Gangs of New York

Amsterdam gets to be best friends with The Butcher who had earlier killed Amsterdam's father, until The Butcher realises Amsterdam is the Priest's son. There is then a big riot between the rival sides with Amsterdam leading his father's gang. Amsterdam kills The Butcher, who is then buried next to The Priest (Amsterdam's father), because Amsterdam knew of the respect that the Butcher had for The Priest.

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Factual error: In a scene set in 1862 or 1863 Bill the Butcher says: 'An Irishman will do for a nickel what a ****** will do for a dime or a white man for a quarter'. The first nickel 5 cent piece was coined in 1866. At the time of the scene the 5 cent coin was a small silver coin called a half-dime. (01:10:00)

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Bill: You see this knife? I'm gonna teach you to speak English with this fucking knife!

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Trivia: When Jenny is at the upper-class home disguising herself as a maid to burglarize it, look at the man (the home's owner) at the head of the table during dinner. This is Martin Scorsese, the director of the film.

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Question: Can someone please explain to me why the audience and Amsterdam are supposed to hate Butcher so much and think he's a loathesome person? He killed Vallon during a fight, fair and square, and was nothing but respectful to his dead enemy. He almost seemed to have regretted killing Vallon. He didn't act like a worse scum than anyone else until quite a while into the film.

Answer: Well, rather obviously, Amsterdam hates him because he killed his father. I mean, wouldn't you? It hardly matters that the fight was fair and that Bill showed respect about it, Amsterdam's not exactly likely to turn round, say "oh, that's alright then" and walk away. William Cutting (or William Poole, as he was in reality) was a ruthless, vicious man, who pretty much stopped at nothing to cement his control of the area. Whether he was actually worse than many of the others is questionable, but the film is based on Amsterdam's view of things - in that view, Bill is the enemy and we're supposed to see him as such.

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