7.2/10
6,965
49 user 19 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 »

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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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sans rémission See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,378,100, 15 March 1992, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,086,430
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the extras who were dressed as prisoners quit after the first day of filming. They were kept in a gated area next to an open sewer and had to ask guards to use the bathroom. Guards are used to ignoring prisoners, so they mostly ignored extras dressed as prisoners. They weren't given enough water and lunch wasn't served until late in the day. Conditions slightly improved on the second day, but on the third and final day of filming at Folsom Prison there were about 25 of the 200 that showed up on the first day. See more »

Goofs

When the Mexican inmates are walking up with the mop and bucket to assassinate the African-American inmate, it shows the African-American inmate lying in just a t-shirt on his bed. In the next scene, after he's caught on fire, he's wearing his long sleeve button up. See more »

Quotes

Young Montoya Santana: [Mundo is being devoted into the gang] Come on, give me your hand. You know what, ese, White Fence, Maravilla, Lomita, they've been around here longer than us, you know. It's cool. We've got our own clika, strong clika. Finally getting into our own, gaining respect.
Young JD: Our clika, our barrio, our family - that's all we got, ese.
Young Mundo: Simon.
Young JD: When we were kids, belonging felt good. But having respect, that feels even better.
Young Montoya Santana: Cause La Primera lives through us. It gives to us. It is us. We make it, carnal, ...
[...]
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Soundtracks

Slippin' Into Darkness
Written by Thomas Allen (as Sylvester Allen), Harold R. Brown (as Harold Brown),
Morris D. Dickerson (as Morris Dickerson), Lonnie Jordan (as Leroy "Lonnie" Jordan),
, Charles Miller, Lee Oskar, Howard E. Scott (as Howard Scott)
Performed by War
Produced by Jerry Goldstein
Courtesy of Avenue Records/Far Out Productions
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Frequently Asked Questions

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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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