7.2/10
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50 user 20 critic

American Me (1992)

A Mexican-American Mafia kingpin is released from prison, falls in love for the first time, and grows introspective about his gangster lifestyle.

Director:

Edward James Olmos

Writers:

Floyd Mutrux (story), Floyd Mutrux (screenplay) | 1 more credit »

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sal Lopez ... Pedro Santana
Vira Montes Vira Montes ... Esperanza Santana
Roberto Martín Márquez Roberto Martín Márquez ... Acha (as Robert Martin Marquez)
Dyana Ortelli ... Yolanda
Joe Aubel Joe Aubel ... Tattoo Artist
Rob Garrett Rob Garrett ... Zoot Riot Bystander
Lance August ... Young Sailor
Cody Glenn ... Older Sailor
Don Pugsley ... Police Officer
Panchito Gómez Panchito Gómez ... Young Montoya Santana (as Panchito Gomez)
Albert Joe Medina Jr. Albert Joe Medina Jr. ... Street Mechanic
Alex Solís Alex Solís ... Street Mechanic (as Alex Solis)
Raymond Amezquita Raymond Amezquita ... Abuelito
Steve Wilcox ... Young JD
Richard Coca ... Young Mundo
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Storyline

This epic depiction of thirty years of Chicano gang life in Los Angeles focuses on a teen named Santana who, with his friends Mundo and the Caucasian-but-acting-Hispanic J.D., form their own gang and are soon arrested for a break-in. Santana gets into trouble again and goes straight from reform school to prison, spending eighteen years there, and becoming leader of a powerful gang, both inside and outside the prison, while there. When he is finally released, he tries to make sense of the violence in his life, in a world much changed from when last he was in it. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In prison they are the law. On the streets they are the power.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sensuality, and for language and drug content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sans rémission See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,378,100, 15 March 1992, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$13,086,430
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edward James Olmos originally considered Michael Biehn for the role of JD. See more »

Goofs

When the Mexican inmates are walking up with the mop and bucket to assassinate the African-American inmate, it shows the African-American inmate lying in just a t-shirt on his bed. In the next scene, after he's caught on fire, he's wearing his long sleeve button up. See more »

Quotes

Montoya Santana: I'm sorry to hear about Neto.
Julie: I don't know what to say to you.
Montoya Santana: Whatever, you know.
Julie: You're like two people. One is like a kid. Doesn't know how to dance, doesn't know how to make love. That's the one I cared about. But the other one, the other one I hate. The one who knows, the one who has this wrapdown, who knows how to run drugs, who kills people!
Montoya Santana: I don't have to listen to this shit, alright? If you were a man, I'd...
Julie: You'd kill me! Oh no. No, you'd fuck me in the ass, right? Right?
Montoya Santana: I guess we...
[...]
See more »


Soundtracks

Shotgun
Written by Junior Walker (as Autry DeWalt)
Performed by Los Lobos
Courtesy of Slash Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Dark, brutal, and powerful
21 February 2000 | by contronaturaSee all my reviews

A film that explores the criminal lifestyle in a remarkably brutal and cynical fashion, American Me is the stunningly assured directing debut of Edward James Olmos. Olmos also stars, and gives a terrific performance. Even better is William Forsythe as his lifelong friend and right hand man. This film features some of the most unflinching moments of violence I've seen in a mainstream American film. The violence isn't necessarily graphic, but you generally get the idea. One scene involving a brutal gang rape has deservedly achieved notoriety, and yet it doesn't seem gratuitous. It works within the confines of the story. Olmos should be applauded for this achievement, and it's a shame that this film is overshadowed by other gangster films. It belongs right up there with them.


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