About Atlantic City

Released in 1980 Atlantic City is a French-Canadian film.  It was filmed in 1979 and was first released in France and Germany and in 1981 in the USA.  The film was directed by Louis Malle and written by John Guare.  Atlantic City was nominated for five Academy Awards, best picture, best director, best actor, best actress and best screenplay.  It was distributed by Paramount Pictures and produced by Selta Films.  Atlantic City had a budget of $7.2 million and made $12 729 675 at the box office.

Cast

The Atlantic City cast includes Burt Lancaster who plays Lou Pascal, Susan Sarandon plays Sally Matthews, Kate Reid plays Grace Pinza, Robert Joy plays Dave Matthews, Hollis McLaren plays Chrissie, Michel Piccoli plays Joseph, Al Waxman plays Alfie and Robert Goulet plays himself.

Plot

Sally is a waitress in Atlantic City and it is her dream to become a Blackjack dealer in Monte Carlo.  Sally and her husband Dave are estranged, but he returns unexpectedly with a large amount of cocaine which he stolen in Philadelphia.  He meets Lou, who is an old gangster and who is also the caretaker of the apartment Sally lives in.  Lou also takes care of Grace who is an invalid.  Dave manages to persuade Lou to sell the cocaine, but just as Lou sells his first batch, Dave is killed by the gangsters he stole the cocaine from.  Lou continues to sell the cocaine and uses the money to impress Sally who eventually falls for his advances.  Meanwhile, the gangsters are still chasing down their cocaine and trash Sally’s apartment and beat her up trying to find out where the drugs have been hidden.

When Sally’s employer finds out about her husband’s criminal record she is fired from the casino.  Lou sells more of the cocaine, but Sally and the gangsters find out about the connection between Dave and Lou.  The gangsters track down Sally and Lou and confront them, but Lou shoots them and he and Sally steal the car and leave.  Sally and Lou end up in a hotel outside Atlantic City and see an identikit of the killer on the news.  It does not look like Lou and he is relieved. Sally goes through Lou’s wallet while he is the bathroom bragging about the killings to Grace on the phone.  Sally takes the money and leaves while Lou returns to Atlantic City and sells off the last of the cocaine.

Parental Guidance

Atlantic City has parental guidance R and contains sex and nudity, violence, profanity, alcohol, drugs and smoking and frightening intense scenes.

Atlantic City Trivia

Henry Fonda, James Mason, Laurence Olivier, James Stewart and Robert Mitchum were all in the running to play Lou.  Henry Fonda was rejected because of ill health and its subsequent insurance risk.  Mitchum had recently had a face lift and said he could only play under 45’s.  Louis Malle chose Burt Lancaster after he had read the script and said what a great part it was.

Atlantic City received good ratings and was well written, directed and had a great cast.  Burt Lancaster and Susan Sarandon played their parts well. Viewers of this film could relate to the various character situations.