6.8/10
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30 user 10 critic

American Heart (1992)

R | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 7 May 1993 (USA)
An ex-convict is tracked down by his estranged teenage son, and the pair try to build a relationship and life together in Seattle.

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(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
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1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Boylan ...
Janitor
...
...
Greg Sevigny ...
Young Jack
...
Monique
Willie Williams ...
The Gospel Fireballs
Roosevelt Franklin ...
The Gospel Fireballs
...
...
Rainey
...
Landlady
Wren Walker ...
Lisa
...
School Administrator
...
Charlotte London ...
Flo
...
Vernon the Bartender
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Storyline

After leaving jail, Jack Kelson wants to live a normal life. He rents a small flat, moves in with his son Nick and tries to get a steady job. But then a former friend steps into his life again. Written by Markus Lasermann <mslaserm@trick.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jack's only hope was a dream... Nick's only hope was Jack. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual situations | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 May 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Heart - Die zweite Chance  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,549, 9 May 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$384,048
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(some footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeff Bridges' favorite film of his own. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, the ferry is leaving Seattle (towards Bainbridge Island or Bremerton). However a few seconds later we see the boat wake with the Olympic Mountains in the distance indicating the boat is headed towards Seattle, not away from it. See more »

Quotes

Charlotte: I just want you to know I used to be a virgin.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big City Dick: Richard Peterson's First Movie (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Jack's Flashback Theme
and "Additional Music"
Composed by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan
Produced and performed by Tom Waits
Jalma Music Inc (ASCAP)
Tom Waits performs courtsey of Island Records, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

Refreshingly honest and very well acted
15 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

This is a dramatic, narrative film by Martin Bell, the director of the excellent documentary "Streetwise". And while it is obvious Bell was a little uncomfortable with the narrative format, it is one of the few independent films of the 1990's that doesn't suffer from the Quentin Tarantino syndrome--i.e. it is not just a pastiche of other movies the director has seen. It's clear Bell based a lot of this movie on real life. In fact, many of the characters here were obviously based on real people in "Streetwise"--the kid and his ex-con father, the tomboy lesbian, the 14-year-old amateur hooker. The movies suffers a little in comparison to early Gus Van Sant films ("Mala Noche","Drugstore Cowboy", "My Own Private Idaho")which had similar down-and-out characters and were also set in the American Northwest. But many will find this film refreshingly honest and less pretentious, at least, than some of Van Sant's films.

What really makes this film is the acting. It marked Jeff Bridges return to independent film (five or six years before "The Big Lebowski"), and his performance here makes one forgive him for the Hollywood crap he made in the 80's like "Against All Odds". Edward Furlong is also very good. I remember reading some alarmist claptrap about him in Premiere magazine around the time of this movie, about how he was dating a 30-year-old woman (oh, the horror! the horror!) and about to become another young Hollywood casualty. Well, starting with this film he ended up carving a nice little niche for himself in independent film (i.e. "Pecker", "Animal Factory"). Turns out that just because you're not starring in "Terminator 3" it doesn't necessarily mean you're sharing needles in a crack house with guys named Corey and girls named Shannen. And as a little icing on the cake this movie has a great Tom Waits theme song which you can't find any of his albums. Definitely a recommended movie.


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