American Gangster

Synopsis: Following the death of his employer and mentor, Bumpy Johnson, Frank Lucas establishes himself as the number one importer of heroin in the Harlem district of Manhattan. He does so by buying heroin directly from the source in South East Asia and he comes up with a unique way of importing the drugs into the United States. As a result, his product is superior to what is currently available on the street and his prices are lower. His alliance with the New York Mafia ensures his position. It is also the story of a dedicated and honest policeman, Richie Roberts, who heads up a joint narcotics task force with the Federal government. Based on a true story.
Director(s): Ridley Scott
Production: Universal Pictures
  Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 12 wins & 35 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
157 min

Happy Thanksgiving!

- Here!

- Right here!

Here you go, fellas!

Come! Come here.

This is the problem.

This is what's wrong with America.

It's gotten so big

you just can't find your way.

The grocery store

on the corner is a now a supermarket.

The candy store

is a MacDonald's.

And this place...

a super f***ing discount store.

Where's the pride of ownership?

Where's the personal service?

See what I mean?


What right do they have

of cutting out the suppliers?

Pushing out all the middlemen.

Buying direct from the manufacturer.

Sony this.

Toshiba that.

All them Chinks...

put Americans out of work.

...plans to take place

in Quang Tri Province.

From Laos...

That's the way it is now.

You're all right ?

You can't find the heart of anything...

to stick the knife.

Anybody here?

- Can I help you?

- Call an ambulance.

Forget it, Frank.

There's no one in charge.

Call an ambulance!

Some say Bumpy Johnson

was a great man,

according to eulogies,

a giving man.

A man of the people.

No one chose to use

in remembrances

the word most often associated

with Ellsworth Bumpy Johnson :


whose passing has brought

a Who's Who of mourners

on this chilly afternoon.

The KC mob boss,

Dominic Cattano.

Harlem crime figure,

Nicky Barnes.

From the political arena,

the Governor has come down.

The Mayor of New York,

the Chief of Police and Commissioner.

Sports and entertainment luminaries.

Bumpy Johnson,

age 62 when he passed

was a folk hero among Harlem locals

for over four decades.

Regarded by some as

the Robin Hood of Harlem,

by others as a ruthless criminal.

I would've thought that Warnfield

put out a better spread.

- Want some ?

- No, thanks.

I want chicken wings on mine.

Who is that ?

He didn't know what hit him.

I just kept poppin'

him in the face.

You got a light?

That's very good.

Hey, Frank !

Get me a light while you're at it.

Appreciate it.

Don Cattano.

How you doing, Rossi?

- Good.

- A drink, Sir?

Give him a scotch.

Come on.

I know you're hurting, Frank.

So am I.

I'm all right.

- You going to be all right?

- Yeah.

I'm sure Bumpy didn't tell you,

but he made me promise

if anything happened to him...

I should make sure

that you're want for nothing.

I appreciate that.

Half the people here

owed Bumpy money when he died.

They think I'll forget to collect,

but I'll get that money.

Well... that's the spirit.

Go get them.

Mr. Roberts!

Taking the prosecution side,

give us U.S. vs. Meade,

subject, issues,

what the determination was

and what it means to us today.

Class shall be critiquing,

Mr. Roberts, so pay attention.

I hate hearing my name,

ya know ?

Means I gotta get up

in front of the class,

I gotta turn around,

and I know everyone in there,

they know more than I do.

The N1 fear of people...

it ain't dying.

It's public speaking.

I get physically ill.

Wanna throw up.

And you wanna do that

for a living.

I don't like being like that.

I want to beat it.

- Should I do this?

- No, he'll take it from me.

He knows me since high shool.

- High school?

- Good morning.

He doesn't take it, just throw it in.

- That's good service.

- Throw it in?

- What's up, Suzie?

- Hi, Jay.

- How you doing, baby?

- All right.

You, punk !

You bit me, a**hole !

I swear to God, Richie.

I didn't know it was you.

I'd never slam a door

on your hand, knowingly.

You bit my f***ing hand.

What you doing

serving subpoenas anyway?

- We're on loan to County.

- County?

- How's that working for you?

- F*** you.

I'm sorry.

Consider me served.

Can we leave it there?

Assault on a police officer?

I don't think so.

For old time's sake, what can we do,

what do you want, what can I give you?

What do you get for assault

with a deadly weapon, Jay?

- 5 years minimum.

- 5 years.

Guys, c'mon ! No.

Guys, what do you want?

Who do you want?

- Who do you got ?

- You want...

Big Al's bookie, his accountant?

I'll give him to you.

Stop, stop.

There he is.

That's him. The bookie.

All right. Get lost.

- Right here?

- Right here. Get out of the car.

- This is nuts.

- Come on.

Let's go.

Take it easy.

We stay with him or the car?

Let's see who comes for the car.

Think he made us?

You called in a warrant, right?

So where are they?

I just called, man!

I called and walked back here,

and ten seconds has gone by.

We saw him with the slips, Jay.

You saw policy slips?

You saw grocery bags.

- You don't know what's in them.

- I do, and so do you.

Don't give me that bull.

What's the rush, Richie?

- Half an hour, the warrant'll be here.

- I got night school.

Guess you're gonna miss it.

- F*** this. Come on!

- You sure?

Yeah, let's go.



- It's not just a couple of bucks.

- It's the same thing, in principle.

We're talking principles?

A cop who turns in

this kind of money...

says one thing.

He turns in cops who take money.

- We'll be f***ing pariahs.

- We're f***ed both ways.

Not if we keep it. Only if we don't,

then right, we're f***ed,

but not if we keep it.

Goddamn it, man!

Did we ask for it?

Did we put a gun to someone's head

and say :
"Give us your money"?

Cops... kill cops

they can't trust.

We can't turn it in, man.

You believe that?

How much is there?

Nine hundred

and eighty seven thousand.

What happened to the rest?

What the hell are you doing counting it

in front of everybody. Are you nuts?

Get it back in the bags, seal'em up,

and down it to the property room.

F***ing boy-scouts.

So nice to see you here this evening.



Detective Trupo.

Sign here.

You guys ready

to make a lot of f***in money?

- Always.

- Hell yeah.

Here you go!

All right. Look at this.

- F***ing dealers.

- Here's three more boats.

Hey, don't lose any of that sh*t.

- I know.

- Be careful.

Just enough for the reagent test.

A little less.

This is the French Connection dope.

Kilos of the same dope Eddie Egan

and Sonny Grasso took from us!

The cops seize it, arrest everyone,

and they start taking it out

of the evidence room,

whacking it down to nothing

and selling it back to us.

They basically

control the market with it.

Mr. Rossi.

A surprise.

They've been doin this for years.

They live off it.

- Our dope.

- Many thanks.

What the f*** is happening

to the world, Frank?

F***in crooks.

Sad about Bumpy.

Things are never gonna be the same

in Harlem.

You walk down the street.

Nobody bothers you

cause Bumpy was making sure of it.

Here, Frankie.

How is it there now?

It's chaos.

Every gorilla for himself.

Who can live like that?

There has to be order.

That would've never happened

with Italians.

More important than

any one man's life...

is order.


Come on in.

Sit down.

- How y'all doin?

- Good.

- So, you seen Nate over there?

- Yeah, all the time.

Nate is everywhere.

- He's good.

- He's still over there.

Got himself a club now.

Where, Saigon?


I don't think he's ever comin home.

Rate this script:3.3 / 3 votes

Steven Zaillian

Steven Ernest Bernard Zaillian (born January 30, 1953) is an American screenwriter, director, film editor, and producer. He won an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award and a BAFTA Award for his screenplay Schindler's List (1993) and has also earned Oscar nominations for Awakenings, Gangs of New York and Moneyball. He was presented with the Distinguished Screenwriter Award at the 2009 Austin Film Festival and the Laurel Award for Screenwriting Achievement from the Writers Guild of America in 2011. Zaillian is the founder of Film Rites, a film production company. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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