6.8/10
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30 user 11 critic

American Heart (1992)

R | | Crime, Drama, Romance | 7 May 1993 (USA)
An ex-convict is tracked down by his estranged teenage son, and the pair try to build a relationship and life together in Seattle.

Director:

Martin Bell

Writers:

Peter Silverman (story), Martin Bell (story) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Boylan John Boylan ... Janitor
Jeff Bridges ... Jack Kelson
Edward Furlong ... Nick Kelson
Greg Sevigny Greg Sevigny ... Young Jack
Jayne Entwistle ... Monique
Willie Williams Willie Williams ... The Gospel Fireballs
Roosevelt Franklin Roosevelt Franklin ... The Gospel Fireballs
Melvyn Hayward ... Normandy
Don Harvey ... Rainey
Kit McDonough ... Landlady
Wren Walker ... Lisa
Cristine McMurdo-Wallis ... School Administrator
Lucinda Jenney ... Charlotte
Charlotte London Charlotte London ... Flo
Loyd Catlett ... Vernon the Bartender
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Storyline

After leaving jail, Jack Kelson wants to live a normal life. He rents a small flat, moves in with his son Nick and tries to get a steady job. But then a former friend steps into his life again. Written by Markus Lasermann <mslaserm@trick.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jack's only hope was a dream... Nick's only hope was Jack. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexual situations | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 May 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

American Heart - Die zweite Chance See more »

Filming Locations:

Washington, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,549, 9 May 1993

Gross USA:

$384,048

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$384,048
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Black and White (some footage)| Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Twelve lobby cards were released in Spain upon the films release. They measure 9.4 x 13.4 inches (24x34 cm) each. See more »

Goofs

Near the end of the movie, the ferry is leaving Seattle (towards Bainbridge Island or Bremerton). However a few seconds later we see the boat wake with the Olympic Mountains in the distance indicating the boat is headed towards Seattle, not away from it. See more »

Quotes

Jack Kelson: [Jack is coughing because of the smoke from the hot dogs on the grill] Oh!
Charlotte: Am I the only one in here who can't breathe?
Jack Kelson: Alright Nick, we're getting fixicated in here. Open that window.
Nick Kelson: Oh.
Jack Kelson: Here.
[Jack hands one of them a hot dog on a bun]
Nick Kelson: Is there any Ketchup?
Charlotte: Oh. Uh- ooh.
[Charlotte gets out of the car to get the Ketchup]
Jack Kelson: [to Nick] You were staring at her like a Goddamn yard bull. That's one fine lady, what do you got to say for yourself?
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Big City Dick: Richard Peterson's First Movie (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Sunny Side of The Street
Composed by Jimmy McHugh, Dorothy Fields
Performed by Jeff Bridges
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Great Unknown Film
29 July 2001 | by raymond_chandlerSee all my reviews

I first heard about this movie when it was filming in Seattle, my home. Being a fan of Jeff Bridges, I had to see it when it was released. I now own it on video, and it is one of my favorites.

The Seattle locations are used well, but the basic story could happen anywhere. Ex-con Bridges tries to build a life for himself and his estranged son after his release from prison. There are subplots dealing with a pen-pal romance and Jack's ex-partner, but the focus is on the father-son relationship. What makes the film fascinating is the texture and depth of Bridges' performance. Jack is not too smart, a drunk, and flat broke. He is thrown into a harsh, uncompromising world at the very bottom rung, and somehow must find a way to survive AND stay straight. As he gradually takes responsibility for his son, Nick, he regains his self-esteem and humanity. Bridges shows us all this with humor, honesty, and zero sentimentality. He never shies away from exposing Jack's flaws, but also imbues him with a raw sort of nobility. Flashback sequences drawing a parallel between young Jack and Nick add a layer of poignancy.

There is level of verisimilitude and frankness in "American Heart" that contemporary, mainstream American movies rarely exhibit. In form it greatly resembles Dustin Hoffman's remarkable "Straight Time", but this film is about relationships, not crime. If all you want from a movie is escapism, stay away. Those who like to wander near the Edge will be rewarded.

"you keep me straight, I'll keep you straight"


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