© Universal Pictures International Germany GmbH

American Gangster
U.S.A. 2007

Opening 15 Nov 2007

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Writing credits: Steven Zaillian, Mark Jacobson
Principal actors: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Josh Brolin, Lymari Nadal

This originates from a true story which began in 1968 and continued into the ‘70s. The Italian Mafia branch of La Casa Nostra was most influential in drug dealing; nobody could touch them. Corruption was rampant. The Viet Nam war was in full swing, with Viet Nam being the main topic of conversation both within and without the U.S. Soldiers used a, then new, drug called heroin. It was normally sold by “white” dealers, mostly members of criminal organizations which consisted of huge circles of judges, lawyers, and cops. Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) enters organized drug trafficking upon the death of his boss. Lucas, the first “black” man in the business, has no formal education. He builds up his own hierarchy with a strict business ethic. He remains one of the leading dealers, more powerful than the Mafia, with close ties to Vietnamese drug sources, until Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) arrives on the scene. Roberts is an experienced policeman who realizes that this drug trafficking boss is strangely different. Thus, opposite sides of the law go into confrontation which changes history in New York City. This is a long (157 minutes) but highly recommended film by Ridley Scott, also with Josh Brolin and Chiwetel Ejifor. (Geysa Wiemann)

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