In 1970s America, a detective works to bring down the drug empire of Frank Lucas, a heroin kingpin from Manhattan, who is smuggling the drug into the country from the Far East.
157 min, USA:176 min (unrated version)
1.85 : 1
Rated R for violence, pervasive drug content and language, nudity and sexuality.
Heroin, Harlem, Death, Vietnam, Mafia
SDDS, DTS, Dolby Digital
Crime Drama, Gangster Film
Drug Trade, Rise To Power, Police Corruption, Race Relations, Star Detectives
Gritty, Forceful, Ominous, Angry, Tense
Has Detailed Data (New)
1, 2, 3, 7, 8
Count - Awards
US Box Office
Country Of Origin
American Gangster is a 2007 crime film directed by Ridley Scott adapted from a New York magazine story "The Return of Superfly", by Mark Jacobson, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. Washington portrays Frank Lucas, a real-life gangster from Harlem who smuggled heroin into the United States on American service planes returning from the Vietnam War. Crowe portrays Richie Roberts, a detective attempting to bring down Lucas's drug empire.
Has Detailed Data (New)
Youtube Video Code
The beginning shows enforcer Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) burning and shooting a rival to death. Meanwhile Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson (Clarence Williams III), a disciplined and intelligent gangster, runs much of Harlem and imparts his wisdom onto Frank, his former driver turned right-hand man. Johnson dies of a heart attack in 1968, at an electronics store. Frank dislikes the new, flashy gangsters that are in line to take over Harlem and decides to take control himself.
Meanwhile, Newark Police Department detective Richie Roberts (Russell Crowe) is juggling a failing marriage, late-night law school classes, and his police career. When Richie and his partner, Javier Rivera (John Ortiz), discover nearly $1 million in unmarked bills in a car, Richie resists temptation and turns the money in. His rare honesty makes him a hated member of his precinct, causing his partner to be exiled from the force, while Richie's rampant womanizing behavior and undercover double life leads his wife to seek a divorce and custody of their son. After his exiled partner dies from overdosing on "Blue Magic", a relatively new and powerful type of heroin being sold for less money than its competition, Richie's honesty catches him a break when his superior Captain Lou Toback (Ted Levine) puts him in charge of a newly created task force to stop major drug trafficking in Essex County, New Jersey by going after the actual supplier, rather than the middle-men. Richie handpicks honest cops and gets to work on finding who is supplying Blue Magic.
Blue Magic is being supplied by Frank Lucas. After hearing stories of cheap drugs from servicemen returning from Vietnam, Lucas decided to cut out the middleman and buy his drugs directly from the producers in Thailand. By cutting out the middle man, Frank is able to provide a higher quality product at a cheaper price than his rivals, eventually wholesaling drugs to most of the dealers in the New York area. He smuggles his drugs into the country in coffins of servicemen killed in the Vietnam War. He creates a brand “Blue Magic” and with a great monopoly on quality product, Frank quickly makes a fortune and buys several nightclubs and apartments. He moves his family from North Carolina to New Jersey, where he purchases a large estate for his humble mother. His five brothers are enlisted as his lieutenants in the drug trade – forming “The Country Boys” who work together to traffic and sell dope on New York area streets. During his rise, Frank meets and falls in love with Eva, a Puerto Rican beauty queen. Through his discipline, organization, and willingness to kill those in his way, Frank quickly rises to the top of the Harlem drug and crime scene.
As Frank's business prospers, he makes a point of operating quietly and dressing with a modest conservatism both as a sign of strength and to avoid attracting the attention of the law. However, Frank disregards this habit for his soon-to-be wife for one ostentatious night out, attending the Fight of the Century between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, in a gaudy chinchilla fur coat and hat, along with a ringside seat. As it happens, Roberts is on duty observing the event and see
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