7.2/10
8,040
55 user 16 critic

American Me (1992)

A Mexican-American Mafia kingpin is released from prison, falls in love for the first time, and grows introspective about his gangster lifestyle.

Director:

Edward James Olmos

Writers:

Floyd Mutrux (story), Floyd Mutrux (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sal Lopez ... Pedro Santana
Vira Montes Vira Montes ... Esperanza Santana
Roberto Martín Márquez Roberto Martín Márquez ... Acha (as Robert Martin Marquez)
Dyana Ortelli ... Yolanda
Joe Aubel Joe Aubel ... Tattoo Artist
Rob Garrett Rob Garrett ... Zoot Riot Bystander
Lance August ... Young Sailor
Cody Glenn ... Older Sailor
Don Pugsley ... Police Officer
Panchito Gómez Panchito Gómez ... Young Montoya Santana (as Panchito Gomez)
Albert Joe Medina Jr. Albert Joe Medina Jr. ... Street Mechanic
Alex Solís Alex Solís ... Street Mechanic (as Alex Solis)
Raymond Amezquita Raymond Amezquita ... Abuelito
Steve Wilcox ... Young JD
Richard Coca ... Young Mundo
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Storyline

This epic depiction of thirty years of Chicano gang life in Los Angeles focuses on a teen named Santana who, with his friends Mundo and the Caucasian-but-acting-Hispanic J.D., form their own gang and are soon arrested for a break-in. Santana gets into trouble again and goes straight from reform school to prison, spending eighteen years there, and becoming leader of a powerful gang, both inside and outside the prison, while there. When he is finally released, he tries to make sense of the violence in his life, in a world much changed from when last he was in it. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In prison they are the law. On the streets they are the power.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sensuality, and for language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

William Forsythe is shaved throughout the movie, yet his head where the hair is shaved is always whiter than the rest of his head and face, showing that he hasn't been shaved long at all. See more »

Goofs

El Japo (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) is clearly an Asian (Japanese) portraying an Hispanic gang member. See more »

Quotes

J.D.: If we show weakness now, homes, everybody's gonna see it not just the mayates and wops as La Nuestra Familia as well. They're just waiting to make their fucking move. This way we can do it clean. Do what Scagnelli did, form them shoot out.
Montoya Santana: To who?
J.D.: Aryan Brotherhood. They hate the mayates, mayates hate them and don't be a fucking thing. The AB gives the blacks message then we won't have to risk anything.
Montoya Santana: We're spending all over time dealing with the Italians and now the Black Gorilla Family, ese, ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Next Friday (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Oye Como Va
Written by Tito Puente
Performed by Santana
Courtesy of Columbia Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
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User Reviews

 
American Me. Thumbs up!
25 March 2005 | by bambinogizmoSee all my reviews

I seen this film when it first came out, back in 92 on VHS. The film stuck in my mind since-there have not been many films like it to date.

Edward James Olmos is magnificent as actor and director. You may not have seen him in many films but he does have a quality about him that casts him perfectly in the principal role of gang leader / drug cartel.

If you like prison films this is one of the best. It hasn't got too many clichés and avoids being overtly pretentious.

William Forsythe is great as Edward James Olmos's buddy and as he-Forsythe-usually does when acting (doesn't try to overact or steal any scenes) he just does the business and blends in as his character engrossing you into the film giving it a more realistic depiction of the setting.

Many prison films usually fit the same formula, showing you the in's and out's, morals and stereotypes usually associated with prison films. American ME just gets right into it and takes you along without preaching those usual morals and overdone cliché characters. This film is on a par with BLOOD IN BLOOD OUT. Check it out!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Me See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,378,100, 15 March 1992

Gross USA:

$13,086,430

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,086,430
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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