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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:

Where dreamers can be winners. 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

The gigantic elephant structure with atop balcony viewing seen at the beginning of the picture is called "Lucy". It was built in 1881 for Margate, then known as South Atlantic City, as an attraction for both tourist and potential property buyers. "Lucy" was deteriorating and could have almost been demolished around the early 1970s until she was saved by the town's residents and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. See more »

Goofs

Before she goes to lunch with Lou, Sally cuts her hand at the oyster bar (drawing blood). But at lunch (and afterward), Sally's hand is unbandaged and healthy. (There's even a close-up of her hands when she examines Lou's cigarette case.) See more »

Quotes

Sally: Why are you doing this for me?
Lou: Hey, it's nothing, Sinatra gives wings to hospitals. We all do what we can.
See more »

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

On the Boardwalk of Atlantic City
©1946 - Twentieth Century Music Corp.
Administered World Wide by BREGMAN, BOCCO & CONN INC.
Music by Josef Myrow (uncredited)
Lyrics by Mack Gordon (uncredited)
Sung by Ann Burns (credited to cast list), Marie Burns (credited to cast list) and Jean Burns (credited to cast list)
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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