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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

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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ridley Scott had read the first draft of Steven Zaillian's screenplay before filming Kingdom of Heaven (2005), and instantly became interested in directing it. While filming his next feature, A Good Year (2006), Scott and Russell Crowe extensively discussed the project, which ultimately led to them signing on. See more »

Goofs

When Frank first calls his cousin in Bangkok, he tells the operator that Thailand's country code is 376. Later, as the war is ending, he gives the operator the country code 367. Thailand's actual country code is 66. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bumpy Johnson: Happy Thanksgiving!
See more »

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

Referenced in The O'Reilly Factor: Episode dated 22 January 2008 (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Only the Strong Survive
(1968)
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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Ridley Rocks!
2 November 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Finally a good, accurate, gangster drug-trafficking film that makes you think. It's far from Polyanna and lets no-one group off; not gangsters of any race or ethnicity, not cops on the take, addicts, etc. And importantly, the story, based upon the true life story of Frank Lucas, does not profile a stereotypical black gangster gone wrong but instead shows an elegant, intellectual man who rises to the top of his game but then learns something new in the end. The film is a sure-shot into the Oscars but more importantly, for me, it's a film that is socially responsible and imparts a thoughtful message for any viewer,especially in light of current times.

Technically, it's got it all going on. Script,Camera, lighting,and not only par excellence from Crowe and Washington but the entire acting cast. The film uses fabulous close-ups and unbelievably good action shots. I disagree with any reviews that claim the movie is not packed with enough action or violence. How tiresome that would be! Instead, while including some of the best action/violent shots ever filmed, Mr. Ridley gives us a relevant and real-life look into the narcotics business top-to-bottom and across the board. I would far prefer to see a movie that has a dozen or so magnificently staged violent shots that dare to go deeper and translate both internal as well as external motivations as to depict real life. The film is not only entertaining; its portrayal is authentic to the real life grizzly and sometimes grayed world of crime/justice as well as didactic and amazingly...uplifting. What a nice surprise.


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