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Atlantic City (1980)

Atlantic City, USA (original title)
In a corrupt city, a small-time gangster and the estranged wife of a pot dealer find themselves thrown together in an escapade of love, money, drugs, and danger.

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Nominated for 5 Oscars. Another 25 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Lou
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Sally
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Grace
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Joseph
Hollis McLaren ...
Chrissie
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Dave
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Alfie
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Singer
Moses Znaimer ...
Felix
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Vinnie
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Buddy
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Waiter (as Wally Shawn)
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Bus Driver
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Jeanne
Louis Del Grande ...
Mr. Shapiro
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Storyline

Atlantic City is a place where people go to realize their dreams, the promise of the future manifested by the demolition of the old crumbling buildings to be replaced by new hotels and casinos. Someone who recently came to Atlantic City for that promise is native Moose Javian (Saskatchewan) Sally Matthews, who currently works as a waitress at a hotel oyster bar, but who is training to be a black jack croupier and wants to be more cultured, such as learning French, in order to work at the casinos in Monte Carlo. Another dreamer who came to Atlantic City decades ago is Lou Pascal, who has long worked as a numbers runner and who claims to have been a cellmate and thus implied confidante of Bugsy Siegel. Although Lou still dresses to the standard to which he is accustomed, his dream long died as he only works penny ante stuff for Fred, most of his current income from being the kept man of widowed recluse, Grace Pinza. Grace too came to Atlantic City to fulfill her dreams - most ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Where dreamers can be winners. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

3 April 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Atlantic City  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,200,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The stunning footage of the Traymore Hotel being demolished on the Atlantic City Boardwalk seen at the start of the film was actually about eight years old as the building was knocked-down in 1972. Most of Atlantic City's old resorts, hotels and entertainment piers were still standing when this film was made and can be seen in the picture. Many of them however were run-down and in disrepair. Within a couple of years of this film being made and released, many of them were demolished to make way for new casinos. The earlier movie The King of Marvin Gardens (1972) was also shot in Atlantic City and similarly showed the city prior to the place's massive casino re-development. When Atlantic City (1980) was shot, there were only two operating casinos in Atlantic City, Caesars and Resorts, with Bally's Park Place only opening just at the end of principal photography. See more »

Goofs

Before she goes to lunch with Lou, Sally cuts her hand at the oyster bar (drawing blood). But at lunch (and afterward), Sally's hand is unbandaged and healthy. (There's even a close-up of her hands when she examines Lou's cigarette case.) See more »

Quotes

Sally: [to Dave] You're like King Midas in reverse. I don't want you touching my stuff.
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the end credits roll, an old building on the boardwalk is demolished to some of the tunes that appear earlier in the film. Each time the wrecking ball hits, we hear a cymbal crash and the soundtrack jumps to a different song. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Family Guy: Road to Rhode Island (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Flat Foot Floogie
(uncredited)
Music by Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart
Lyrics by Bud Green
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User Reviews

 
I Don't Wear Seatbelts, I Don't Believe in Gravity
21 July 2003 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

"Atlantic City" is a great film where the setting is just as rich and complex a character as the people traversing its streets (and boardwalk). Louis Malle delivers one of the most understated directorial turns working with a delightfully witty script (that has many great lines, like the one above) and a great cast (Lancaster perfect in a comeback role, Sarandon stunning in one of her early great performances). Things are so subtle here that you don't even realize you just watched a work of art until it is over. Atlantic City is shown truthfully (in despair, in shadowed glory, and in the glitz and glamor that was to return thanks to the casinos circa the late 70's) and the people inhabiting it gloriously reflect all of those varying degrees. This is the human condition (searching for that first break or that last chance) in all its quiet charms.


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