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American History X

  • Film

Time Out says

The shock opening sums up the strength and weakness of this would-be liberal drama on American neo-Nazism: after Danny (Furlong) warns elder brother Derek (Norton) of intruders, the latter rushes out and kills two black car thieves. An energetic, taut flashback sequence, shot in b/w, sets up the working class milieu, the sibling relationship, and Derek's frightening but seductive mastery, masculinity and charisma - with the high sheen visuals fetishising Norton's hard, hairless, swastika-tattooed torso along the way. Disowned by its director and reportedly re-edited by its star, the film lurches from dramatic and visual overkill to comparative inertia as it traces (in colour) Danny's development into a favoured follower of neo-Nazi leader Cameron (Keach), his run-ins with a painstakingly reformist headmaster (Brooks), and, following Derek's release from prison, his tragic rejection of his brother's rehabilitation. Two things hold the interest: Norton's astounding performance, and a feeling for the male reality of reactionary working class environments.
Written by WH

Release Details

  • Duration:119 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Tony Kaye
  • Screenwriter:David McKenna
  • Cast:
    • Edward Norton
    • Edward Furlong
    • Fairuza Balk
    • Elliott Gould
    • Stacy Keach
    • Avery Brooks
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