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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:

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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A French-Canadian production company gave director Louis Malle money to make a film under the stipulation that he use the money within an allotted period of time or he'd have to give it back. With time running out and not entirely happy with the one script that stood out from the ones he took under consideration, Malle's then-girlfriend Susan Sarandon introduced him to a good friend of hers, John Guare, a playwright ("House of Blue Leaves", "Six Degrees of Separation", and "Four Baboons Adoring the Sun" among others). Over dinner, Malle and Sarandon (who was attached to star) discussed the problems they had with the script and offered suggestions as to how Guare could possibly fix it so they could beat the pending deadline and start filming. Guare quickly reworked the script (it was his idea to set the film in Atlantic City) and filming got underway within a few months of the trio's initial meeting. See more »

Goofs

At one point Sally (Susan Sarandon) asks a florist to send flowers to her dead husbands family in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Sally mentions that it is "near Medicine Hat". Medicine Hat, Alberta is in fact nowhere near Moose Jaw, which is over 250 miles away. See more »

Quotes

Sally: [to Dave] You're like King Midas in reverse. I don't want you touching my stuff.
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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

Flat Foot Floogie
(uncredited)
Music by Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart
Lyrics by Bud Green
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Lancaster's Last Great Role
28 December 2007 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

Burt Lancaster gives an astonishing performance aching with melancholy in this lovely, quiet little film by Louis Malle. He plays a one-time gangster (in his own mind at least quite a big shot) who, like the city that gives the film its title, isn't what he used to be. Susan Sarandon, in an early-career performance, plays a woman who works in one of the casinos and whose life intersects with Lancaster's because of a drug deal her no-good husband was involved in. The two don't ever become friends exactly, but they each get something from the other until the sad ending, when Lancaster realizes that there isn't a place in his life for Sarandon, and that there may not be a place in the world for him.

The film is a low-key character study that completely satisfies, and gives Lancaster perhaps his last great role.

Grade: A


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