Contents 1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production 3.1 Factual basis 3.2 Casting 3.3 Filming locations 3.4 Marketing 4 Reception 4.1 Critical response 4.2 Box office 4.3 Mexican Mafia reaction 5 Soundtrack 6 References 7 External links

Plot[edit] The film depicts 30 years of Chicano gang life in Los Angeles. It focuses on Montoya Santana, a teen who, with his friends, J.D. (William Forsythe) and Mundo (Pepe Serna), form their own gang. They soon find themselves comitting crimes and are arrested. In juvenile hall, Santana murders a fellow inmate (Eric Close) who had raped him and as a result, has his sentence extended into Folsom State Prison after he turns 18. Once there, Santana (now played by Edward James Olmos) becomes the leader of a powerful gang, La Eme. Upon his release he tries to relate his life experiences to the society that has changed so much since he left. La Eme has become a feared criminal organization beyond Folsom, selling drugs and committing murder. Santana starts to see the error of his ways but before he can take action, is sent back to prison for drug possession. There, he tells his former lieutenant J.D. that he is no longer interested in leading La Eme. However, following a precedent set by Santana himself earlier in the film, his men murder him to show the other prison gangs that, despite having no leader, they are not weak.

Cast[edit] Edward James Olmos as Montoya Santana William Forsythe as J.D. Pepe Serna as Mundo Daniel A. Haro as Huero Sal Lopez as Pedro Santana Vira Montes as Esperanza Santana Danny De La Paz as Puppet Daniel Villarreal as Little Puppet Evelina Fernández as Julie Roberto Martín Márquez as Acha Dyana Ortelli as Yolanda Jacob Vargas as Paulito Eric Close as Juvie Hall Attacker Rigoberto Jimenez as Big Happy Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa as El Japo Robby Robinson as Drug Thief Ron Thompson as Junkie Rafael H. Robledo as El Chucko Panchito Gomez as young Montoya Santana Steve Wilcox as young J.D.

Production[edit] Factual basis[edit] The film opens depicting events from the Zoot Suit Riots, where thousands of white American sailors and servicemen based in California attacked Latinos and others who took part in so-called "pachuco" culture, mostly targeting those who wore "zoot suits" (seen as symbols of Latino pride and considered by the rioters to be unpatriotic and extravagant in a time of war). This grew into heightened tension between European-Americans and Mexican-Americans in Southern California, setting the stage for the later gang conflicts depicted in the film. The character of Montoya Santana is modeled after Rodolfo Cadena, who was a high-ranking and founding member of the prison gang La Eme, known popularly as the Mexican Mafia. In real life, Cadena unsuccessfully attempted to steer La Eme into left-wing activism before being stabbed to death by members of the rival Nuestra Familia. In the film, Santana is stabbed and killed by his own gang. The character of J.D. was based on Joe "Pegleg" Morgan, a Croatian-American gang member and prisoner who preferred the company of Chicanos and along with Cadena helped found La Eme, becoming a high-ranking, respected, and feared member of the Latino gang even though he was of Croatian descent. Morgan died from liver cancer in 1993, while he was incarcerated at California State Prison, Corcoran. Casting[edit] Olmos, in neo-realist fashion, used actual prisoners as extras and bit players when he filmed at Folsom Prison. Filming locations[edit] Filming locations include Folsom State Prison, Folsom, California; and East Los Angeles, California. Marketing[edit] The producers of the film used the following tagline to market the film: In prison, they are the law. On the streets, they are the power.

Reception[edit] Critical response[edit] Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times liked the reality that came through in the film and that it rang true: "What I felt watching American Me, however, is that it is based on a true situation - on the reality that street gangs and prison, mixed with the drug sales that finance the process, work together to create a professional criminal class."[2] Janet Maslin writes in The New York Times, "But Mr. Olmos's dark, slow and solemn, so much so that it diverts energy from the film's fundamental frankness. Violent as it is, American Me is seldom dramatic enough to bring its material to life."[3] Marjorie Baumgarten, a film critic for The Austin Chronicle, wrote, "American Me is crafted with heart and conviction and intelligence. It demands no less of its audience. It insists that there are no quick fixes, but that solutions are of the utmost urgency."[4] The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.[5] The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes currently lists American Me with a 75% positive approval rating, with 6 out of 8 reviews by professional movie critics listed as positive.[6] Box office[edit] The film opened in wide release in the United States on March 13, 1992 (830 screens). The opening weekend's gross was $3,378,100 and the total receipts for the first three weeks were $9,108,435. The film was in wide release for three weeks (seventeen days). In its widest release the film was featured in 830 theaters across the country. The final box office gross amounted to $13,086,430.[7] Mexican Mafia reaction[edit] The Mexican Mafia was enraged by the film. The lead character, Santana Montoya, is portrayed as having been raped as a juvenile, and ultimately stabbed to death by his own followers at the end of his criminal career, which never happened to any Mexican Mafia member with similar characteristics to Santana. Whether as retaliation over the offensive depiction, or as a routine criminal racket, Mexican Mafia member Joe "Pegleg" Morgan allegedly attempted to extort money from Olmos. Court documents show that Olmos was a victim in one extortion count contained in a 33-count federal indictment. According to reportage by CBS News weekly 60 Minutes, three consultants on this film were later murdered because of the depiction of a homosexual rape scene which offended the Mexican Mafia's internal code of "ethics."[8] The first killing occurred 12 days after the movie's premiere when one of the film's consultants Charles "Charlie Brown" Manriquez, who was a member of La Eme, was slain in Ramona Gardens, L.A.'s oldest public housing project.[9] Another well-known person from East Los Angeles and paid consultant to the film, 49-year-old grandmother Ana Lizarraga commonly known as "The Gang Lady", was murdered when she was gunned down in her driveway unloading groceries.[9] A federal indictment accused La Eme of ordering the 1992 murder of Ana Lizarraga.[10]

Soundtrack[edit] Soundtrack cover Since the film deals with a Latino subculture, the music included in the soundtrack was Latino oriented; late 1970s urban sounds and oldies from the 1950s. The original soundtrack was released on April 28, 1992 by Virgin Records. The CD contains ten tracks and includes songs performed by various artists including: Los Lobos, Santana, Ike & Tina Turner, Bobby Day, Kid Frost, War, and other performers.

References[edit] ^ American Me on IMDb ^ Ebert, Roger. Chicago Sun-Times, film review, March 13, 1992. ^ Maslin, Janet. The New York Times, film review, March 13, 1992. ^ Baumgarten, Marjorie. The Austin Chronicle, film review, March 20, 1992. ^ "Festival de Cannes: American Me". Archived from the original on 2012-10-05. Retrieved 2009-08-15.  ^ American Me at Rotten Tomatoes. Last accessed: May 31, 2011. ^ American Me at Box Office Mojo ^ Lombardi, John. New York Magazine, "Scenes from a Bad Movie Marriage." January 12, 1998. ^ a b Katz, Jesse. article from June 13, 1993 Los Angeles Times, upload/LA times American Me.doc ^ Associated Press, October 24, 1996.

External links[edit] Wikiquote has quotations related to: American Me American Me at the American Film Institute Catalog American Me on IMDb American Me at AllMovie American Me at Box Office Mojo American Me at Rotten Tomatoes American Me at Metacritic American Me on YouTube trailer Retrieved from "" Categories: 1992 filmsEnglish-language films1990s biographical films1990s crime drama filmsAmerican filmsAmerican biographical filmsAmerican crime drama filmsDirectorial debut filmsFilms directed by Edward James OlmosFilms set in CaliforniaFilms set in the 1940sFilms set in the 1950sFilms set in the 1960sFilms set in the 1970sFilms shot in Los AngelesFilms shot in San FranciscoHood filmsMexican-American filmsMexican MafiaSocial realism in filmUniversal Pictures filmsAmerican prison films

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American Me (album)American Me (band)Edward James OlmosRobert M. Young (director)Sean DanielFloyd MutruxDesmond NakanoWilliam Forsythe (actor)Pepe SernaReynaldo VillalobosUniversal StudiosBiographical FilmCrime FilmDrama FilmEdward James OlmosFloyd MutruxDesmond NakanoProtagonistLou AdlerMexican MafiaCaliforniaCalifornia Department Of Corrections And RehabilitationChicanoLos AngelesWilliam Forsythe (actor)Pepe SernaEric CloseFolsom State PrisonEdward James OlmosLa EmeEdward James OlmosWilliam Forsythe (actor)Pepe SernaJacob VargasEric CloseCary-Hiroyuki TagawaRon Thompson (actor)Panchito GomezZoot Suit RiotsPachucoZoot SuitsEuropean-AmericansSouthern CaliforniaRodolfo CadenaPrison GangMexican MafiaNuestra FamiliaJoe "Pegleg" MorganCroatian-AmericanCalifornia State Prison, CorcoranNeorealism (art)Folsom PrisonFolsom State PrisonFolsom, CaliforniaEast Los Angeles, CaliforniaRoger EbertChicago Sun-TimesJanet MaslinThe New York TimesThe Austin ChronicleUn Certain Regard1992 Cannes Film FestivalRotten TomatoesWide ReleaseBox OfficeJoe "Pegleg" MorganIndictment60 MinutesEast Los Angeles, CaliforniaEnlargeLatinoOldies (music)Virgin RecordsCDLos LobosSantana (band)Ike & Tina TurnerBobby DayFrost (rapper)War (band)IMDbRotten TomatoesBox Office MojoNew York MagazineLos Angeles TimesAssociated PressAFI Catalog Of Feature FilmsIMDbAllMovieBox Office MojoRotten TomatoesMetacriticYouTubeHelp:CategoryCategory:1992 FilmsCategory:English-language FilmsCategory:1990s Biographical FilmsCategory:1990s Crime Drama FilmsCategory:American FilmsCategory:American Biographical FilmsCategory:American Crime Drama FilmsCategory:Directorial Debut FilmsCategory:Films Directed By Edward James OlmosCategory:Films Set In CaliforniaCategory:Films Set In The 1940sCategory:Films Set In The 1950sCategory:Films Set In The 1960sCategory:Films Set In The 1970sCategory:Films Shot In Los AngelesCategory:Films Shot In San FranciscoCategory:Hood FilmsCategory:Mexican-American FilmsCategory:Mexican MafiaCategory:Social Realism In FilmCategory:Universal Pictures FilmsCategory:American Prison FilmsDiscussion About Edits From This IP Address [n]A List Of Edits Made From This IP Address [y]View The Content Page [c]Discussion About The Content Page [t]Edit This Page [e]Visit The Main Page [z]Guides To Browsing WikipediaFeatured Content – The Best Of WikipediaFind Background Information On Current EventsLoad A Random Article [x]Guidance On How To Use And Edit WikipediaFind Out About WikipediaAbout The Project, What You Can Do, Where To Find ThingsA List Of Recent Changes In The Wiki [r]List Of All English Wikipedia Pages Containing Links To This Page [j]Recent Changes In Pages Linked From This Page [k]Upload Files [u]A List Of All Special Pages [q]Wikipedia:AboutWikipedia:General Disclaimer

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