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Gangs of New York

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Promotional poster for Gangs of New York

Gangs of New York is a 2002 film made by the studio Miramax, set in the middle 19th century in the Five Points district of New York City. It was directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian and Kenneth Lonergan. The film was loosely inspired by Herbert Asbury's 1928 book "The Gangs Of New York", ISBN 1560252758.

Plot

It is a story about outlaws of that time, centering around the conflict between the "native" criminal underworld associated with the Know-Nothings and immigrant gangs controlled by Tammany Hall. Amsterdam Vallon (DiCaprio) is a young Irish-American who gains the trust of William "Bill the Butcher" Cutting (Day-Lewis), leader of the Nativist gangs. The character of Cutting is based on Bill 'The Butcher' Poole, a real-life leader of the Bowery Boys gang who is buried in the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

The opening of the film takes place in 1846, but most of the action takes place in the early 1860s, a period when the two principal controversies in New York were the great wave of Irish immigration to the city, and the federal government's prosecution of the American Civil War. The story follows the careers of Amsterdam and Cutting as they rise from crime bosses to political kingmakers during the reign of Boss Tweed (Broadbent), and culminates with a confrontation between them that coincides with the New York Draft Riots of 1863.

While praised for the accuracy in reproducing costumes and the general environment of the mid-1800 New York City, the film has been criticized for greatly exaggerating the violence in the gang fights and city riots, and also for historical inaccuracies (for example, Bill the Butcher never lived in the Five Points and died much earlier than the film depicts). See for example [1] (http://www.urbanography.com/5_points/index.html), [2] (http://www.nydailynews.com/news/story/43543p-41030c.html) and [3] (http://hnn.us/comments/6212.html).

Tagline: America Was Born In The Streets.

Cast

External links

fr:Gangs of New York it:Gangs of New York

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