6.8/10
2,716
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.

Director:

Writers:

(story), (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews

Watch Now

From $1.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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

The story begins in Los Angeles when Frances Lacey (Kathy Bates) takes her six children and drives north to find a home of their own away from the bad influences of the big city.

Director: Tony Bill
Stars: Kathy Bates, Edward Furlong, Clarissa Lassig
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

After his mother's death, Collin Fenwick goes to live with his father's cousins, the wealthy, avaricious, and controlling Verena Talbo, and her compliant, earthy sister Dolly. When a city ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Matthau
Stars: Piper Laurie, Sissy Spacek, Walter Matthau
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Scudder is a detective with the Sheriff's Department who is forced to shoot a violent suspect during a narcotics raid. The ensuing psychological aftermath of this shooting worsens his ... See full summary »

Director: Hal Ashby
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Rosanna Arquette, Alexandra Paul
Fearless (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A man's personality is dramatically changed after surviving a major airline crash.

Director: Peter Weir
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Isabella Rossellini, Rosie Perez
Drama | Music | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The lives of two struggling musicians, who happen to be brothers, inevitably change when they team up with a beautiful, up-and-coming singer.

Director: Steve Kloves
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Michelle Pfeiffer, Beau Bridges
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A writer's young assistant becomes both pawn and catalyst in his boss's disintegrating household.

Director: Tod Williams
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Kim Basinger, Jon Foster
White Squall (1996)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Teenage boys discover discipline and camaraderie on an ill-fated sailing voyage.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Caroline Goodall, John Savage
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A young hellraiser quits his moonshine business to try to become the best NASCAR racer the south has ever seen.

Director: Lamont Johnson
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Valerie Perrine, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Jagged Edge (1985)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

San Francisco heiress Page Forrester is brutally murdered in her remote beach house. Her husband Jack is devastated by the crime but soon finds himself accused of her murder. He hires ... See full summary »

Director: Richard Marquand
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Glenn Close, Peter Coyote
The Vanishing (1993)
Drama | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

The boyfriend of an abducted woman never gives up the search as the abductor looks on.

Director: George Sluizer
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, Nancy Travis
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

The story of Preston Tucker, the maverick car designer and his ill-fated challenge to the auto industry with his revolutionary car concept.

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Martin Landau
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A former radio DJ, suicidally despondent because of a terrible mistake he made, finds redemption in helping a deranged homeless man who was an unwitting victim of that mistake.

Director: Terry Gilliam
Stars: Jeff Bridges, Robin Williams, Adam Bryant
Edit

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
Edit

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 Kelson is going straight. And his son's breaking the law to help him. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

7 May 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American Heart - Die zweite Chance  »

Filming Locations:


Edit

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

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(some footage)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The apartment building Jack Kelson and his son lived in was presented as Queen Anne Hill in the movie. In actuality, the movie was filmed in an apartment building on Capitol Hill in Seattle, on the 1700 block of Summit Avenue North 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

Jack Kelson: Keep my name outta your mouth.
See more »

Connections

References The 400 Blows (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

Cocktails For Two
Composed by Arthur Johnston, Sam Coslow
Performed by Michael White
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
deeply felt, but stripped of sentimentality, and one of Bridges absolute best
23 September 2008 | by See all my reviews

The only minor drawback with American Heart, and it should not be a big one for most concerned, is that so much of it is taken and/or borrowed from the details and real people and situations documented by director Martin Bell in Streetwise that it almost feels very slightly watered down in comparison. This is not to say that American Heart doesn't have its share of nicely defined grit or realism, but for those handful of viewers who were lucky enough to see Streetwise it isn't quite exactly the same, despite the similar locations and (some) real street kids used again and Tom Waits song accompaniment from time to time.

But this is minor as a liability for two reasons: 1) Martin Bell is out to make a film for all those audiences, however small in the independent film market, who didn't get to see Streetwise and want the facts put into a perspective of compelling dramatization, and he shows the goods as a director of naturalistic settings and specific scenes, and 2) Jeff Bridges. Bridges plays a character based upon a real convict (featured in only one, but perhaps the most shattering, scene of Streetwise) who is out of jail and has to take care of his 15 year old son played by very young Edward Furlong. Bridges gets so deep into this character, so in touch with the hard-bitten mannerisms and hard-knock-lived way to his voice and even the bits of vulnerability that it's hard to see it as anything less than remarkable.

If Furlong isn't quite as remarkable maybe it's to be expected since, frankly, he was still too young to impress much further than his own affected way of speaking and acting. Yet he is fantastic at playing off of this father character, who isn't unloving but knows what road he could go down with just one wrong step (such as, for instance, getting into business with his old crooked diamond-stealing partner). American Heart, on its own terms, allows for Bridges to show what a small treasure (yes, breaking out the pompous terminology like 'treasure') he can be as an actor in American film, and brings to light the degradation of the urban life in Seattle.

Indeed, as a big credit to Martin Bell, it's no less harrowing at times watching these people on the streets, in the bars or the crummy hotel rooms trying to get by or hanging out, living by wits end (if that) as in Streetwise. Only Herzog, with his two films on Dieter Dengler, can probably top Bell's films on Seattle's lower classes in terms of immense dramatic impact, technical skill, and a lead performance that embodies the attitude and conflicts of the danger at every turn. It's overlooked to say the least as far as highly charged but unsentimental indies go.


4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 30 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page