8.6/10
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1,437 user 164 critic

American History X (1998)

A former neo-nazi skinhead tries to prevent his younger brother from going down the same wrong path that he did.

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328 ( 28)

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Cast

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Jason Bose Smith ...
Little Henry (as Jason Bose-Smith)
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Storyline

Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving 3 years in prison for brutally killing two black men who tried to break into/steal his truck. Through his brother, Danny Vineyard's narration, we learn that before going to prison, Derek was a skinhead and the leader of a violent white supremacist gang that committed acts of racial crime throughout L.A. and his actions greatly influenced Danny. Reformed and fresh out of prison, Derek severs contact with the gang and becomes determined to keep Danny from going down the same violent path as he did. Written by Nitesh D.(nmxpa7@msn.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Er ist sein bruder. Und sein opfer. (He's his brother. And his victim.) (German DVD) See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic brutal violence including rape, pervasive language, strong sexuality and nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

20 November 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

American History X  »

Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$156,076 (USA) (30 October 1998)

Gross:

$6,712,241 (USA) (26 March 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Edward Norton was said to have re-edited the film to lengthen his screen time. Director Tony Kaye then attempted to get his own name removed from the credits but violated a Directors' Guild of America rule that states that directors that use pseudonyms (such as "Alan Smithee") must not talk about why they had their name removed - which Tony Kaye had done in ads in Variety. According to Entertainment Weekly, he then wanted his credit to read "Humpty Dumpty". Eventually, Kaye sued the DGA and New Line Cinema for $200 million ($275 according to the book Cinematic Century) stating that the DGA rule violated his first amendment rights. See more »

Goofs

Position of Dr. Sweeney's hands during conversation with Derek after the attack in the shower. See more »

Quotes

Bob Sweeney: This racist propaganda, this "Mein Kampf" psychobabble; he learned this nonsense, Murray, and he can unlearn it too. I will not give up on this child yet.
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Connections

Featured in Late Night with Conan O'Brien: Episode #6.90 (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

The White Man Marches On
by Johnny Rebel
[To the tune of Battle Hymn of the Republic.]
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
This was probably the best movie I've ever seen
9 December 1998 | by (NY) – See all my reviews

I honestly don't think I have ever seen a better movie than American History X in my entire life! I may only be 14, but I have seen a lot of movies. I am an avid fan of them, and this one just takes the cake. Edward Norton is just unbelievable. He is the most talented actor I've ever laid eyes on. His performance in the movie is phenomenal. He delves so deep into his character that he can convince the whole audience easily of his neo-nazi role. The look on his face as he walks back from killing one man in the first seen is purely horrifying. The entire move was dramatic, intriguing, and powerful. It really is moving and emotional as well as scary. It is so true to life, and provides the viewer with such insight into the life and events that create a monster such as Derek Vinyard. It answers many questions I have long awaited an answer to such as what could possibly make someone act as Derek did in this movie, yet left open-ended many others that people such as myself may have. Almost every single scene in the movie was extremely captivating. I can't even go on to say more about the acting, other than if Edward Norton does not win best actor this year, I will go absolutely nuts. It's bad enough he lost it to Cuba Gooding Jr. when he was in Primal Fear, which was yet another incredible performance by him. Edward Furlong, the little kid from T2 is astounding as the confused brother of Derek. I was stunned walking out of the theater after seeing American History X, and I don't think I will ever have the benefit of seeing another movie as good as this one as long as I live. I recommend anyone with a good tolerance for violent and graphic depictions go see this movie. I am bewildered as to why director Tony Kaye would ever want out of this success. If I were to rate this movie, as I often do for others in reviewing them for school, I would give it an A+ with all of my heart.


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