King of New York

King of New York

3.5 2
Director: Abel Ferrara

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… See more details below

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).

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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.

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Product Details

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

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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

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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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