Gangs of New York

Gangs of New York

4.2 36
Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz

     
 

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The violent rise of gangland power in New York City at a time of massive political corruption and the city's evolution into a cultural melting pot set the stage for this lavish historical epic, which director Martin Scorsese finally brought to the screen almost 30 years after he first began to plan the project. In 1846, as waves of Irish immigrants poured into the New… See more details below

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Overview

The violent rise of gangland power in New York City at a time of massive political corruption and the city's evolution into a cultural melting pot set the stage for this lavish historical epic, which director Martin Scorsese finally brought to the screen almost 30 years after he first began to plan the project. In 1846, as waves of Irish immigrants poured into the New York neighborhood of Five Points, a number of citizens of British and Dutch heritage who were born in the United States began making an open display of their resentment toward the new arrivals. William Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), better known as "Bill the Butcher" for his deadly skill with a knife, bands his fellow "Native Americans" into a gang to take on the Irish immigrants; the immigrants in turn form a gang of their own, "The Dead Rabbits," organized by Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson). After an especially bloody clash between the Natives and the Rabbits leaves Vallon dead, his son goes missing; the boy ends up in a brutal reform school before returning to the Five Points in 1862 as Amsterdam (Leonardo DiCaprio). Now a strapping adult who has learned how to fight, Amsterdam has come to seek vengeance against Bill the Butcher, whose underworld control of the Five Points through violence and intimidation dovetails with the open corruption of New York politician "Boss" Tweed (Jim Broadbent). Amsterdam gradually penetrates Bill the Butcher's inner circle, and he soon becomes his trusted assistant. Amsterdam also finds himself falling for Jenny Everdeane (Cameron Diaz), a beautiful but street-smart thief who was once involved with Bill. Amsterdam is learning a great deal from Bill, but before he can turn the tables on the man who killed his father, Amsterdam's true identity is exposed, even though he has concealed it from nearly everyone, including Jenny. Gangs Of New York was the first film in two years from actor Leonardo DiCaprio; ironically, it was at one time scheduled to open on the same day as Catch Me if You Can, the Steven Spielberg project that DiCaprio began filming immediately after Gangs wrapped.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Herbert Asbury’s nonfiction book The Gangs of New York -- originally published in the late 1920s -- has delighted readers for decades with its depiction of a 19th-century New York awash with crime, corruption, and poverty and peopled with larger-than-life figures who helped forge Gotham's destiny. Martin Scorsese’s sumptuous, long-awaited adaptation of Asbury’s anecdotal history, shaped for the cinematic medium by screenwriter Jay Cocks, employs the time-honored dramatic devices of a traditional Hollywood epic, often delivering grandly on its considerable ambitions. There is a romantic triangle, a competition between father figure and son, and a revenge motif that fuels the nearly three-hour drama. Leonardo DiCaprio portrays Amsterdam Vallon, an Irish immigrant’s son who sees his father murdered by the ruthless head of a "native" band that rules Lower Manhattan with an iron hand. When he reaches young adulthood, Leo infiltrates the band and becomes the adopted son of its leader, "Bill the Butcher" Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), whom he has sworn to kill. Cameron Diaz, in the most challenging role of her career, is Jenny, the fetching pickpocket loved by both men. Brendan Gleeson makes a strong impression as a burly Irish merchant who sells his soul for security, as does John C. Reilly, playing a corrupt cop on Cutting’s payroll. Scorsese, who constructed a full-scale replica of New York’s Five Corners neighborhood on the back lot of Rome’s Cinecittà Studio, re-creates the period with remarkable accuracy, although he sacrifices fidelity to the historical record on the altar of flamboyant filmmaking; numerous real-life events are altered and manipulated for dramatic effect, and some episodes are fabricated altogether. The end result, however, is a gripping representation of both splendor and squalor in preindustrial New York, and it earned Academy Award nominations in ten categories, including Best Picture. Leisurely paced, but rich in texture and color, Gangs of New York is an unforgettable movie and a worthy addition to Scorsese’s distinguished oeuvre.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Returning to Lower Manhattan's mean streets, Martin Scorsese's profoundly ambitious and engaging Gangs of New York sheds a different light on America's violent foundation myths. Embedding his signature concerns with Catholic immigrants, rival gangs, and arcane ethical codes in the spectacularly recreated squalor of the Five Points ghetto on the cusp of the 1863 Draft Riots, Scorsese's epic tale of nativist conflict, official corruption, and familial revenge is at once a precursor to his earlier Mob films and a sharp indictment of the usual American bromides about liberty and righteous conflict. From Liam Neeson's magisterial march through a baroque, torch-lit cellar to his death at the hands of Daniel Day-Lewis's eagle-eyed, fiercely charismatic "Bill the Butcher", the opening clash between Irish and "natives" is a stunning, kinetic montage of primitive violence. The U.S. military, however, is responsible for the copious blood on the streets at Gangs' tumultuous conclusion, overwhelming the archaic feud between Bill and Leonardo DiCaprio's Amsterdam and underlining the systemic bloodshed arising from Bill and his cohorts' entrenched racism and classism. Though the more intimate dimensions of the story are a mixed bag of allegorical romance and hoary Oedipal conflict involving DiCaprio, Day-Lewis and Cameron Diaz's California-dreaming thief, the visceral punch of the action scenes is occasionally matched by such quiet interludes as the flag-clad Bill's sublimely twisted disquisition on paternity and honor. A potent and thoughtful cinematic experience despite its flaws, Gangs of New York is Scorsese's most vital work since The Age of Innocence (1993).
All Movie Guide
Returning to Lower Manhattan's mean streets, Martin Scorsese's profoundly ambitious and engaging Gangs of New York (2002) sheds a different light on America's violent foundation myths. Embedding his signature concerns with Catholic immigrants, rival gangs, and arcane ethical codes in the spectacularly recreated squalor of the Five Points ghetto on the cusp of the 1863 Draft Riots, Scorsese's epic tale of nativist conflict, official corruption, and familial revenge is at once a precursor to his earlier Mob films and a sharp indictment of the usual American bromides about liberty and righteous conflict. From Liam Neeson's magisterial march through a baroque, torch-lit cellar to his death at the hands of Daniel Day-Lewis's eagle-eyed, fiercely charismatic "Bill the Butcher," the opening clash between Irish and "natives" is a stunning, kinetic montage of primitive violence. The U.S. military, however, is responsible for the copious blood on the streets at Gangs' tumultuous conclusion, overwhelming the archaic feud between Bill and Leonardo DiCaprio's Amsterdam and underlining the systemic bloodshed arising from Bill and his cohorts' entrenched racism and classism. Though the more intimate dimensions of the story are a mixed bag of allegorical romance and hoary Oedipal conflict involving DiCaprio, Day-Lewis and Cameron Diaz's California-dreaming thief, the visceral punch of the action scenes is occasionally matched by such quiet interludes as the flag-clad Bill's sublimely twisted disquisition on paternity and honor. A potent and thoughtful cinematic experience despite its flaws, Gangs of New York is Scorsese's most vital work since The Age of Innocence (1993). Lucia Bozzola
New York Times
This is historical filmmaking without the balm of right-thinking ideology, either liberal or conservative. Mr. Scorsese's bravery and integrity in advancing this vision can hardly be underestimated. A.O. Scott
Washington Post
Darkly operatic and brilliantly realized. Michael O'Sullivan
New York Observer
The result reverberates on the screen with a deadly force and fury more intense than anything Mr. Scorsese has yet achieved on the meanest and most beloved streets he could imagine or recall. Andrew Sarris
USA Today
It realistically puts you into the Civil War North as much as Gone With the Wind does with the romantically idealized South. Mike Clark

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Product Details

Release Date:
04/15/2011
UPC:
0031398134572
Original Release:
2002
Source:
Miramax Lionsgate
Region Code:
ABC
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Time:
2:47:00
Sales rank:
15,992

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Leonardo DiCaprio Amsterdam Vallon
Daniel Day-Lewis William Cutting a.k.a. Bill the Butcher
Cameron Diaz Jenny Everdeane
Jim Broadbent William "Boss" Tweed
John C. Reilly Happy Jack
Liam Neeson Priest Vallon
Henry Thomas Johnny Sirocco
Brendan Gleeson Walter "Monk" McGinn
Gary Lewis McGloin
Stephen Graham Shang
Eddie Marsan Killoran
Alec McCowen Reverend Raleigh
David Hemmings Mr. Schermerhorn
Lawrence Gilliard Jimmy Spoils
Cara Seymour Hell-Cat Maggie
Roger Ashton-Griffiths P.T. Barnum
Peter-Hugo Daly One-Armed Priest
Cian McCormack Young Amsterdam
Dominique Vandenberg Actor
Ilaria d'Elia Actor

Technical Credits
Martin Scorsese Director
Alessandro Alberti Art Director
Vic Armstrong Asst. Director
Michael Ballhaus Cinematographer
Maria Teresa Barbasso Art Director
Bono Songwriter
Gerry Robert Byrne Associate Producer
Dimitri Capuani Art Director
Adam Clayton Songwriter
Jay Cocks Original Story,Screenwriter
Edge Songwriter
Laura Fattori Co-producer
Dante Ferretti Production Designer
Tom Fleischman Sound/Sound Designer
Eugene Gearty Sound/Sound Designer
Maurizio Grimaldi Executive Producer
Alberto Grimaldi Producer
Michael Hausman Executive Producer
Industrial Light & Magic Special Effects
Graham King Executive Producer
Ellen Lewis Casting
Kenneth Lonergan Screenwriter
Larry Mullen Songwriter
Michael Ovitz Executive Producer
Nazzareno Piana Art Director
Sandy Powell Costumes/Costume Designer
Joseph P. Reidy Asst. Director,Co-producer
Luc Sante Consultant/advisor
Thelma Schoonmaker Editor
Ivan Sharrock Sound/Sound Designer
Howard Shore Score Composer
Bob Weinstein Executive Producer
Harvey Weinstein Producer
Rick Yorn Executive Producer
Steven Zaillian Screenwriter

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