Analysis Of Gangs Of New York

2109 words - 8 pages

Gangs of New York PAGE 4
Analysis of Gangs of New YorkHUM/150: Introduction to Film StudiesWorkshop 5Word Count: 2083Analysis of Gangs of New YorkIn 2002, Martin Scorsese teamed up with Miramax Films to direct Gangs of New York, a film he had dreamed of making since the 1970s. With a $97 million budget, the film was a box-office flop, grossing only $190 million worldwide. Nevertheless, Gangs of New York earned 10 Academy Award nominations, and won two Golden Globe Awards for Best Director and Best Song, "The Hands That Built America" by U2 (http://www.imdb.com).The Cast and the PlotThe three main characters in Gangs of New York are Amsterdam Vallon (Leonardo DiCaprio), William Cutting aka Bill 'the Butcher' (Daniel Day-Lewis), and Jenny Everdeane (Cameron Diaz). Other notable characters include Priest Vallon, Amsterdam's father (Liam Neeson), Johnny Sirocco (Henry Thomas), and 'Happy' Jack Mulroney (John C. Reilly).The story opened in 1846 at the Five Points in New York City, known today as Lower Manhattan. Amsterdam's father, Priest Vallon, was the leader of a gang of Irish immigrants called "The Dead Rabbits". Bill Cutting was the leader if a street gang called "The Natives", which was comprised of first generation Americans. The Natives were racist toward all immigrants, and they resented the fact that so many Irish had taken over New York. The Irish, on the other hand, resented being treated like second-class citizens. Gang warfare broke out between these two rival gangs. Six-year-old Amsterdam Vallon watched the grisly fight unfold in the streets of the Five Points, and he witnessed Bill Cutting murder Priest Vallon in cold blood. Amsterdam escaped, and an orphanage incarcerated him for sixteen years.In 1862, Amsterdam returned to New York City as a young man, intent on seeking revenge for his father's death. Keeping his identity a secret, Amsterdam befriended Bill 'the Butcher' so he could deceitfully gain his trust and murder him. Bill and his gang controlled all of Five Points and had their hand in everything from politics to thievery, strong-arming, and murder. Bill ran the town by fear, and he did not hesitate to humiliate and murder anyone who double-crossed him.Theatrical ElementsThe setting of the movie is magnificent and believable, taking the viewer back in time to New York City in the mid 1800s. The buildings, carriage horses, and props were reminiscent of the time. The shack-like houses in the Five Points, in contrast to the uptown mansions, were very revealing of the different lifestyles between lower and upper class societies.Martin Scorsese filmed Gangs of New York on location in Rome, Italy after several years of research. When he finished his research, he had five books full of information to give to the set designer. The set designer started with technical drawings, then moved on to models, and finally began to build the set. The entire set took five months to build, and required a staff of painters, sculptures, and...

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