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66 user 53 critic

Atlantic City (1980)

Atlantic City, USA (original title)
In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer find themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs and danger.

Director:

Louis Malle

Writer:

John Guare
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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 25 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Lou
Susan Sarandon ... Sally
Kate Reid ... Grace
Michel Piccoli ... Joseph
Hollis McLaren ... Chrissie
Robert Joy ... Dave
Al Waxman ... Alfie
Robert Goulet ... Singer
Moses Znaimer Moses Znaimer ... Felix
Angus MacInnes ... Vinnie
Sean Sullivan ... Buddy
Wallace Shawn ... Waiter (as Wally Shawn)
Harvey Atkin ... Bus Driver
Norma Dell'Agnese ... Jeanne
Louis Del Grande Louis Del Grande ... Mr. Shapiro
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Storyline

Atlantic City is a place where people go to realize their dreams, the promise of the future manifested by the demolition of the old crumbling buildings to be replaced by new hotels and casinos. Someone who recently came to Atlantic City for that promise is native Moose Javian (Saskatchewan) Sally Matthews, who currently works as a waitress at a hotel oyster bar, but who is training to be a black jack croupier and wants to be more cultured, such as learning French, in order to work at the casinos in Monte Carlo. Another dreamer who came to Atlantic City decades ago is Lou Pascal, who has long worked as a numbers runner and who claims to have been a cellmate and thus implied confidante of Bugsy Siegel. Although Lou still dresses to the standard to which he is accustomed, his dream long died as he only works penny ante stuff for Fred, most of his current income from being the kept man of widowed recluse, Grace Pinza. Grace too came to Atlantic City to fulfill her dreams - most ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Laugh, Cry and Dream . . . [Australia Theatrical] See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Arteboutique [France]

Country:

France | Canada

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

3 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atlantic City See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,200,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,729,678, 9 March 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Henry Fonda, James Mason, Laurence Olivier, James Stewart and Robert Mitchum were all considered to play the lead role of Lou. Fonda was rejected due to ill-health and its associated insurance risk. Reportedly, when the producers saw that Mitchum had had a face-lift recently, they lost interest. Mitchum had said to them: "I just had my face lifted, and I only play under 45 now.". Director Louis Malle once commented on Burt Lancaster's reaction to the lead role: "Burt had read the screenplay and the first thing that he said was, 'A part like that, especially at my age, happens every ten years, if you're lucky.' He knew it was a great part and I really appreciated that he understood that right away.". See more »

Goofs

Lancaster spies on Sarandon as she squeezes lemon juice on herself. He is obviously looking across a courtyard or open space between apartment buildings. However, as revealed later, the two characters live next door to each other. The only way the spying could be possible is if Sarandon had a gigantic apartment that wrapped around a side of the building to have living space across from Lancaster's apartment. Interiors of her apartment did not make such a large apartment seem possible. See more »

Quotes

Lou: Yes, it used to be beautiful - what with the rackets, whoring, guns.
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Crazy Credits

As the end credits roll, an old building on the boardwalk is demolished to some of the tunes that appear earlier in the film. Each time the wrecking ball hits, we hear a cymbal crash and the soundtrack jumps to a different song. See more »


Soundtracks

Atlantic City, My Old Friend
Music and Lyrics by Paul Anka
Special Guest Star: Robert Goulet
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User Reviews

 
Perfection!
2 November 1998 | by Joel ISee all my reviews

ATLANTIC CITY is one of those perfect little movies in which writing, direction, acting, and setting all come together seamlessly. The story is a subtle and wistful blending of comedy and drama that is both true to life and touching. There is great resonance between the characters' situations and the mood of Atlantic City, beautifully captured at a pivotal time in its history. Burt Lancaster gives one of the great performances of all time and really should have won the Oscar. Susan Sarandon is also superb, and their scenes together are unforgettable. Kate Reid as a faded gangster's moll is a standout in the fine supporting cast. This is perhaps Louis Malle's finest movie, and, in my opinion, one of the 10 best movies of the 80s.


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