Gangs of New York

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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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)

More mistakes in Gangs of New York

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

More quotes from Gangs of New York

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.

More trivia for Gangs of New York

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