7.0/10
29,706
147 user 70 critic

King of New York (1990)

Trailer
1:23 | Trailer
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
Reviews
Popularity
4,056 ( 65)
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

While investigating a young nun's rape, a corrupt New York City police detective, with a serious drug and gambling addiction, tries to change his ways and find forgiveness and redemption.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Brian McElroy, Frank Acciarito
The Funeral (1996)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After the funeral of one of their own, a criminal family decides to embark on an emotionally unnerving journey in an attempt to exact bloody revenge.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Christopher Walken, Chris Penn, Annabella Sciorra
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Two businessmen are hired to steal secrets from a rival, and decide to use a beautiful, but volatile call girl to do so.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Christopher Walken, Willem Dafoe, Asia Argento
New Jack City (1991)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A crime lord ascends to power and becomes megalomaniacal while a maverick police detective vows to stop him.

Director: Mario Van Peebles
Stars: Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Allen Payne
The Addiction (1995)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A New York philosophy grad student turns into a vampire after getting bitten by one, and then tries to come to terms with her new lifestyle and frequent craving for human blood.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Lili Taylor, Christopher Walken, Annabella Sciorra
Unstoppable (2010)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

With an unmanned, half-mile-long freight train barreling toward a city, a veteran engineer and a young conductor race against the clock to prevent a catastrophe.

Director: Tony Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson
Ms .45 (1981)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A timid and mute seamstress goes insane after being attacked and raped twice in one day, in which she takes to the streets of New York City after dark and randomly shoots men with a .45 caliber pistol.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Zoë Lund, Bogey, Albert Sinkys
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

An artist slowly goes insane while struggling to pay his bills, work on his paintings, and care for his two female roommates, which leads him taking to the streets of New York after dark and randomly killing derelicts with a power drill.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Abel Ferrara, Carolyn Marz, Baybi Day
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A New York City film director working on his latest movie in Los Angeles begins to reflect the actions in his movie and real life, especially when he begins an affair with the lead actress.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Harvey Keitel, Madonna, James Russo
Deep Cover (1992)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A uniformed cop is recruited by a drug enforcement agent to infiltrate a drug smuggling ring looking to expand its operation.

Director: Bill Duke
Stars: Laurence Fishburne, Jeff Goldblum, Lira Angel
Suicide Kings (1997)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A group of youngsters kidnap a respected Mafia figure.

Director: Peter O'Fallon
Stars: Christopher Walken, Denis Leary, Sean Patrick Flanery
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A teenage girl and her father discover alien clones are replacing humans on a remote U.S. military base in Alabama.

Director: Abel Ferrara
Stars: Gabrielle Anwar, Meg Tilly, Terry Kinney

Photos

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Italian political magnate Silvio Berlusconi, the richest man in Italy, financed the film through NY-based producer Jay Julien and Italian intermediaries. See more »

Goofs

After the Flanagan character has expired, the actor's exhaled breath is still visible because of the cold conditions in which the scene was shot. See more »

Quotes

Frank White: From now on, nothing goes down unless I'm involved. No blackjack no dope deals, no nothing. A nickel bag gets sold in the park, I want in. You guys got fat while everybody starved on the street. Now it's my turn.
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

Referenced in The Funeral (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Piece of the Rock
Words & Music / Joe Delia (as Delia) - Nicholas St. John (as St. John) - Abel Ferrara (as Ferrara)
Slymoon Pub. Co. BMI
(c) 1989
See more »

User Reviews

 
Ferrara's finest work
9 September 2012 | by tomgillespie2002See all my reviews

Crime lord Frank White (Christopher Walken) is released from prison, and on his long drive back to New York City, witnesses the filth his city has descended into since his incarceration. His old friend Jimmy Jump (Laurence Fishburne) has just wiped out a Colombian drug operation and welcomes Frank back with a suitcase full of money and cocaine. Eager to win his city back, and also help fund the saving of an inner city hospital through his drug operation, he sets the wheels to his crowning in motion. But cops Roy Bishop (Victor Argo), Gilley (David Caruso) and Flanigan (Wesley Snipes) are on his case, but after struggling to bring Frank in under regulations, resort to more illegal methods of getting him off the streets.

King of New York was booed upon its initial screenings, with mass walk- outs and cult director Abel Ferrara being bombarded with uncomfortable questions. Audiences were apparently appalled by the films seemingly glamorous depiction of man who was essentially a homicidal maniac, encouraging violence and sleaze wherever he went. The film is certainly guilty of that, but the character of Frank is a little different to the likes of Tony Montana or Henry Hill. He seems to style himself as a champion of the lower-classes, using his influence and vast wealth to push a councilman to put forth the money to save a hospital in a poverty-stricken area, and then fund it himself when that fails. He and his girlfriend Jennifer (Janet Julian) are robbed on the subway by inner-city youths. Frank shown them his gun, and they back off, but Frank throws them a wad of money and tells them there is work for them if they want it. A crime-lord he may be, but is he any worse than the fat politicians that soak up the city's money, or the bent cops that are on his back?

In Walken's hands, White is a charismatic, unconventional crime boss, and is in turns charming, strange, and deranged. It's a fabulous performance, but for me it was Laurence (here still credited as Larry) Fishburne that steals the show, as the swaggering, loud-mouthed gun-man Jimmy ("yo, where the chicken at?" he says after killing a cop), a man of such ridiculous posturing that he almost becomes a cartoon character. And this is one of the main reasons I loved this film. It is, at times, so outlandishly over-the-top that it should betray its gritty roots, but its so steeped in atmosphere and that key element, grime, that it becomes a fantasy-laden, insane ride amongst a decaying city and one its most colourful characters.

For anyone who has seen the work of Abel Ferrara, especially two of his most popular films, The Driller Killer (1979) and Bad Lieutenant (1992), will know what they are in for. His New York is not the one you see in the earlier works of Woody Allen, but one of whacked-out prostitutes, cocaine-sniffing criminals, inner-city poverty, and angry, sweaty, middle-aged detectives. We do glimpse the glitzier side of the city in King of New York, as Frank often mingles with the politicians and power- players, but it is a world of black suits and orange lighting, and a world that shares the same depravity and sleaze as the lower-classes. It's a grim thing to see through Abel Ferrara's gaze, but boy is it brimming with atmosphere. This will always play second or third fiddle to the likes of Scarface (1983), but King of New York is the film the former could never be, and in its own depressing way, is a much better film. Undoubtedly Ferrara's finest, and most 'polished' work.

www.the-wrath-of-blog.blogspot.com


9 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 147 user reviews »

Videos

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

Italy | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1991 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

King of New York See more »

Edit

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed