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The Gangs of New York Paperback – January 15, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Miramax; 1st edition (January 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786868937
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786868933
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 9.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,885,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Featuring interviews with almost every big job title among the cast and crew, copious production stills, the ostensibly complete screenplay and a nearly scholarly essay by New York historicist Sante, this melange of documentation and memorabilia pays homage to the epic production of Gangs of New York. Much of the information found in its pages is absorbing, in particular the list of films director Scorsese drew on for his grimy mise-en-scene, some of which seem intuitive, like The Bowery (1933) and Oliver Twist (1948), and others, like Fellini Satyricon (1970), that are more surprising. Also intriguing is the explanation of Scorsese's personal obsession in driving the film from its conception in the early 1970s to its final execution in 2002. The bloody New York street history and the nuts and bolts of filmmaking depicted in these pages makes for good browsing, and those inspired by the film will relish this celebration of it.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Martin Scorsese (Director) has directed seventeen feature films (among them Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, After Hours, Goodfellas, Cape Fear, The Age of Innocence, Casino, Kundun, Bringing Out the Dead) and several documentaries, most recently Il Mio Viaggio in Italia. In 1990 he founded the Film Foundation with other prominent directors to foster film restoration and preservation; and he fights tirelessly for artists' rights.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Thompson on January 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
The movie is astounding, but this book is less than great because the interviewer of cast and crew was amateurish at best. EVERYONE was asked: "What did you think of the sets?" and "What was it like working with (fill in the blank)?". Those are the type of questions one would expect of a high school journalist. Some of the interviewees, however, managed to rise above the questions and provided some interesting insights into the film and it's making. The photos are very good, but don't show much of the "behind the scenes" perspective that would have been interesting. Get the book if you loved the movie as I do, but be aware that it is more of a coffee-table book than an exhaustive making-of book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Shelby H. Swatek on December 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Thumbing through this book in the bookstore, I decided to see Gangs of New York in the theater. The movie was an incredible experience -- gorgeous, stirring, horrifying, thrilling, heart-poundingly beautiful. A great story. Superb acting. What research! Direction, cinematography, set design, costume design, casting, on and on -- brilliant. A period of history seldom visited, little known, that has such a powerful effect on who and where we are today. (And since I had lived blocks from Five Points for five years, in the East Village, a personal connection... ) The next day I returned to the bookstore, thumbed through the book again, and understood even more. I'm ordering it now. If you love history, and love America, see the movie (though you will cover your eyes on some parts!) Then buy this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rocco Dormarunno on June 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
It's a given: if you love a movie, you'll love every "The Making Of..." that comes out about it. This is no exception. I loved this film. I enjoyed reading the script, and all the interviews and photographs were delicious gravy. The story of how Scorsese and his team captured, very accurately for the most part, the way The Five Points looked is itself worth the price. If there is anything negative to be said, it's that some of the photographs are not of the best quality. But I'm nitpicking. Treat yourself to this superb book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Cj Jothi on February 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
Before I began to write this review I was quite surprised to read a few under whelming reviews by other people. The reason I am writing this is because I am so impressed by what has been assembled.
The more I think about Gangs of New York, the more I watch it, compare it to other films and to Scorsese's previous achievements the more I believe it is a truly great piece of filmmaking. Despite a somewhat disappointing central character, a love interest that lacks chemistry and a final third that erupts onscreen without pounding adrenaline in our hearts, this film remains miraculous. Many have criticised the script, which the shooting version is featured in this book, but having just read it I maintain it is one of the best scripts filmed in recent years. Rewritten, restructured and refined over 20 years the script boasts colourful characters, rich environments and exciting confrontations that are truly cinematic, so violently visceral in fact that maybe the screenwriters were pushing themselves knowing only Scorsese could pull it all off.
On a technical stand point Gangs is unrivalled. The ridiculously inventive and electrical editing, the epic, expensive, all-consuming set design, the raw, flamboyant yet accurate costumes, the densely researched music and flat out stunning cinematography render this film the true king of 2002, regardless of whatever miss-informed award ceremony decided at the time.
In this book you have interviews with all the production's key figures; the director, producer, an executive producer, scriptwriters, actors, costume designer, researcher, set designer, editor, cinematographer.
Read more ›
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 2, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have seen the movie and read this book about the making of the movie. I am struck by the interviews done with the actors and the production people involved with the making of this movie. They all agree on two things: That Martin Scorsese is a genius and that they were not terribly impressed with "The Gangs of New York" by Herbert Asbury upon which this movie is based. Scorsese may be a genius but his movie is not a work of genius. It is a flawed work which never quite comes together and therefore does not satisfy. Asbury's book will live on long after the movie is forgotten.
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