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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.

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

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Two old friends meet for dinner; as one tells anecdotes detailing his experiences, the other notices their differing worldviews.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Andre Gregory, Wallace Shawn, Jean Lenauer
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Lou
... Sally
... Grace
... Joseph
... Chrissie
... Dave
... Alfie
... Singer
Moses Znaimer ... Felix
... Vinnie
... Buddy
... Waiter (as Wally Shawn)
... Bus Driver
... Jeanne
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:

Where dreamers can be winners. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Arteboutique [France]

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

3 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atlantic City  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene at the bus terminal was at the actual Atlantic City Bus Terminal (the old rail terminal which has since been demolished). The bus that Burt Lancaster boards - 720B, in service with Transport of New Jersey (predecessor to NJ Transit) at the time - is now in the collection of the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center. Also of note, the driver is wearing an authentic "TNJ" logo patch on his jacket and in the background are several buses from Lincoln Transit, which competed with TNJ on routes from New York to South Jersey. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of this film we see a shot of a very large hotel being demolished, presumably to make way for the construction of a new hotel and casino. The imploded hotel is the old Traymore hotel one of Atlantic City's largest and most famous pre-casino resorts. The movie portrays the hotel as being demolished in 1979-80 so that it can be replaced with a new hotel/casino, gambling just being legalized in Atlantic City in 1978. However, the Traymore was closed and demolished in 1972 six years before gambling was legalized in AC and seven to eight years before the film was made. See more »

Quotes

Lou: Don't touch the suit.
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Crazy Credits

Kate Reid is credited as "Kare Reid" in the end credits. See more »

Connections

Features The Uncanny (1977) 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

 
I Don't Wear Seatbelts, I Don't Believe in Gravity

"Atlantic City" is a great film where the setting is just as rich and complex a character as the people traversing its streets (and boardwalk). Louis Malle delivers one of the most understated directorial turns working with a delightfully witty script (that has many great lines, like the one above) and a great cast (Lancaster perfect in a comeback role, Sarandon stunning in one of her early great performances). Things are so subtle here that you don't even realize you just watched a work of art until it is over. Atlantic City is shown truthfully (in despair, in shadowed glory, and in the glitz and glamor that was to return thanks to the casinos circa the late 70's) and the people inhabiting it gloriously reflect all of those varying degrees. This is the human condition (searching for that first break or that last chance) in all its quiet charms.


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