Gangs of New York

Set in the late 1800s, during the massive immigration to New York, there are tensions between the "Natives" and the Irish in the five points, the most gang-infested area of new york at the time. A priest, and the young boy, Amsterdam's, father, was the leader of the Irish gang, the dead rabbits. During a riot between the rabbits and the natives, the priest is killed by the butcher (the leader of the natives) in front of his son. Years later, Amsterdam befriends the butcher with the intent to kill him on the anniversary of his father's death, all the while falling in love with a prostitute/pickpocket/burglar named jenny. After the butcher realises Amsterdam's intentions, Amsterdam resurrects the dead rabbits and a faceoff is going to go down between the natives and the rabbits. Just before the fight, jenny comes to tell Amsterdam that she chartered passage for herself on a ship to San Francisco because she figured Amsterdam was going to die in the fight.

Continuity mistake: After Bill the Butcher stabs and beats Amsterdam's face badly (and brands him with a hot knife) notice how as time passes the wounds heal then reappear in varying degrees of severity. This is particularly true with the branding, which is almost absent by the end.

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Boss Tweed: The appearance of law must be upheld, especially when it's being broken.

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Trivia: At the end of the film you see two gravestones, "Priest" Vallon and William Cutting. Behind them is a river, with a view of lower Manhattan after that. You see a bridge being built, and the city growing and changing. The two men had to have been buried in Brooklyn, rather than Manhattan for this view.

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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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