American History X
Some Legacies Must End.
Derek Vineyard is paroled after serving 3 years in prison for killing two thugs who tried to break into/steal his truck. Through his brother, Danny Vineyard's narration, we learn that before going to prison, Derek was a skinhead and the leader of a violent white supremacist gang that committed acts of racial crime throughout L.A. and his actions greatly influenced Danny. Reformed and fresh out of prison, Derek severs contact with the gang and becomes determined to keep Danny from going down the same violent path as he did.
This film proves that if a simple message is told in a very simplistic and almost unbelievable way, but is told with fervour and acted out brilliantly, it is in the end the basic emotional connection to the topic that remains. And that is the true strength in this film that was hindered by a troubled production and attempts to deal with a tough subject matter.
It is a shame that most of this script, most notably the character development, is given the 'fairy tale' treatment. It is mainly dependent on simplistic contrivances and an audience willing to accept them. The motivation for the main character to go from A to B is not that convincing and I, for one,…
I've always wanted to see this film but for some reason kept putting it off. What a powerful film! I've seen a lot of films starring Edward Norton since this was released, but this has to be one of his finest performances. Edward Furlong gives a solid performance, and this was an outstanding feature film debut for director Tony Kaye. I highly recommend this film.
I've seen this film a few times, but I completely forgot Ed Norton's racist dad in this movie was played by none other than Mr. Matthews from Boy Meets World. I loved that show as a kid and I still enjoy it from time to time, but now every time I see Mr. Matthews on the show I'll keep imagining him discussing "Affirmative Blacktion" and saying the "n word".
I can never watch Boy Meets World the same way again...
Anyway, in news related to the actual movie....
this still manages to be one of the most disturbing yet fascinating films I can watch over and over again. Kinda like Requiem For A Dream. I feel uncomfortable watching but I can't look away and somehow keep coming back for more.
It's been a very long time since I've seen this film. Probably close to 10 years. I liked it before but watching it now I realize how good it is. Edward Norton is unbelievable in this. I'm tired and this is a damn good movie.
Its interesting how this film covers such a controversial topic. Especially since I don't think there has been anything done like it.
Think about it. The protagonist is a neo zazi; not the antagonist.
Sometimes you can run across a film (its rare) where you don't like the protagonist (although that usually turns out to be because the film is shit) However I liked Norton's character.
I hope that me saying this doesn't make me come off like I'm a neo - nazi. (I swear I'm not)
American History X may focus on two brothers caught up in Neo-Nazism, but it exhibits far more than the contemporary white supremacist movement. David McKenna’s captivating script provides an important political commentary on contemporary civil rights and equality throughout the rich multicultural society within the United States.
The construction of the film is brilliant and despite its non-linear narrative the film is able to maintain a steady pace. Its presentation of the characters and their backgrounds flows seamlessly into the story; through flashbacks, indicated to us by their black & white colouring, and Danny’s narration.
Though often gruesome to watch, director Tony Kaye’s graphic telling of the story on screen holds no bounds. Violence is rife throughout the narrative, as would…
Una acera, una mandíbula. Tiricia hecha celuloide...
shaving your head isn't for everyone
Great story about racism. And hate crime. What an ending. Edward Norton is at his finest in this one. Edward Furlong is good as well. This movie is pretty upsetting to watch, so only watch it if you can endure something like this.
I picked this up last year on a whim as I'd heard nothing but positive things and so I was curious. American History X is a very powerful film that deals with racial hatred in a very blunt manner (although only from one perspective). At times, particularly during the first hour, it is a very difficult film to watch as it seems to be brimming with unbridled hatred, but this is essentially a redemption story and therefore this brutal first half is somewhat necessary. The plot itself is quite compelling, led ably by Edward Norton who gives an incredible performance. Some interesting support characters, most notable Avery Brooks and Guy Torry, feel a little underused and it would have been satisfying to see these developed further. Surprisingly, and perhaps unfortunately considering this film is now well over a decade old, this film hasn't appeared to show any signs of age and the subject matter still feels relevant today.
Watched this while on vacation in Tennessee... saw about 3/4s of it before we went out drinking & line dancing. Not really worth a review but it was fun to revisit this - it's probably been 10-12 years or so!
"Well excuse me,But fuck you Derek"
Edward Norton is such an underrated actor, how he is able to draw sympathy from you playing a reformed neo Nazi is really amazing. The prison arc I think is probably the best 20 minutes of Norton's career as it really shows his versatility as an actor. The movie definitely achieves it's goal of being thought provoking and demonstrating how race factions in the U.S is responsible for so much tension and crime. There are quite a few scenes that are chilling, but also numerous ones that provide an extremely interesting perspective into race related violence (the dinner scene with the boyfriend comes to mind).
The supporting cast are really great with Furlong playing the impressionable brother amazingly, his narration…
"This is a good and powerful film. If I am dissatisfied, it is because it contains the promise of being more than it is." - Ebert.
I agree but for different reasons. One of the things that didn't work for Ebert - the conversations between Norton and his fellow laundry-room worker in prison - was, to me, a strong point of the movie.
The complete 180 that Norton's character has during the 20 minutes or so of the prison flashback is amazing. To get us into the flashback, the younger brother asks, "What happened in there?" which almost seems like the kiss of death. "How are they going to pull this off?" I thought to myself. "They would need hours to show such a dramatic change. Nothing in this short a time will be both satisfying and realistic." But the transformation portrayed is both, because it centers on what almost always leads to real transformation- relationship.
A gripping and at times bruttaly shocking drama. This film, no matter how many times I have seen it, continues to enthrall and amaze me. The performance of Edward Norton I still find to be one of the most chilling and probably best acting performances I have ever seen. From his early scenes as a neo nazi to his later scenes trying to turn around little brother, portrayed with great skill by Edward Furlong, Norton is just a joy to watch.
The film will now doubt shock some however, for more than just the violence this film wil stick with you for a long time after viewing it.