5.8/10
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22 user 11 critic

The Young Americans (1993)

R | | Crime, Drama | 8 October 1993 (UK)
Experienced New York Police Detective John Harris is sent to London to help a local task force investigate a series of gangster killings organized by a new player in town, an American. Harris uses a teen wronged by gangsters to get to him.

Director:

Danny Cannon
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harvey Keitel ... John Harris
Iain Glen ... Edward Foster
John Wood ... Richard Donnelly
Terence Rigby ... Sidney Callow
Keith Allen ... Jack Doyle
Craig Kelly ... Christian O'Neill
Thandie Newton ... Rachael Stevens
Viggo Mortensen ... Carl Frazer
Dave Duffy ... Louis Carnegie
Geoffrey McGivern Geoffrey McGivern ... Brian Carver
Nigel Clauzel Nigel Clauzel ... Lionel Stevens
Huggy Leaver Huggy Leaver ... Mark Byrne
Dig Wayne ... Gary Washington
Christopher Adamson ... Billy Cohen (as Chris Adamson)
James Duggan ... Dermot O'Neill
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Storyline

The London police is having trouble with organized crime commited by juvenile delinquents. Their leader is an American who is an expert at turning young men into ruthless gangsters. American cop John Harris is asked to help the London police to break up the organization. Written by Mattias Pettersson <seaman@sbbs.se>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

America has London's soul, now she's selling it! See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 October 1993 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Young Americans See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During one of the club scenes, a remix of Nine Inch Nails' "Gave Up" is playing. This version has never been released officially or unofficially, and the only known fragments can be heard in this movie. It appears to be an alteration of the remix found on Nine Inch Nails' EP "Fixed". See more »

Goofs

When the Molotov cocktail is thrown through the windshield of the vehicle with the two cops inside, you can easily see, by the way it breaks, that the windshield is not made of safety glass. All vehicle windshields have been made of safety glass for decades. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nobody Does It Better: The Music of James Bond (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Gave Up
(remix by Coil)
Nine Inch Nails
Written by Trent Reznor
See more »

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User Reviews

Basic but good direction from Cannon and good performances from many of the cast
18 July 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Youth crime and drugs are rife in London. Scotland Yard call in an advisor from the DEA because they believe a new force is in play within the underworld. Harris arrives in London to find nothing different from the LA he just left and begins to make links with Chris who seems to offer the only way into the gangs.

The story may not be anything to write home about, but this film was a good introduction to the ability (if questionable script judgement) of Danny Cannon. The story makes a lot of leaps as Harris tries to shut down the American influence in the drug game. However many subplots are weak or totally incidental and just seem there to make up the time. The main story itself is a little too glossy and is a times just an excuse for Cannon's direction.

Cannon directs well here – London looks good, whether it's the dark alleys or the sun setting over the cityscape. He can't really work well with character but he can do visuals pretty well.

Another reviewer has commented on the `unknown' cast – however there are no more `unknowns' in this than in anything else. Keitel is good despite having the whole family subplot that he clearly doesn't know what to do with and he doesn't do as much with his exploitation of Chris as he could have – but he's always watchable. Kelly is good as the young Chris – but the emotion towards the end is a little beyond him. The rest of the cast is fully of unknowns is it? Thandie Newton? Viggo Mortensen? Keith Allen? A host of faces from British TV and films? All are pretty good although some have more to do than others.

Overall the plot may not be totally together but a good strong lead by Keitel and a good bit of direction by Cannon makes this feel better than it actually is.


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