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Films to See Before You Die: #51 Gangs of New York


Gangs of New York (2002)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz, Liam Neeson

Synopsis: Priest Vallon (Liam Neeson), is the leader of the Dead Rabbits an Irish Gang in 1846, New York. They are currently in a war with the “Natives”, who are lead by Bill “The Butcher” Cutting (Daniel Day-Lewis), a ruthless business owner who believes only true Americans have the right to live there, not immigrants like the Irish. One day the Natives and the Irish take to the streets in an all out battle, where Priest Vallon is eventually killed by The Butcher in front of his son Amsterdam. Years later Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio), returns to New York in a quest to get vengeance on Bill. After arriving back in New York he learns that Butcher Bill is more powerful than ever and the only way to get close to him will be to join his gang. While working for his gang he meets a young pickpocket Jenny (Cameron Diaz), who eventually aids him in his plan for revenge. In a final confrontation with Bill the whole city of New York is in riots, now Amsterdam must get his revenge before the city goes up in flames.

Trivia: Leonardo DiCaprio accidentally broke Daniel Day-Lewis’ nose while filming a fight scene. Day-Lewis continued to film the scene despite the injury. Bill Cutting, the film’s xenophobic antagonist, has a particular dislike for Irish immigrants. Daniel Day-Lewis is a naturalized citizen of Ireland.

Why I think you should see this: This is the first pairing between Scorsese and DiCaprio and it is an amazing film. The battle scenes a gruesomely amazing and the sets are so true to life its just too cool. Daniel Day-Lewis is at his most despicable in this film which also may be his best performance this side of There Will Be Blood. This is a gritty and violent film but definitely worth checking out sometime.

About Trevor

Hi my name is Trevor and this is my blog! Films are a passion of mine. I am a total film geek. I own over 700 films and the collection is ever growing. I studied Film Studies and Scriptwriting in College. What I have learned about films is mostly self taught.

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