American Gangster
American Gangster mistake picture

Factual error: In a shot in Harlem, a Ford Econoline AVIS rental truck drives on the adjacent street. The specific Econoline van was at least a mid-90's to 2000+ model van and the movie takes place in the 70s.

American Gangster mistake picture

Factual error: The ambulance that the junkie cop leaps out of is a mid-1980s GMC (note the 4 square headlamps), though the film takes place in 1971. (00:35:55)


American Gangster mistake picture

Factual error: At one point, Frank Lucas is speaking on a public telephone. Visible in the background is a poster with a web address on it (ends in .biz).

American Gangster mistake picture

Factual error: As the camera is following behind the red Bronco, at the right side of the screen a modern, white NYPD Chevy Malibu is briefly seen. (01:01:40)


American Gangster mistake picture

Factual error: When Frank puts coins in the pay phone, a blue label states it is a NYNEX phone. It is 1970, yet NYNEX wasn't formed until 1984. (00:20:45)


Factual error: At the end of the film, the subtitles say that Frank was convicted and incarcerated from 1976 to 1991, which implies a continuous sentence. Lucas was actually paroled in 1981, and served a separate sentence for other drug-related offenses from 1984-91.

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More mistakes in American Gangster

Richie Roberts: This man murdered thousands, and he did it from a penthouse and driving a Lincoln.


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Trivia: Ruby Dee was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role as Mama Lucas, even though she's only on screen for less than 10 minutes.

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Question: What was the whole thing of not wanting to turn in the $987,000 they found in the car because it would make them appear untrustworthy? Why would all cops distrust them for handing it in? I get that dirty cops would be annoyed but when they were counting it in the precinct, every cop was drawing them daggers.


Answer: The idea is if cops wouldn't take a million dollars for themselves, free and clear without risk, they are impeccably honest. Therefore, they wouldn't accept bribes and probably not hold still for shakedowns or payoffs. They wouldn't cover up drug or weapon planting and would testify against crooked cops.

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