7.3/10
13,556
66 user 53 critic

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.

Director:

Louis Malle

Writer:

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In 1944, an 18-year old boy from small-town France, collaborates with the Nazi-regime and subsequently falls in love with a Jewish girl.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Pierre Blaise, Aurore Clément, Holger Löwenadler
Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A French boarding school run by priests seems to be a haven from World War II until a new student arrives. He becomes the roommate of top student in his class. Rivals at first, the roommates form a bond and share a secret.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Gaspard Manesse, Raphael Fejtö, Francine Racette
Elmer Gantry (1960)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A fast-talking traveling salesman with a charming, loquacious manner convinces a sincere evangelist that he can be an effective preacher for her cause.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons, Arthur Kennedy
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert.

Directors: John Frankenheimer, Charles Crichton
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter
Seed (1931)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bart is a clerk for a publishing company. He has written a novel. His wife Peggy and he have five children. Bart's former girlfriend, Mildred, is manager of the company's Paris office. She ... See full summary »

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: John Boles, Genevieve Tobin, Lois Wilson
Desert Sands (1955)
Adventure | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

The French Foreign Legion battles rebellious Arabs in North Africa.

Director: Lesley Selander
Stars: Ralph Meeker, Marla English, J. Carrol Naish
Drama | Film-Noir | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Grocery clerk Eddie Quaid, in danger of losing his father to alcoholism and his girl Julie through lack of career prospects, goes into boxing. His cop friend McBride finances him; ex-con ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Hopper
Stars: Tony Curtis, Pat Crowley, Ernest Borgnine
May Fools (1990)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Like Vanya, in Malle's last film, Milou never left the family estate. His mother dies during the May 1968 student uprising in Paris. The brother who is the London correspondent for Le Monde... See full summary »

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Miou-Miou, Michel Piccoli, Michel Duchaussoy
1 a Minute (2010)
Documentary | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The film chronicles the diagnosis and treatment of a breast cancer survivor, interspersed with personal tales from famous international celebrities who are also survivors, or affected closely by cancer.

Director: Namrata Singh Gujral
Stars: Kelly McGillis, Olivia Newton-John, Namrata Singh Gujral
Alamo Bay (1985)
Action | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A despondent Vietnam veteran in danger of losing his livelihood is pushed to the edge when he sees Vietnamese immigrants moving into the fishing industry in a Texas bay town.

Director: Louis Malle
Stars: Amy Madigan, Ed Harris, Ho Nguyen
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In post-war Vienna, occupied by the Allies, four sergeants representing each of the occupying nations (USA, England, France, Soviet Union) patrol in the same Jeep. One day they are given ... See full summary »

Directors: Leopold Lindtberg, Elizabeth Montagu
Stars: Viveca Lindfors, Ralph Meeker, Yossi Yadin
Biography | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Blossom Seeley climbs to Broadway success with her partner Benny Fields, then retires to become his wife.

Director: Irving Brecher
Stars: Betty Hutton, Ralph Meeker, Robert Keith
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Lancaster ... Lou
Susan Sarandon ... Sally
Kate Reid ... Grace
Michel Piccoli ... Joseph
Hollis McLaren ... Chrissie
Robert Joy ... Dave
Al Waxman ... Alfie
Robert Goulet ... Singer
Moses Znaimer Moses Znaimer ... Felix
Angus MacInnes ... Vinnie
Sean Sullivan ... Buddy
Wallace Shawn ... Waiter (as Wally Shawn)
Harvey Atkin ... Bus Driver
Norma Dell'Agnese ... Jeanne
Louis Del Grande Louis Del Grande ... Mr. Shapiro
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Arteboutique [France]

Country:

France | Canada | USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

3 April 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Atlantic City See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$7,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,729,675

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$12,729,675
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A French-Canadian production company gave director Louis Malle money to make a film under the stipulation that he use the money within an allotted period of time or he'd have to give it back. With time running out and not entirely happy with the one script that stood out from the ones he took under consideration, Malle's then-girlfriend Susan Sarandon introduced him to a good friend of hers, John Guare, a playwright ("House of Blue Leaves", "Six Degrees of Separation", and "Four Baboons Adoring the Sun" among others). Over dinner, Malle and Sarandon (who was attached to star) discussed the problems they had with the script and offered suggestions as to how Guare could possibly fix it so they could beat the pending deadline and start filming. Guare quickly reworked the script (it was his idea to set the film in Atlantic City) and filming got underway within a few months of the trio's initial meeting. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the film Grace tells Chrissie that they'd both lost their men to a shooting. But Chrissie's man was stabbed, not shot. See more »

Quotes

Joseph: Everyone, listen to me! The players are coming to the casino in teams. One sits here, one sits there. The cards are good. The player at the first base spills his drink. Your eye moves. The player at the third base triples his bets! They have a *million* clever ways of trying to cheat you. Focus! Concentrate! Concentrate. Concentrate.
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 Dust (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Flat Foot Floogie
(uncredited)
Music by Slim Gaillard and Slam Stewart
Lyrics by Bud Green
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
seen all my dreams disappear, but I'm here
3 April 2013 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Louis Malle created a poetic "Atlantic City," released in 1980 and starring Burt Lancaster, Susan Sarandon, and Kate Reid. Lancaster plays Lou, a small-time mobster from the old days of Atlantic City. He is handsome, dresses very grandly, and pretends that he used to be in the big-time. Actually he worked in some menial job for a mobster and now takes care of his widow Grace (Kate Reid) who appears bedridden at first. He takes care of her dog, makes her food, rubs her limbs to increase circulation, and occasionally sleeps with her. She's verbally abusive to him. Grace came to Atlantic City in the '40s as a contestant in a Betty Grable lookalike contest, met her future husband, and never left.

Lou meets a young waitress and would-be croupier, Sally, and their lives soon collide. He's attracted to her. Sally's sister has run off with Sally's husband, and the two show up to stay with her. Her sister is pregnant. Sally's husband Dave is there to do a drug deal; he meets Lou and stores the cocaine in Lou's apartment. People are after him, so he sends Lou to someone's apartment on a delivery, and Lou is to pick up the money. When Lou arrives home after the errand, Dave is dead. The thugs didn't get their dope, so eventually they turn to Sally. In fact, Lou has the dope and also the money from the first delivery. And he plans on taking up where Dave left off.

This is such a well-done film, hearkening back to the old days of Atlantic City just as the city is being rebuilt as a eastern Las Vegas. Lou is part of the old days; Sally is ambitious and wants to better herself. Lou, never anybody, now longs to be somebody for her.

The acting is wonderful. Burt Lancaster is magnificent as Lou, an old man who still has young dreams. It's a very subtle performance, very touching and sometimes funny. Susan Sarandon does a great job as Sally, creating a totally believable character.

John Guare has written a great script, the first important component of a film, and it was in the hands of a master, Louis Malle. The film was made in Canada, and I recognized many Canadian actors, but the location shots are excellent.

Highly recommended, a sublime experience.


5 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 66 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed