sense of doom and danger ever present as the viewer knows neither law enforcement, government, or mafia will let this man's drug empire go on.

To sum it up I believe this is an excellent telling of a true crime story. It's intriguing, entertaining, and certainly serves as a cautionary reminder to remain vigilant in combating drugs.


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