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Atlantic City (Widescreen)

24 customer reviews

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Atlantic City
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Product Details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Paramount
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000062UHA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,692 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

The story of the changes encountered by people when gambling is legalized in Atlantic City. Lancaster stars as a bodyguard to an aging beauty queen.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: R
Release Date: 1-MAR-2004
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Marsella on June 5 2003
Format: DVD
Atlantic City is a film that captures the time of transition that this city went through as it reinvented itself after gambling was legalized. Burt lancaster is perfectly cast as an-old time and small time numbers runner who is hanging on the fringe of the old Atlantic City. His musings about the "good " old days are one of the highlights of this film. At one point he tells a younger drug dealing hustler "you should have seen the Atlantic Ocean back then, it was really something." as he stares wistfully into the distance.
The comparisons between old and new are extended into the characters and their tastes in everything from clothes to music. The soundtrack alternates between 40's big band and modern jazz.
The decadence of Atlantic City is captured very realistically. Robert Goulet singing a campy song to a roomful of hospital patients as a new wing donated by the casino is being dedicated, etc.
Susan Sarandon is very good as a young woman who sees her escape route in obtaining a license to deal blackjack.
The scenes with her and Lancaster are extremely well done.
The supporting cast is also very strong.A well written script and a wintery overcast ambiance adds to the overall effort.
A movie that captures a unique place during a unique time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P Magnum on Oct. 16 2002
Format: DVD
1981's Atlantic City uses the New Jersey resort to effective use to show how the old is being moved out by the new. At the time Atlantic City was a fading beach resort that introduced legalized gambling in 1978 to save it from ruin. Burt Lancaster stars as Lou Pasco, an old time numbers runner who business is slowly fading away in part to the casinos, which he refers to as too wholesome. He is also the boyfriend/bodyguard for a former beauty queen from the 1940's who is now an invalid. Susan Sarandon co-stars as Sallie Matthews, an employee at a clam bar located in a casino, who dreams of going to Monte Carlo. Lou sees a naked Sallie rubbing lemons on herself (to get off the fish smell) through his apartment window into hers. Their paths cross and they come upon a package of cocaine that Sallie's estranged husband leaves behind. Looking for a last big score, Lou sells the coke, but instead of going with Sallie, stays with the beauty queen. Director Louis Malle perfectly captures the dark side of Atlantic City and Mr. Lancaster gives one of the best performances of his career and his last great one as lead actor while it is the first time Ms. Sarandon showed the skills that would make her one of the top actresses in the business. The film scored Academy Award nomination for Best Picture, Director, Actor & Actress but went home empty handed.
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By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on March 9 2004
Format: DVD
For whatever reasons, this film never has received the recognition and appreciation I think it deserves. It was directed by Louis Malle and stars Burt Lancaster as Lou. (In Atlantic City, first names are all you need to know about those around you.) Malle carefully develops three different story lines: Lou's long-term affair with Grace (Kate Reid), a mobster's widow; Lou's relationship with Sally (Susan Sarandon) to whom he feels both a paternal and romantic attraction; and his symbiotic relationship with Atlantic City. Both he and the city seem long past their prime. During the course of the film, Sally also becomes a widow. Credit Malle and his excellent cast as well as cinematographer Richard Ciupka for creating and then sustaining an atmosphere of deterioration and menace. Special note should also be made of John Guare's screenplay. He, Malle, Lancaster, Sarandon, and the film were all nominated for an Academy Award. (FYI, The respective winners in 1980 were Bo Goldman for Melvin and Howard, Robert Redford for Ordinary People, Robert De Niro for Raging Bull, Sissy Spacek for Coal Miner's Daughter, and Ordinary People.) Toward the end of his career, Lancaster accepted a series of roles (including this one) which enabled him to explore and reveal subtle nuances of character and personality which much earlier roles neither permitted nor required. My own opinion is that his performance as Lou is his greatest achievement as an actor.
However, in certain respects, Atlantic City itself really is the dominant character. I recall brief visits to it in the 1970s. The city then bore little resemblance to what it has since become, at least in the casino area. Of course the city then bore little resemblance, also, to the elegant seaside resort it once was 75 years earlier.
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Format: DVD
Burt Lancaster only got better with age and this has to be one of his shining roles, as a two-bit gangster (Lou Pasco) long past his prime, unwittingly involved in what would be his final deal. Louis Malle captures Atlantic City in its decline, telling a wonderful story of misplaced souls who struggle to find their place. Susan Sarandon turns in a memorable performance Sallie Matthews, who soon becomes Lou's love interest as she washes away the smell of brine from her shoulders in one of the signature scenes in the movie.
Malle constructs an elaborate story dealing with the gangsterism of Atlantic City past and present. Lou finds himself the reluctant paramour of Grace, the widow of a former crime boss, who Lou worked for. A relationship Malle never loses sight of as he develops the relationship between Lou and Sally, taking it to its fitting conclusion.
Malle has such a fine eye for detail, which made him one of the best directors in cinema. He brings his French sense of realism to Hollywood, playing off American gangster films in the same way Truffaut did, but creating what I think are more captivating films. Atlantic City is a pearl. It is so well rounded and lustrous that one can watch this movie over and over again and be enchanted each and every time.
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