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Atlantic City (Widescreen)

4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 46.08
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Atlantic City (1981) Atlantic City (1981) 4.7 out of 5 stars (23)
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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures a unique place during a unique time June 5 2003
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark Side Of The City Oct. 16 2002
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of an Old Lion and a Tired City March 9 2004
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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5.0 out of 5 stars A pearl of great price Dec 22 2003
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Atlantic City
Very good story from the 80's with a few city views if you haven't been to Atlantic City. It always reminds me of visiting the place in the olden days and even now. Read more
Published 4 months ago by April King
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank's
Exactly what i order, great and easy communication, faste delivry . . . . . . . !

Many thank's
Published 18 months ago by Lucie Bernier
4.0 out of 5 stars Small Charming Movie
Screen legend Lancaster and a then up and coming but still mostly unknown Sarandon are great together in this affecting melodrama about an aging tough guy who never amounted to... Read more
Published on July 6 2004 by J
4.0 out of 5 stars One Of Louis Malle's Best!
As of late I have been watching the films of Louis Malle. I have watched some movies for the first time and others a second time around. Read more
Published on June 7 2003 by Alex Udvary
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem
Europeans have always delighted in introducing America to itself. (I am thinking of de Tocqueville and Nabokov. Read more
Published on Sept. 12 2002 by Dennis Littrell
5.0 out of 5 stars City of dreams.
A thorough pleasure. First and foremost, *Atlantic City* is about Burt Lancaster -- a more congenial subject than most, to be sure. Read more
Published on July 29 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Little Film You've Never Seen
'Atlantic City' is probably the best little film no one has seen. That's too bad, because it deserves to be remembered more than it has been during the past 20 years. Read more
Published on July 5 2002 by A. Wolverton
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Magnificent
Atlantic City is largely a character-oriented film. If you desire to know the importance of the people, their desires, their mannerisms that dot the best of films today, one needs... Read more
Published on June 1 2002 by Numan Parada
5.0 out of 5 stars Top 10
To say that Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon have never been better, that Malle's direction is masterly and subtle, and that the story is fascinating and satisfying, gravely... Read more
Published on May 27 2002
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