King of New York

King of New York

3.5 2
Director: Abel Ferrara, Christopher Walken, David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne

Cast: Abel Ferrara, Christopher Walken, David Caruso, Laurence Fishburne

     
 

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The gritty underbelly of New York's complex, ethnically divided criminal world is exposed in this dark drama from director Abel Ferrara. Christopher Walken stars as Frank White, a drug lord who's just been released from a long stint in prison. Aware that feeding off of society's depravity has made him a wealthy man, Frank has become determined to give something back

Overview

The gritty underbelly of New York's complex, ethnically divided criminal world is exposed in this dark drama from director Abel Ferrara. Christopher Walken stars as Frank White, a drug lord who's just been released from a long stint in prison. Aware that feeding off of society's depravity has made him a wealthy man, Frank has become determined to give something back to the city, and he hatches a scheme to build a multimillion-dollar public hospital in one of Brooklyn's worst ghetto neighborhoods. Needing the assistance of his fellow criminals to pull it off, Frank and his adjutant Jimmy Jump (Laurence Fishburne) encounter a wall of resistance from every faction, including drug-trade partner Lance Wong (Joey Chin) and temperamental cop Dennis Gilley (David Caruso). Frank's do-gooder efforts ultimately result in a Mob war and in a bloody showdown between the city's various ethnic criminal actions. Ferrara followed King of New York with a similarly themed film that many critics considered his masterpiece, Bad Lieutenant (1992).

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Kryssa Schemmerling
Abel Ferrara's dazzlingly lurid gangster film chronicles the downfall of a New York drug kingpin named Frank White, who is portrayed by Christopher Walken with his singular mix of spookiness, menace, and glee. White is a criminal driven by personal demons and an idiosyncratic sense of social justice. Having grown rich through his illegal exploits, White decides that he want to give something back to the city by building a multimillion-dollar hospital in an impoverished neighborhood. He attempts to do this by joining forces with a Chinatown gangster (Joey Chin), which enrages the local -- and very racist -- Mafia. Meanwhile, he's got a hotheaded cop on his back (former NYPD Blue star David Caruso) who will do anything to bring White down. Walken is electrifying in the lead role, his every utterance and gesture conveying a sense of his character's rich and twisted inner life. The film also features a hyperkinetic turn by Laurence Fishburne as White's chief henchman, and a cast of vivid minor criminals. The combination of Walken's tour de force performance; Bojan Bazelli's druggy, expressionistic cinematography; and Ferrara and screenwriter Nicholas St. John's unflinching portrayal of the city's racial and social divisions make The King of New York an incisive and poetic vision of Gotham's seething underbelly.
All Movie Guide - Scott Engel
With The King of New York, Abel Ferrara takes what could have been a run-of-the-mill shoot-em-up and comes up with a study of inner-city morality. Much like he would do a year later with his masterpiece Bad Lieutenant, Ferrara refuses to let the good guys and bad guys be black and white. Instead, he fills their violent world with grays, seeing the criminals in a sympathetic light and turning a critical eye on the police. Christopher Walken plays Frank White, a drug kingpin whose idea of helping out the neighborhood kids is recruiting subway muggers to become drug dealers while financing a neglected hospital. He takes out rival gangs not to further his business, but because he doesn't like the way others run theirs. His attitude: the drugs are out there, why don't I make a little money off that and help out the city in the process. This doesn't jive with the local cops, particularly Dennis Gilley played by David Caruso. Dennis is a bitter flatfoot who's sick of money floating Frank above the law. He takes matters into his own hands only to see his illegal crusade of street justice go disastrously wrong. The script sometimes underestimates the audience and goes out of the way to connect the dots, but it's still a wild ride. The hidden gem of the film is Laurence Fishburne as Frank's number one guy Jimmy Jump. An appropriate name, for he literally bounces off the walls and cackles hysterically while slicing people down in a spray of bullets. Coming out at the close of the "Just Say No" '80s, The King of New York took a refreshing look at the war on drugs and how it effects the soldiers on the front line.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/24/2006
UPC:
0012236203551
Original Release:
1990
Rating:
R
Source:
Lions Gate
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:46:00

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Christopher Walken Frank White
David Caruso Dennis Gilley
Laurence Fishburne Jimmy Jump
Victor Argo Roy Bishop
Wesley Snipes Thomas Flannigan
Janet Julian Jennifer Poe
Joey Chin Larry Wong
Giancarlo Esposito Lance
Paul Calderon Joey Dalesio
Steve Buscemi Test Tube
Theresa Randle Raye
Leonard Thomas Blood
Roger Guenveur Smith Tanner
Carrie Nygren Melanie
Freddie Jackson Actor
Sari Chang Special Appearance
Vanessa Angel British Female
Phoebe Legere Bordello Woman
Pete Hamill Special Appearance
Gerard Murphy Mulligan
Randall Sabusawa Actor
Ernest Abuba King Tito
Frank Adonis Paul Calgari
Erica Gimpel Dr. Shute
Frank Gio Arty Clay
Jack Goode Palladium Patron
Michael Guess Carter
Nancy Hunter Millie
Robert La Sardo Italian Guard
James Lorinz Tip Connoly
Gary Landon Mills Chilly
Harold Perrineau Thug Leader
Peter Richardson Emperor Jones
Wendell Sweda Man at Breakfast Table
Ariane Special Appearance

Technical Credits
Abel Ferrara Director
Bojan Bazelli Cinematographer
Chris Andrews Consultant/advisor
Joe Delia Score Composer
Jay Julien Executive Producer
Mary Kane Producer
John P. McIntyre Consultant/advisor
Phil Neilson Stunts
Hugh A. O'Brien Stunts
Carol Ramsey Costumes/Costume Designer
Anthony Redman Editor
Sonja Roth Set Decoration/Design
Randall Sabusawa Associate Producer
Vittorio Squillante Executive Producer
Nicholas St. John Screenwriter
Alex Tavoularis Production Designer
Matt Vogel Special Effects
Stephanie Ziemer Art Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- King of New York
1. Main Title / Frank's Back [8:23]
2. Ten Percent [3:40]
3. Split Personality [6:23]
4. "I Wanna Be Mayor" [5:03]
5. A Brief Message [2:26]
6. Subway Ride [1:58]
7. Dealer's Choice [2:44]
8. Black Collar Criminal [6:18]
9. Cop Wedding [4:13]
10. Chinatown Vampires [1:45]
11. Chicken [2:58]
12. "Socialized Medicine" [2:11]
13. Released on Bail [1:39]
14. Lots of MSG [1:38]
15. Hospital Benefit [1:55]
16. To Protect and to Serve [2:20]
17. "Something Good" [3:11]
18. After Hours [3:19]
19. Queensboro Express [7:39]
20. Ceremonial Burial [10:33]
21. Blood Money [2:26]
22. The Drug Problem [2:34]
23. Final Justice [4:38]
24. End Credits [9:40]

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King of New York 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Gonzo84 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this Utlra-Violent feature and this is coming from a person who started loving films strictly through mafia genre features (Godfather, Goodfellas). I've only seen two other Ferrara films (Bad Luitenant, Dangerous Game), so like those features, I was expecting his style and grittiness to come through ten-fold in this film. Nicholas St. John, a long time writer and collaborater with Director Abel Ferrara doesn't disappoint us with this epic. I would say that this is Ferrara's most entertaining piece from the other films that i've seen, mostly since it's more of a story rather than just a destruction or fall of a mad character. Christopher Walken is at his peak with this film, he has that sense of bringing you in to love him even though he's a ruthless monster in the film. It was like this role was written specifically for him. If you liked his role of the Mafia Don in "True Romance," this, in my mind, is more like a companion to that character. I also thought that Lawrence Fishborne did a fantastic job, by the trailer, he doesn't look very realistic, but more out-played and too over-the-top, but as the viewer watches the film, you are kind of lost within his insane cherades. It was hard to go from him playing the strong and upright "Furious Styles" in "Boyz from the Hood" to the complete opposite "Jimmy Jump," in this film. Even the rest of the all-star cast did a great job. David Caruso, whom I'm not a fan of, especially with his stardom in his recently horrible CSI show, he did a great job, along with Wesley Snipes, since this was one of his first major roles on film. Imdb.com has announced that Abel Ferrara is working on a new film with Michael Pitt (Dreamers, Funny Games) to star in a prequel of King Of New York...I can only imagine what this will be like. All in all, if you like Mafia flicks that are edgey, dark, gritty, and especially tense, then this film is for you. It's been a while since I've found a good Mob film and this one doesn't disappoint.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My boyfriend loves this movie but I disagree. as I matter of fact as a lover of crime cinema, I was offended. The King of New York reflects the unfettered determination of the mainstrean motion picture world to utilize every stereotype that the media has ever conjured up about the ghettos of the urban jungle. At best this is an obsculative view of what happens when small time white crime gets a conscience. As usual we are not surprised that the first to die are the indigenous street punks that follow blindy behind a ''saviour'' that has no regards for their welfare. The main character was in simpliest terms, ''weak.'' His personna did not exemplify gansta or businessman, just ''white man with no business'' in Manhattan. It was amazing to see that so many well known actors actually read for start up roles in this Scarface knock-off. We can tell who wrote, produced and directed this madness.