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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:

She made him become what he always wanted to be - a lover, a hero, a rich man...and a killer! 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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actress Ginger Rogers was offered the role of Grace but turned it down, the part in the end being played by Kate Reid. Reportedly, Rogers replied with a note saying: "How dare you! At this stage in my career, that I'm going to end up in this filth!". See more »

Goofs

There is no channel 7 on TV in Philadelphia. However, channel 7 may have been used in order to distance the fictional portrayal from the actual Philadelphia stations. See more »

Quotes

Young Doctor: Mrs. Matthews, you can claim the body tomorrow.
Sally: [walking away to the exit] I don't want the body!
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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 »

Connections

References Champagne for Caesar (1950) 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

Screenwriter John Guare and director Louis Malle give tribute to people in transition, set to the back drop of a city in transition.
19 January 1999 | by Glenn-31See all my reviews

Set in 1970s Atlantic City in the early days of legalized gambling, we find a young woman (Susan Sarandon) working in the fish section of a casino restaurant while learning to be a card dealer. At the same time, an elderly, small-time hood (Burt Lancaster) is stuck taking care of a gangster's widow (Kate Reid). Sarandon's husband and her younger sister ran off together and unexpectedly reappear looking for a place to stay. Her sister is now pregnant and her low-life husband is trying to sell drugs stolen from a big-time dealer in Philadelphia. Sarandon's husband meets Lancaster in a bar while trying to set up a deal to sell the drugs, and he convinces Lancaster to be his "mule." Lancaster and Sarandon being neighbors -- with her brother in law as the mutual acquaintance -- are brought together and become involved in more trouble than they ever thought imaginable.

The refreshing aspect of this motion picture is that it avoids the typical Hollywood pitfall where character development and dialogue play second fiddle to car chases and stunt scenes. In Atlantic City the odious characters and sticky situations are secondary to the development/relationships of the lead characters. This is the first excellent performance on film of a young Sarandon, and one of the finest performances of Lancaster's distinguished career.

This film has been butchered on cable, VHS, and laserdisc. Please let's have a quality remaster on DVD in widescreen format.


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