American Gangster / Scarface / Casino - (Import DVD)
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Triple bill of gangster films. 'American Gangster' (2007), directed by Ridley Scott, is a biopic of 1970s Harlem drug baron Frank Lucas. When his boss dies, underworld driver Frank Lucas (Denzel Washington) seizes his chance and begins to build his own criminal empire. Utilising the coffins of dead US soldiers, Lucas begins importing heroin direct from South-East Asia, increasing purity on the street, and undercutting his rivals in one fell swoop. Before long he's amassed a fortune, bringing him to the attention of maverick policeman Ritchie Roberts (Russell Crowe), an honest cop in an otherwise corrupt force, who makes it his business to shut Lucas down. 'Scarface' (1983), a loose remake of the 1932 Howard Hawks classic, tells of up-and-coming gangster Tony Montana (Al Pacino) who arrives in Miami as a Cuban refugee. With his friend Manny (Stephen Bauer), Tony carries out a hit on a politician, earning him the gratitude of drug dealer Frank Lopez (Robert Loggia). Tony rises rapidly in the 'organization', but courts disaster when he becomes involved with Lopez's cocaine-addicted wife, Elvira (Michelle Pfeiffer). 'Casino' (1995), directed by Martin Scorsese, stars Robert De Niro as Sam 'Ace' Rothstein, the mob's frontman for a billion dollar Las Vegas casino. The story begins in 1973; Ace falls for hooker Ginger McKenna (Sharon Stone), while boyhood companion Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci) is appointed as his muscle at the club. Over the years various jealousies surface and erupt in a series of violent betrayals and, ultimately, the destruction of Rothstein's empire.
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