7.2/10
7,964
54 user 16 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 »
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

William Forsythe is shaved throughout the movie, yet his head where the hair is shaved is always whiter than the rest of his head and face, showing that he hasn't been shaved long at all. See more »

Goofs

The various gang members on the prison yard in 1962 are wearing modern hats, beanies, and bandanas that gang members didn't wear in 1962. See more »

Quotes

J.D.: If we show weakness now, homes, everybody's gonna see it not just the mayates and wops as La Nuestra Familia as well. They're just waiting to make their fucking move. This way we can do it clean. Do what Scagnelli did, form them shoot out.
Montoya Santana: To who?
J.D.: Aryan Brotherhood. They hate the mayates, mayates hate them and don't be a fucking thing. The AB gives the blacks message then we won't have to risk anything.
Montoya Santana: We're spending all over time dealing with the Italians and now the Black Gorilla Family, ese, ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in Lives in Hazard (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

I Want to Take You Higher
Written by Sly Stone (as Sylvester Stewart)
Performed by Ike & Tina Turner
Courtesy of EMI Records USA, a division of Capitol Records, Inc.
by arrangement with CEMA Special Markets
See more »

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.


36 of 37 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 54 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Me See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$16,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,378,100, 15 March 1992

Gross USA:

$13,086,430

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed