Gangs of New York

Produced and distributed Dec. 20, 2002, by Miramax Films on budget of $97 million, color 35mm negative, 1.85:1 screen ratio, digital 5:1 sound, 160 mins.

Scorsese's film - trailer
Asbury's book




The film is a fictional crime narrative based on the history of the Five Points slum in Manhattan from 1846 to the New York draft riots of 1863. Martin Scorcese has produced Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, The Age of Innocence, and was inspired in the 1970s to dramatize the history book of Herbert Asbury, who also wrote similar histories of gangs in Chicago (The Gangs of Chicago) and in San Francisco (The Barbary Coast). At the Cinecitta studios in Rome, production designer Dante Ferretti built a recreation of the Bowery and Paradise Square district of antebellum New York, the largest set constructed at the studio since Cleopatra in 1961. Scorcese began filming in 2000 but would not finish post-production editing until 2002. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Bill Poole, leader of the Native American party, and a butcher by profession. "Butcher Bill" was skilled at hitting targets with a knife from 20 feet, and was also skilled at alliances with corrupt politicians in Tammany Hall such as Boss Tweed. Lenny DiCaprio plays Amsterdam Vallon, son of Priest Vallon, played by Liam Neeson, the leader of the Dead Rabbits gang who was murdered by Poole. Cameron Diaz plays Jenny, girlfriend of Lenny and a pickpocket.


  • revised 11/30/02 by Schoenherr | Filmnotes