A drug kingpin is released from prison and seeks to take total control of the criminal underworld in order to give back to the community.

Director:

Abel Ferrara
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Popularity
4,652 ( 529)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Walken ... Frank White
David Caruso ... Dennis Gilley
Laurence Fishburne ... Jimmy Jump (as Larry Fishburne)
Victor Argo ... Roy Bishop
Wesley Snipes ... Thomas Flanigan
Janet Julian ... Jennifer
Joey Chin Joey Chin ... Larry Wong
Giancarlo Esposito ... Lance
Paul Calderon ... Joey Dalesio
Steve Buscemi ... Test Tube
Theresa Randle ... Raye
Leonard L. Thomas ... Blood (as Leonard Lee Thomas)
Roger Guenveur Smith ... Tanner (as Roger Smith)
Carrie Nygren Carrie Nygren ... Melanie
Ernest Abuba Ernest Abuba ... King Tito
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Storyline

After completing a lengthy prison sentence, one-time drug kingpin Frank White returns to New York intent on reestablishing his empire and making things as they were before he left. Others of course have taken over the business during his absence but that clearly isn't going to stop White. While he is gunning down the opposition, he decides he's going to give away the money he'll make to modernize the hospital in his old neighborhood. Drug dealers aren't the only thing he has to worry about however: a group of rogue cops decide they are going to take him down. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The cops tried to stop him their way...Now they'll have to do it HIS way. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

F.W. Murnau's classic silent horror film Nosferatu (1922) is the movie the Chinese gang is watching in the screening room. In addition, there are many references to Murnau's film: The basic plot is similar, Walken appears mostly at night like a vampire and the expressionistic visual style seems to be inspired by Murnau, too. Ironically, lead actor Christopher Walken later went on to play 'Max Schreck' in Batman Returns (1992), named after the iconic lead actor of "Nosferatu". See more »

Goofs

In the subway scene where Frank is making out with his attorney, he lifts the back of her jacket revealing a wireless microphone pack attached to her skirt. See more »

Quotes

British Female: Frank White. I've heard a lot about you. And it's all bad.
Frank White: Don't believe everything that Pete writes in the columns.
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Alternate Versions

Orignally rated "X", edited and changed for R rating on appeal. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fresh Bait (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Saturday Night
Written and Performed by Schooly-D (as Schooly D)
Courtesy of Jive Records
Published by Willesden Music Inc.
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User Reviews

Ferrara & Walken Make a Great Team
13 September 2000 | by eibon09See all my reviews

King of New York(1990) is an excellent movie that is Abel Ferrara's most stylish film. As years go by, King of New York is a film that will be more respected and seen as an example of Ferrara's best work. It was the second best gangster film in 1990 next to Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas. The direction is surpurb and the characters are filled with colorful traits.

King of New York(1990) is a modern reworking of the Robin Hood legend. Its basically about a former drug lord who wants to use drug money to help poor and unfortunate people. Christopher Walken gives one of his five top best performances in the role of Frank. The feature is a neo noir because there are no people except for a couple that are likable.

The violence in this film is very brutal and done with plenty of flair. Frank's plans do not work out as everyone is out to get him(espically the police). Frank is a person who's alive on the outside but dead on the inside. King of New York has been compared to Scarface(1983) but I believe that this movie is closer in spirit to Ringo Lam's City on Fire(1987) and the two Chow Yun Fat/Andy Lau films of Rich & Famous(1986) and Tragic Hero(1987).

Laurence Fishburne gives a very good performance as Frank's loyal right hand man. In fact, all of the action sequences involving him makes the actor the Hollywood B-movie eqevulent of Chow Yun Fat with his two gun act. Steve Buscemi has a bit part as a rival drug dealer. I only wished that the idea of putting a contract on the police was expanded on with a few scenes of many police officers being assassinated by Frank's men.

One scene that is terrific is the scene where the police dressed up as drug dealers who raid and try to terminate Frank and his gang. Another excellent scene is the funeral sequence. The ending is unusually low key for a mafia flick. I would like to see a director's cut of this film released on video because I feel that something's missing from the R-rated version.


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Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 January 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

King of New York See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$411,597, 30 September 1990

Gross USA:

$2,554,476

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,554,476
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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