In the god-forsaken district of early-1860's Lower Manhattan known as the Five Points, the vicious Nativist, Bill "The Butcher" Cutting, is the supreme overlord of an area riddled with crime, prostitution, theft and murder, as the American Civil War still rages on. Sixteen whole years after the brutal murder of his father from Bill's blood-stained hands, an orphaned Irish-American, Amsterdam Vallon, returns to this melting pot of corruption to avenge his untimely death; however, a lot has changed since then. Who can remember the once innocent boy and now a young man bent on revenge, who works his way up to the hierarchy of Five Points? Will Amsterdam ever taste the dangerous but sweet fruit of retribution?Written by
Martin Scorsese claims that he returned his salary for this film in order to help bring it within budget. See more »
In the opening scene, as Priest and Amsterdam ascend through the catacombs, a priest saying mass elevates the chalice while facing the people. Before the 1960s, priests said mass with their backs to the people. See more »
It's so true what people say, that Daniel Day-Lewis doesn't act. He *becomes* the characters he portrays. It's simply astounding to see an interview with the soft-spoken, somewhat effeminate actor and then watch him as the terrifying, dominating Butcher in this, or Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood. Watch Gangs of New York for his performance alone and you won't be disappointed. That isn't to say the story isn't intriguing (it is) or Leo isn't good (he is) but really, Day-Lewis stole the show outright.
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