7.0/10
27,248
128 user 68 critic

King of New York (1990)

Trailer
1:07 | Trailer

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ON DISC
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
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:

Not everyone who runs a city is elected. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Italy

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 August 1991 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

King of New York See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$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 »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

New York rapper The Notorious B.I.G. used the moniker "Frank White" in many of his songs. See more »

Goofs

When Bishop is chasing Frank White in the subway, Bishop passes through three cars toward the front of the train, each with the same background extra (a white man in a blue shirt and glasses). Then when Frank White departs the subway after shooting Bishop, it's from the second car from the rear of the train. See more »

Quotes

King Tito: [after Jump and Test-Tube have "paid" for a shipment of cocaine with a suitcase full of... tampons!] What the fuck is this?
Jump: [pulling a pair of semi-autos from his jacket] They're for the bullet holes, puta!
[He blows Tito away]
See more »

Alternate Versions

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

Connections

References Once Upon a Time in America (1984) 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

 
this is a violent but solid little sleeper; gangster film highlighted by Walkens and Fishburnes performances.
13 January 2011 | by barrwellSee all my reviews

King of New York, while not a classic, is a gritty, drug-lord gangster flick in the same vein as films like 'New Jack City' and 'American Gangster'. If you like this type of movie then King of New York is definitely worth a look. Frank White (Christopher Walken) has just been released from prison and wants to get back together with his gang, take over the New York drug trade, and become a modern robin hood. This little known film somehow flew under the radar when released in 1990 but is just as entertaining as the movies I listed above.

New York detective Dennis Gilley (David Caruso) is sick and tired of seeing drug lords like Frank run amuck in his city and is ready to cross any line…indeed to do whatever it takes, including murder, to take Frank down. Dennis' captain Roy Bishop (the late Victor Argo) wants Frank busted too, but he wants to do it by the book and tries to control his subordinates to no avail.

One prolonged climactic sequence of this movie is virtually worth the price of admission; when Dennis and his group disguise themselves and infiltrate Frank's hideout while they are partying one night. The place erupts in a frenzy of gunfire as we try to distinguish just who is who and eventually the scene spills outside and evolves into a high speed car chase and shoot out as the cops chase Frank and his number two man Jimmy Jump (Laurence Fishburne) through the streets of New York. This protracted scene lasts about 15 minutes and is dynamite….you may find yourself rewinding to watch it again!

There is no conventional movie ending here, in fact it is a rather bleak and downcast wrap-up, but then this is no typical Hollywood film. The acting however is top notch, with Walken delivering as usual, Caruso bringing a surprising amount of intensity to his role, and the then-unknown Wesley Snipes effective as Caruso's partner. The standout to me though is Fishburne, who gives an over the top performance as the psychotic, volatile Jimmy Jump. It's worth watching for this performance alone. That is….if you like an action packed, violent gangster film…and if not, you're probably not still reading this anyway, so enjoy.


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