American Gangster Film Review by Steven Zaillian

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A Film Review

November 27, 2007

Title: American Gangster
Genre: Gangster
Writer: Steven Zaillian
Director: Ridley Scott
Date and Place of performance: November 21, 2007 at my house

On November 21, 2007, I was home for break and watched an interesting-historical film titled American Gangster. The film was written by Steven Zaillian and was directed by Ridley Scott. American Gangster was a gangster movie that reflected back on the pass. The performance environment was at my house in the living room on a DVD player. The room was dark, cool, and very comfortable, which made it very relaxing and easier to watch and study the film.

American Gangster took place in Harlem, New Jersey, in the 1960’s and 1970’s. It was a movie that was based on a true story, of a man by the name of Frank Lucas. American Gangster was basically about Frank Lucas and his life as a big time business man, big time street-pharmacist, but most of all a family man. Frank Lucas was a business man of street drugs; he was a gangster, who transported drugs from Bangkok in the Vietnam War to the east cost of the United States. Frank Lucas was not just and old street-pharmacist, he was smart he had people working for him, people on his side, like the war, the mob, but most of all his family. He got his money up and had his family had his family move from North Carolina over to New Jersey, in a big white house, this way his brothers could work for him and his clientele would increase and he would save money because his family was working for him. Lucas was also smart because he was not like the other gangsters, he did not flash around his money, and he did not wear loud colored clothing. Lucas wore regular suites, as if he was a true business man, he did not have anybody on to him until people started dying from the drugs he had out on the streets, called Blue Magic. It was called Blue Magic because it was a pure drug, nothing in it was mixed. Lucas had the whole east coast on this Blue Magic; he had the Queens, Bergen Country, N.J., Brooklyn, and the Bronx. This is when a man by the name of Rickie Roberts came in; he was a man who worked for the law and in a prosecutor’s office. Rickie Roberts was a good cope, at least he thought, he did something no cope would ever do, he turned in nine-hundred-eighty-seven-thousand dollars unmarked cash and did not one police officers respect him for it. Roberts had a lot in his life, he had a son whose mother was taking him to court for custody of the child, he was going to school to become a lawyer and his state bar test was coming up, and he wants to catch Frank Lucas. Roberts finds out about the Blue Magic by his partner dying from it, then that is when he started letting his guard down by wearing the flashy coat his wife bought for him. This is when Roberts had the man he was looking for; he just needed a way to stop him. In the end Lucas finally was caught coming out from church, by Roberts. He was convicted of conspiracy to distribute narcotics and was sentenced to seventy-years in prison but he only served fifteen-years and was released in 1991. His brothers were convicted on drug trafficking. His mother moved back to North Carolina, and his wife moved to Puerto Rico. However, Rickie Roberts quit the prosecutors’ office and became a defense attorney; his first client was Frank Lucas. The film is episodic because of the short scenes and numerous characters. The type of message I received from this movie was “don’t sale drugs”, because you only in up in two places behind bars or six feet under. It also gave me the feeling of a person getting fast money not working hard for what they want, but “good things come to people who are patience and work hard”. American Gangster is compared to the American dream; and the American dream is defined as having a nice house, good paying job, kids and a dog, and no worries in the world. The way I think American Gangster relates to that is, Frank Lucas did kind of lived...
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