AFI Catalog of Feature Films
Movie Detail
Name Occurs Before Title Offscreen Credit Print Viewed By AFI
Gangs of New York
Director: Martin Scorsese (Dir)
Release Date:   20 Dec 2002
Production Date:   18 Dec 2000--30 Mar 2001 at Cinecittà Studios, Rome, Italy; addl seq shot at Silvercup Studios, Astoria, NY
Duration (in mins):   165 or 168
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Cast:   Leonardo DiCaprio (Amsterdam Vallon)  
    Daniel Day-Lewis (Bill "The Butcher" Cutting)  
    Cameron Diaz (Jenny Everdeane)  
    Jim Broadbent ([William Marcy] Boss Tweed)  
    John C. Reilly (Happy Jack [Mulranney])  
    Henry Thomas (Johnny Sirocco)  
    Liam Neeson ("Priest" Vallon)  
    Brendan Gleeson (Walter "Monk" McGinn)  
    Gary Lewis (McGloin)  
    Stephen Graham (Shang)  
    Eddie Marsan (Killoran)  
    Alec McCowen (Reverend Raleigh)  
    David Hemmings (Mr. Schermerhorn)  
    Larry Gilliard Jr. (Jimmy Spoils)  
    Cara Seymour (Hell-Cat Maggie)  
    Roger Ashton-Griffiths (P. T. Barnum)  
    Peter Hugo Daly (One-armed priest)  
  In Order of Appearance Cian McCormack (Young Amsterdam)  
    Andrew Gallagher (Young Johnny)  
    Philip Kirk (O`Connell Guard leader)  
    Rab Afleck (Plug Uglies leader)  
    Bill Barclay (Shirtails leader)  
    Nick Bartlett (Chichesters leader)  
    Robert Goodman (Forty Thieves leader)  
    Tim Pigott-Smith (Calvinist minister)  
    Liam Carney (Bill the Butcher's gang #1)  
    Gary MCormack (Bill the Butcher's gang #2)  
    David McBlain (Bill the Butcher's gang #3)  
    Dick Holland (True Blue American speaker)  
    Katherine Wallach (Jenny's girl)  
    Carmen Hanlon (Jenny's girl)  
    Ilaria D'Elia (Jenny's girl)  
    Laurie Ventry (Resident woman)  
    Ford Kiernan (Black Joke chief)  
    Alec McMahon (Resident man)  
    Nevan Finnegan (Dead Rabbits gang member)  
    Dominque Vandenberg (Dead Rabbits gang member)  
    Stuart Ong (Chinese at Sparrow's Pagoda)  
    Basil Chung (Elderly Chinese at Pagoda)  
    Finbar Fury (Satan's Circus singer)  
    Sean Gilder (Rat Pit game master)  
    Richard Graham (Card player, Harvey)  
    Richard Strange (Undertaker)  
    Douglas Plasse (Medical student)  
    Bruce Steinheimer (Army recruiter)  
    David Bamber (Passenger on omnibus)  
    Barbara Bouchet (Mrs. Schermerhorn)  
    Michael Byrne (Horace Greeley)  
    Lucy Davenport (Miss Schermerhorn)  
    Maura O'Connell (Street singer)  
    Alec Howden (Assistant hangman)  
    James Ramsay (Condemned man, Arthur)  
    Iain McColl (Condemned man, Seamus)  
    Louie Brownsell (Legless soldier)  
    Gennaro Condemi (She-He)  
    Kiernan Hurley (Recruiter)  
    John Sessions (Harry Watkins/Lincoln)  
    Michael H. Billingsley (Uncle Tom)  
    Steven C. Matthews (Mr. Shelby)  
    Giovanni Lombardo Radice (Mr. Legree)  
    Alexia J. Murray (Topsy)  
    Flaminia Fegarotti (Miss Eliza)  
    Bronco McLoughlin (Assassin)  
    Channing Cook Holmes (Tap dancer)  
    Elaine Chappius (Chinese whore)  
    Roberta Quaresima (Whore #1)  
    Marta Pilato (Whore #2)  
    Jian Su (Chinese acrobat)  
    Man Cao (Chinese general)  
    Kathy Shao-Lin Lee (Chinese dancer)  
    Alexander Deng (Chinese boy singer)  
    Peter Berling (Knife act caller)  
    Patrick Gordon (Surgeon)  
    Brendan White (Archbishop)  
    Brendan Dempsey (Provost Marshal registrar)  
    Taddeo Harbutt (Unruly man)  
    Nazzareno Natale (Don Whiskerandos)  
    Colin Hill (Nativist candidate)  
    Robert Linge (One-armed veteran)  
    Richard Syms (Drunken repeater)  
    Christian Burgess (The mayor)  
    Gerry Robert Byrne (Draft official)  
    Dave Nicholls (O`Connell Guard leader)  
    Tim Faraday (Plug Uglies leader)  
    Sean McGinley (Forty Thieves leader)  
    John Anthony Murphy (Kerryonians leader)  
    Terry O'Neill (Chichesters leader)  
    Vincent Pickering (American Guard leader)  
    Nick Miles (Atlantic Guard leader)  
    Ian Pirie (Slaughter Housers leader)  
    John McGlynn (Bowery Boys leader)  
    Larry Kaplan (Bloody bureaucrat)  
    Leo Burmeister (Telegraph operator voice #1)  
    Justin Brennan (Telegraph operator voice #2)  
    Brian Mallon (Telegraph operator voice #3)  
    Joseph Reidy (Police Chief)  
    Joel Strachan (Telegraph operator)  
    Bill Murdoch (Robber on dock)  
    Angela Pleasance (Woman accomplice)  
    Ian Agnew (General Wool)  
    Michael Hausman (Gunboat captain)  
    Bob Colletti (Soldier in mist)  
    Martin Scorsese (Head of family in house robbed by Jenny)  
    Caitlin Brennan (Hot corn girl)  

Summary: In 1846 New York, “Priest” Vallon is watched by his young son as he prepares to lead his gang of Irish immigrants, known as the Dead Rabbits, into battle against a gang of “Nativist” Americans. The Nativists are led by the bloodthirsty Bill “The Butcher” Cutting, who hopes to oust the Irish from the “Five Points” area of New York City, which he believes should remain under the control of native-born Americans. Priest is determined to obtain a peaceful existence for the immigrants, who have been harrassed by the Nativists and live in slum-like conditions. During the battle, which the Nativists win, Bill mortally wounds Priest, and his son rushes to his side. At Priest’s request, Bill delivers the final blow, then orders his men to apprehend the crying child and send him to an orphanage. Sixteen years later, after living at the Hellgate House of Reform, Priest’s son, now a sturdy young man, is released and returns to “Paradise Square” in the Five Points. Although he tries to conceal his identity, he is recognized by Johnny Sirocco, who attempted to help him escape after Priest was killed. Johnny, who now must pay tribute to Bill, along with the other Irish gang members, entices his friend into entering a burning house to loot it, and he saves Johnny’s life by dragging him from the collapsing building. As he is exiting, young Vallon is devastated to see Bill, who is there with Tammany Hall politician William Marcy “Boss” Tweed and other volunteer firefighters. The young Irishman soon learns that New York is a city divided, with rampant political corruption, mostly controlled by Bill and Tweed. Bill despises the immigrants, although Tweed tries to persuade him that they, and their votes, are New York’s future. Later, when Johnny takes young Vallon to meet Bill, the Irishman introduces himself simply as “Amsterdam,” and Bill does not recognize him as Priest’s son. Wanting to test the youths, Bill then sends them to rob a boat quarantined in the harbor. Upon arriving at the boat, Amsterdam and his men discover that a rival gang has stripped the vessel and killed the crew, but the enterprising Amsterdam takes a body and sells it to a medical school. Impressed by Amsterdam’s ingenuity, fighting skills and education, Bill embraces him as his protégé, little suspecting that the younger man intends to kill him during the annual commemoration of his defeat of Priest. As time passes, Amsterdam becomes attached to the charismatic Bill, despite his desire for revenge, and even learns from Bill, who enjoys butchering meat, how to use a knife for the most effective kill or devastating wound. Amsterdam also finds himself attracted to Jenny Everdeane, an independent Irish pickpocket who has an enigmatic connection to Bill. One day, Tweed and Bill decide that in order to stem growing concern on the part of well-to-do reformers, four men should be hanged in the Five Points to prove that law and order still prevails. At the hanging, Amsterdam is deeply moved by the sight of a young boy watching his father die. That night, Jenny chooses Amsterdam to dance at an event sponsored by the Protestant mission. Later, they are outside making love when Amsterdam notices a long scar on Jenny’s belly, which she explains came when a baby was cut out of her. Amsterdam also spots a locket he knows was purchased by Bill, and when Jenny refuses to explain why Bill gave it to her, the young Irishman angrily rejects her. Soon after, Amsterdam and Bill attend a presentation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin , and the racist Bill, who loathes Lincoln and the Union cause, leads the audience in throwing vegetables at the actors. Suddenly, someone shoots Bill in the shoulder, but Amsterdam, almost despite himself, saves Bill from serious harm and captures the assailant. That night, after a party celebrating Bill’s survival, Amsterdam finds that he can no longer fight his attraction to Jenny, and the couple give in to their feelings for each other. Amsterdam is awakened by a restless Bill, who relates how he once fought Priest in a ferocious fistfight. Although he was clearly the winner, Priest did not kill Bill, who could not look him in the eye out of shame. Bill then cut out his own left eye and sent it to Priest, whom he calls “the only man I ever killed worth remembering.” After Bill departs, Jenny explains to Amsterdam that Bill took her in when she was a homeless twelve-year-old, but that after she became pregnant by him and her baby was cut out, he was no longer romantically interested in her. Although Jenny emphasizes that Bill never touched her until she asked him to, Amsterdam is still distressed. On the night of the sixteenth anniversary of Bill’s victory over Priest, Johnny, who is jealous that Jenny chose Amsterdam over him, reveals to Bill Amsterdam’s identity and plans for revenge. At the celebration, Bill taunts Amsterdam by almost killing Jenny during a display of knife throwing, then, when the young man attempts to murder him, overcomes him. Bill does not kill Amsterdam, however, preferring to scar his face and force him to live with the shame of his defeat. Undeterred, and spurred on by Walter “Monk” McGinn, who fought with his father, Amsterdam revives the Dead Rabbits. Bill sends Happy Jack Mulranney, once a member of the Dead Rabbits but now a policeman, to murder Amsterdam, but instead Amsterdam kills him and strings him up in the square as a warning to Bill. In return, Bill tortures Johnny, who had confessed his betrayal to Amsterdam, and Amsterdam is forced to kill Johnny to end his suffering. Realizing how influential Amsterdam is becoming, Tweed approaches him, offering to ally with him against Bill if he will rally the Irish to vote for Tammany. Amsterdam agrees to the deal, providing that Tweed backs Monk in the upcoming election for sheriff. With Tweed and Amsterdam’s support, Monk wins, much to the chagrin of Bill. Bill attempts to challenge Monk to a duel, but when Monk publicly declines, embarrassing Bill, Bill murders him in cold blood. As Monk’s body is carried through the Five Points, Amsterdam challenges Bill to a fight to determine control of the territory. Meanwhile, the first draft is instituted by the Union, which desperately needs soldiers. The poorer citizens of New York are outraged by an exemption to the draft, allowing those who can pay three hundred dollars to be released from their obligations. On the day the first draftees are called, a small riot breaks out, but wealthy New Yorkers believe that it will be short-lived. The poor continue to organize the next day, however, while Amsterdam, Bill and their men prepare to fight. Jenny, who has decided to escape the bloodshed by moving to San Francisco, is caught up in the riots as people swarm the streets, attacking blacks, police and the rich. Just as the battle in the Five Points is beginning, Union soldiers enter the city and ships in the harbor begin shelling the area. Many of the gang members are killed by the shelling, although Amsterdam and Bill continue to fight. Finally, Bill is wounded by a shell fragment, and the two men kneel in the blood-covered street. Surveying the damage to the square, Bill states, “Thank God I die a true American,” and the infuriated Amsterdam kills him with the knife Bill used to slay his father. Jenny makes her way back to the Five Points and finds Amsterdam, and the couple survives the next four days and nights, during which the riots are quelled. Eventually, Bill is buried next to Priest, and as New York City continues to grow and change, their graves deteriorate and are forgotten. 

Production Company: Miramax Film Corp. (The Walt Disney Company)
  Touchstone Pictures (The Walt Disney Company)
  Initial Entertainment Group  
  P.E.A. Films  
Production Text: An Alberto Grimaldi Production; A Martin Scorsese Picture
Distribution Company: Miramax Film Corp. (The Walt Disney Company)
Director: Martin Scorsese (Dir)
  Peter Markham (Action unit/2d unit addl 2d unit dir)
  Phil Marco (Insert photog dir)
  Vic Armstrong (2d unit dir for fight scenes)
  Joseph Reidy (1st asst dir)
  Luca Lachin (1st asst dir, Italy)
  Christopher Surgent (Action unit/2d unit 1st asst dir)
  Alex Corven Caronia (Action unit/2d unit 1st asst dir)
  Filippo Fassetta (Action unit/2d unit 1st asst dir)
  Francesca Ghiotto (Action unit/2d unit 1st asst dir)
  Chris Surgent (2d asst dir)
  Inti Carboni (2d asst dir, Italy)
  Douglas Plasse (2d 2d asst dir)
  Barbara Pastrovich (Action unit/2d unit 2d asst dir)
  Patrick Wiss (Action unit/2d unit 2d 2d asst dir)
  Edoardo Ferretti (3rd asst dir, Italy)
  Luigi Spoletini (4th asst dir, Italy)
Producer: Alberto Grimaldi (Prod)
  Harvey Weinstein (Prod)
  Michael Ovitz (Exec prod)
  Bob Weinstein (Exec prod)
  Rick Yorn (Exec prod)
  Michael Hausman (Exec prod)
  Maurizio Grimaldi (Exec prod)
  Patricia Phillips Marco (Insert photog exec prod)
  Joe Reidy (Co-prod)
  Laura Fattori (Co-prod)
  Graham King (Co-exec prod)
  Rick Schwartz (Co-exec prod)
  Colin Vaines (Co-exec prod)
  Gerry Robert Byrne (Assoc prod)
  Michael A. Jackman (Addl photog line prod)
  Randi Feinberg (Insert photog line prod)
Writer: Jay Cocks (Scr)
  Steven Zaillian (Scr)
  Kenneth Lonergan (Scr)
  Martin Scorsese (Scr)
  Jay Cocks (Story)
  Hossein Amini (Contr wrt)
Photography: Michael Ballhaus (Dir of photog)
  Florian Ballhaus (Action unit/2d unit dir of photog)
  Phil Marco (Insert photog dir of photog)
  Andrew Rowlands ("A" cam/Steadicam op)
  Tom Lappin (1st asst cam)
  Ermanno Lubich ("A" cam asst)
  Alessandro Di Meo ("A" cam loader)
  Marco Cuzzupoli ("A" cam loader)
  Daniele Massaccesi ("B" cam/Steadicam op)
  Marco Sacerdoti ("B" cam asst)
  Francesco Pintore ("B" cam loader)
  Michele Bergstrom (Video playback)
  Jim Tynes (Gaffer)
  Patrick Bramucci (Head gaffer, Italy)
  Voxi Baerenklau (Action unit/2d unit gaffer)
  Alessio Bramucci (Best boy)
  Massimiliano Dessena (Best boy)
  John Sandau (Best boy)
  Marco Contaldo (Action unit/2d unit best boy)
  J. Patrick Daily (Key grip)
  Giampaolo Bagala (Action unit/2d unit key grip)
  Roosevelt Roberts (Insert photog key grip)
  Tommaso Mele (Head grip, Italy)
  Claudio Del Gobbo (Dolly grip)
  Fabrizio Vicari (Action unit/2d unit cam op)
  Riccardo Umetelli (Action unit/2d unit focus puller)
  Emanuele Chiari (Action unit/2d unit focus puller)
  Antonello Emidi (Action unit/2d unit focus puller)
  Emiliano Topai (Action unit/2d unit 2d asst cam)
  Gianni Giannelli (Action unit/2d unit 2d asst cam)
  Jim Richards (Insert photog elec)
  Mario Tursi (Still photog)
  Brigitte Lacombe (Still photog)
  Myles Aronowitz (Still photog)
  Charles Norcross (Cam crew)
  Cinacittà Studios, Rome (Elec & grip equipment)
  Frankische Film Manufactur, Berlin (Cam equip)
Art Direction: Dante Ferretti (Prod des)
  Stefano Ortolani (Supv art dir)
  Robert Guerra (Tech art dir)
  Maria Teresa Barbasso (Art dir)
  Nazzareno Piana (Art dir)
  Alessandro Alberti (Art dir)
  Dimitri Capuani (Art dir)
  Judith Lauren Buckley (Art dept research coord)
  Sabina Lepri (Art dept coord)
Film Editor: Thelma Schoonmaker (Ed)
  James Kwei (Addl ed)
  Pat Buba (Addl ed)
  Scott Brock (1st asst ed)
  Tom Foligno (1st asst ed)
  Jeffrey M. Werner (1st asst ed)
  Gordon Grinberg (2d asst ed)
  Randy Trager (2d asst ed)
  Michal Shemesh (Apprentice ed)
  Irma Misantoni (Asst ed, Italy)
  Daniel De Rossi (Editorial intern, Italy)
  Paolo Guglielmotti (Editorial intern, Italy)
  Buena Vista Negative Cutting (Negative cutting)
  Mary Beth Smith (Negative cutting)
Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo (Set dec)
  Raffaella Giovannetti (Asst set dec)
  Dennis Parrish (Prop supv)
  Arthur Wicks (Prop master)
  Antonio Fraulo (Prop master)
  William Wiggins (Insert photog prop master)
  Sebastiano Murer (Propman)
  Alessandra Querzola (Prop coord)
  Daniele Bacciu (Action unit/2d unit props)
  Carlo Awisato (Action unit/2d unit props)
  Bernard Maisner (Hand lettered props)
  Stefano Morbidelli (On set dresser)
  Roberto Magagnini (Swing gang foreman)
  Nadejda Tatarinova (Set dressing painter)
  Luigi Sergianni (Const coord)
  Ivano Todeschi (Head painter)
  Tommaso Dubla (Head painter)
  Giuseppe La Rocca (Head plasterer)
  Giovanni Gianese (Sculptor)
  Giuseppe Cancellara (Head blacksmith)
Costumes: Sandy Powell (Cost des)
  Deborah Scott (Asst cost des)
  Paolo Stefano Scalabrino (Cost supv)
  Sharon Long (2d asst cost des)
  Claudio Manzi (Cost coord)
  Stefano De Nardis (Ward master)
  Anna Lombardi (Cost buyer)
  Kay Manessah (UK cost buyer)
  Uliva Pizzetti (Actors ward mistress)
  Bruno De Santa (Mr. DiCaprio's cost)
  Bettina Pontiggia (Mr. Day-Lewis' cost)
  Sonoo Mishra (Ms. Diaz's cost)
  Annie Hadley (Chief cost cutter)
  Domenic Young (2d principal cost cutter)
  Costanza Bastanti (Cutters asst)
  John Cowell (Cost painter)
  Barbara Spoletini (Action unit/2d unit ward asst)
  Maria Salvatori (Head seamstress)
  Augusto Grassi (Leather master)
Music: Robbie Robertson (Exec mus prod)
  Howard Shore (Orig mus)
  Jennifer Dunnington (Mus ed)
  Anastasios Filipos (Mus ed)
  Kathy Durning (Mus ed)
  Patricia Carlin (Mus ed)
  Randy Spendlove (Exec in charge of mus)
  Joe Rangel (Source mus coord)
  Hal Willner (Orig score prod)
  Eventone Editorial, Tuxedo, NY (Mus prod)
  Felicia Michael (Mus prod coord)
  Jeff Grace (Tech coord)
  Greg LaPorta (Electronic programmer)
  Jim Bruening (Mus crew)
  Lowell Pickett (Mus crew)
  Tim Stritmater (Mus crew)
  Giancarlo Vulcano (Orch score supv)
  Anxi Jiang (Chinese performance coord)
  Angelo Giovagnoli (Prod mus coord)
  Marcello De Dominicis (Prod mus adv)
  Mariano De Simone (Prod mus adv)
  Eric Liljestrand ("Brooklyn Heights" rec and mixed by)
  Tom Lazarus ("Brooklyn Heights" addl mixing by)
  Geoff Foster ("Brooklyn Heights" addl rec and mixing by)
  Jeff Atmajian ("Brooklyn Heights" orch)
  Andrew Brown ("Brooklyn Heights" cond)
  Sharon Corr ("The Hands that Built America" violin)
  Andrea Corr ("The Hands that Built America" tin whistle)
  The Edge ("The Hands that Built America" prod and string arr by)
  Carl Glanville ("The Hands that Built America" eng and mixed by)
  Chris Heaney ("The Hands that Built America" [Carl Glanville] asst by)
  Daragh O'Toole ("The Hands that Built America" live strings cond)
  Katie O'Connor ("The Hands that Built America" violin)
  Una O'Kane ("The Hands that Built America" violin)
  Rosie Nic Athlaioch ("The Hands that Built America" viola)
  Emer O'Grady ("The Hands that Built America" cello)
Sound: Ivan Sharrock (Prod sd mixer)
  Candido Raini (Action unit/2d unit unit sd mixer)
  Donald Banks (Boom op)
  Ivan Menchinelli (Action unit/2d unit boom op)
  Tom Fleischman (Re-rec mixer)
  Eugene Gearty (Re-rec mixer/Sd eff des/Ed)
  Philip Stockton (Supv sd ed)
  Laura Civiello (Dial ed)
  Fred Rosenberg (Dial ed)
  Marissa Littlefield (Supv ADR ed)
  Kenton Jakub (ADR ed)
  Hal Levinsohn (ADR ed)
  Debora Lilavois (Asst sd ed)
  Chris Fielder (Asst sd ed)
  Larry Wineland (Asst sd ed)
  Ruth Hernandez (Asst sd ed)
  Frank Kern (Supv Foley ed)
  Karn Chan (Foley ed)
  Steve Visscher (Foley ed)
  Jacob Ribicoff (Foley ed)
  Bruce Pross (Foley ed)
  George Lara (Foley mixer)
  Marko Costanzo (Foley artist)
  Jay Peck (Foley artist)
  Terry Laudermilch (Re-rec)
  Harry Higgins (Re-rec)
Special Effects: Bruce Steinheimer (Spec eff supv)
  Michael Owens (ILM visual eff supv)
  Giovanni Corridori (Italian spec eff supv)
  Renato Agostini (Head Italian spec eff tech)
  Daniel Acon (Spec eff coord)
  Mario Cassar (Action unit/2d unit spec eff tech)
  Industrial Light & Magic (Spec visual eff)
  Camille Geier (Visual eff prod)
  Jon Alexander (Computer graphics supv)
  Edward Hirsh (Visual eff co-supv)
  Paul Huston (Lead digital matte artist)
  Ronn Brown (Digital matte artist)
  Randy Gaul (Digital matte artist)
  Kurt Kaufman (Digital matte artist)
  Brett Northcutt (Digital matte artist)
  Mathieu Raynault (Digital matte artist)
  Mario Capellari (Digital eff artist)
  Joshua Chapel (Digital eff artist)
  Siobhan Lo (Digital eff artist)
  Sebastien Moreau (Digital eff artist)
  Jeff Sutherland (Digital eff artist)
  Robin Saxen (Prod coord)
  Jeff Saltzman (Matchmover)
  Peter Rubin (Art dir)
  Michael Brunsfeld (Art dir)
  Amy Shepard (Digital paint & roto)
  Nika Dunne (Digital paint & roto)
  Bill Kimberlin (Ed)
  Amy E. Allen (Prod asst)
  Evan Pontoriero (Digital modeler)
  Jack Haye (Digital modeler)
  Randall Bean (Scanning)
  Claudia Southmartin (Tech support)
  Vladimir Bogak (Tech support)
  Ivy Fong (Tech support)
  David Taylor (Tech support)
  Custom Film Effects (Addl visual eff)
  Mark Dornfeld (Visual eff supv)
  Susan Shin George (Visual eff prod)
  Pacific Title (Digital titles)
  Dan Perri (Main title seq des)
  Connie Brink (Insert photog spec eff/Pyrotechnic)
  Marco Maldonado (Insert photog motion control)
  Yuji Yoshimoto (Insert photog model maker)
  Corridori G&A Cinematografica SRL, Rome (Spec eff)
  Special Effects Unlimited, L.A. (Spec eff)
Make Up: Manlio Rocchetti (Spec eff and key makeup artist)
  Mario Michisanti (Action unit/2d unit key makeup artist)
  Luigi Rocchetti (Makeup artist)
  Linda Melazzo (Makeup artist)
  Federico Laurenti (Makeup artist)
  Maurizio Silvi (Makeup artist)
  Sian Grigg (Makeup artist for Mr. DiCaprio)
  Noriko Watanabe (Makeup artist for Ms. Diaz)
  Aldo Signoretti (Hair des)
  Anne Morgan (Hair des for Ms. Diaz)
  Giorgio Gregorini (Hairstylist)
  Ferdinando Merolla (Hairstylist)
  Rocchetti & Rocchetti, Rome (Wigs)
  Elisabetta De Leonardis (Action unit/2d unit key hairdresser)
  Rosa Luciani (Action unit/2d unit key hairdresser)
Production Misc: Ellen Lewis (Casting)
  Kate Dowd (Co-casting, UK)
  Vicky Wildman (Asst casting, UK)
  Kathleen Chopin (Casting assoc)
  Lilia Trapani (Casting, Italy)
  Nadia Kazan (Asst casting, Italy)
  Louis Elman (ADR voice casting)
  Antonio Spoletini (Extras casting)
  Silvano Spoletini (Extras casting)
  USO Rome (Casting support provided by)
  Michael Hausman (Unit prod mgr)
  Riccardo Neri (Prod mgr, Italy)
  Massimo Iacobis (Action unit/2d unit prod mgr)
  Daniele Abeille (Action unit/2d unit asst prod mgr)
  Cecilia Alvarenga (Action unit/2d unit prod coord)
  Elisabetta Tomasso (Action unit/2d unit prod coord)
  Federico Foti (Unit mgr, Italy)
  Gerardo Albero (Asst unit mgr)
  Michael A. Jackman (Post prod supv)
  Larry Kaplan (Unit pub)
  Nikki Parker, Denmead Marketing (International pub)
  Rachel Griffiths (Scr supv)
  Stella D'Onofrio (Action unit/2d unit scr supv)
  Eleonora Baldwin (Action unit/2d unit scr supv)
  Dawn Freer (Insert photog scr supv)
  Tim Monich (Dialect coach)
  Luc Sante (Historical adv)
  Marianne Bower (Researcher)
  Deanna Avery (Researcher)
  Justin Brennan (Research asst)
  Naisola Grimwood (Post prod research)
  David Parfitt (Prod consultant)
  Pasquale Martino (Animal wrangler)
  Erik Paoletti (Loc mgr)
  Bianluca Passone (Studio/Backlot mgr)
  Mario Francini (Studio/Backlot mgr)
  Catherine Smith (Prod coord)
  Simona Sciannimanico (Prod secy)
  Sabrina Canale (Prod secy)
  Manuela Cacciamani (Prod secy)
  Enzo Sisti (Prod auditor)
  Dean Hood (Prod accountant)
  Maria Fiorito (Accountant)
  Karin Mercurio (Accountant)
  Kathryn O'Brien (Asst accountant)
  Trevanna Post (Post prod accounting)
  Jennifer Freed (Post prod accounting)
  Stuart MacPhee (Post prod coord)
  Charlotte Kirchgaesser (Prod cast liaison/Post prod coord)
  James D. Putt (Post prod services for Initial Entertainment Group)
  Fabrizio Lombardo (Miramax prod coord for Italy)
  Gretchen Campbell (Exec asst to Mr. Scorsese)
  Julie Brennan (Asst to Mr. Scorsese)
  Aloura Charles (Asst to Mr. Scorsese, Rome)
  Alessandro Giuseppini (Asst to Mr. Scorsese, Rome)
  Cariddi Nardulli (Asst to Mr. DiCaprio)
  Marie D'Origny (Asst to Mr. Lewis [sic])
  Jesse Lutz (Asst to Ms. Diaz)
  Eric Robinson (Asst to Harvey Weinstein)
  Pippi Anoustis (Asst to Harvey Weinstein)
  Barbara Schneeweiss (Asst to Harvey Weinstein)
  David Greenbaum (Asst to Harvey Weinstein)
  Robert Corna (Prod asst)
  John J. Egan III (Prod asst)
  Edoardo Ferretti (Prod asst)
  Fabrizio Garuccio (Prod asst)
  Eileen Gorman (Prod asst)
  Mario Grasso (Prod asst)
  Erica Levy (Prod asst)
  Mauro Maurizi (Prod asst)
  Paolo Merosi (Prod asst)
  Nicola Marzano (Prod asst)
  Sean Mewshaw (Prod asst)
  Matthew Newman (Prod asst)
  Giampiero Pelusi (Prod asst)
  Edoardo Petti (Prod asst)
  Mimosa Nistri Ranelletti (Prod asst)
  Davide Sacchetti (Prod asst)
  Luigi Spoletini (Prod asst)
  Stefano Veneruso (Prod asst)
  Fabio Mancini (Transportation mgr)
  Fabrizio Prada (Asst transportation mgr)
  John Dell (Butchering adv)
  O.C.M., Rome (Catering)
  Bruna Piercecchi (Catering supv)
  Mekane (Ships)
  Palazzi Executive Service (Cast security)
  Rene Narcisi Team (Cast security)
  Vision Optika (Contact lenses by)
  Deutsche Bank, Rome (Banking)
  Great Northern, N.Y. (Insurance)
  Cinesicurta, Rome (Insurance)
Stand In: G. A. Aguilar (Stunt coord)
  Claudio Pacifico (Stunt coord, Italy)
  Mark Mottram (Stunt double for Mr. DiCaprio)
  Dominique Vandenberg (Fight coord)
Color Personnel: Kenneth Smith (Col timing supv)
  Bob Kaiser (Col timer)
  Dale Grahn (Col timer)
MPAA Rating: R
Country: Italy and United States
Language: English

Music: “Brooklyn Heights,” composed by Howard Shore, produced by Hal Willner, recorded and mixed by Eric Liljestrand, additional mixing by Tom Lazarus, additional recording and mixing by Geoff Foster, orchestrations by Jeff Atmajian, conductor by Andrew Brown, solo counter tenor by Will Towers, solo boy soprano by James Kanagasooriam; “Shimmy She Wobble,” written by Othar Turner, performed by Othar Turner & The Rising Star Fife & Drum Band, courtesy of Bottom Third, Inc.; “Signal to Noise,” written and performed by Peter Gabriel, courtesty of Real World Records, Virgin Records and Geffen Records; “Drummer’s Reel,” written by Johnny Kalsi, performed by The Dhol Foundation, courtesty of Shakti Records; “Dark Moon, High Tide,” written by Simon Emmerson, Davy Spillane and Martin Russell, performed by Afro Celt Sound System, courtesy of Real World Records Ltd./Virgin Records Ltd.; “Poontang Little, Poontang Small,” arranged and performed by Jimmie Strothers on guitar, recorded by John A. Lomax and Harold Spivacke, courtesy of The Alan Lomax Archives/Rounder Records; “Saor-Free,” written by Ronan Browne, performed by Afro Celt Sound System, courtesy of Real World Records Ltd./Virgin Records Ltd.; “Morrison’s Jig/Liberty,” performed by Mariano De Simone; “Báidin Fheidhlimi,” traditional, performed by Bono, Bono appears courtesy of Universal Music BV; “Cantata,” arranged and performed by Jeff Atmajian; “Devil’s Tap Dance,” performed by Vittorio Schiboni, Massimo Giuntini, Rodrigo D’Erasmo, Mariano De Simone; “Gospel Train,” arranged and performed by The Silver Leaf Quartet, produced and recorded by Alan Lomax, courtesy of The Alan Lomax archives/Rounder Records; “Uncle Tom’s Religion,” performed by Francesco Moneti; “Late at Midnight, Just a Little ‘Fore Day,” written by Othar Turner, performed by Fife and Drum Band, courtesy of HighTone Records; “Garry Owens Jig,” performed by Anna De Luca, Alessandro Bruccoleri and Giuseppe Salvagni; "Kerry Slides," arranged by Paddy Molone, performed by The Chieftains, courtesy of Claddagh Records.
Songs: “Koukou Frappe,” written and performed by Badara Ndiaya; “Lament for the Dead of the North,” written and performed by Davy Spillane, courtesy of Nigel Rolfe/Real World Records; “Lily Bell Quickstep,” written by G. W. E. Friedrich, performed by Beatrice Pradella, Marco Libanori and Angelo Giuliani; “The White Cockade,” performed by Franco D’Aniello, Maro Libanori and Angelo Giuliani; “New Careless Love,” arranged and performed by Sonny Terry, recorded by Alan Lomax, courtesy of The Alan Lomax Archives/Rounder Records; “Unconstant Lover,” performed by Maura O’Connell; “Last Rose of Summer,” traditional, Music Box Recording courtesy of Dinah Voorhies; “Dan Tucker,” traditional, performed by Nathan Frazier & Frank Patterson, courtesy of Rounder Records; “New York Girls,” vocal performance by Finbar Furey, Finbar Fury appears courtesy of Rough Diamond; “Lament for Staker Wallace,” arranged and performed by Eileen Ivers, courtesty of Green Linnet Records, Inc.; “Breakaway,” arranged and performed by Sidney Stripling, recorded by John Work, courtesty of The Alan Lomax Archives/Rounder Records; “Pakwach Acholi Bwala Dance,” written and recorded by David Fanshawe, courtesy of Nonesuch Records by arrangement with Warner Special Products; “Paddy’s Lamentation,” traditional, arranged and performed by Linda Thompson and Teddy Thompson, Linda Thompson appears courtesy of Rounder Records; “Paddy’s Lamentation,” traditional, arranged by Paddy Moloney, performed by Mary Black, courtesy of Wicklow Enterprises under license from BMG Special Products, Inc.; “Pigeon on the Gate,” performed by Dan Costesu; “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” arranged and performed by Piergiorgio Ambrosi; “Massa Juba,” performed by Mariano De Simone, Beatrice Pradella, Alessandro Bruccolcri and Lauren Weiss; “Belle of the Mohawk Vale,” performed by Franco D’Aniello, Marco Libanori and Angelo Giuliani; “Devil Amongst the Tailors,” performed by Vittorio Schiboni, Massimo Giuatini, Rodrigo D’Erasmo and Mariano De Simone; “Durgen Chugaa,” traditional, arranged by Boris Salchak, performed by Shu-De, courtesy of Real World Records Ltd./Narada Productions, Inc.; “Chilumi,” written and performed by Dr. Hukwe Zawose, courtesy of Real World Records, Inc.; “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah,” arranged by George Spangler and Congregation of Thornton Regular Baptist Church (Mayking, KY), sung by Ike Caudill and congregation of the Mt. Olivet Old Regular Baptist Church, produced and recorded by Alan Lomax, courtesy of The Alan Lomax Archives/Rounder Records; “Beijing Opera Music,” written by Hong-Qi Zhang and Da-Can Chen, produced and arranged by Anxi Jiang; “Leaving Home,” written by Hong-Qi Zhang, vocals by Ke-Wei Zhang, produced and arranged by Anxi Jiang; “Dionysus,” written and performed by Jocelyn Pook, courtesy of Real Worlds Records Ltd./Narada Productions, Inc.; “The Murderer’s Home,” written by Alan Lomax, performed by Jimpson & Group, produced and recorded by Alan Lomax, courtesy of The Alan Lomax Archives/Rounder Records; “Vows,” written by Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning, peformed by Jeff Johnson, Brian Dunning, John Fitzpatrick, Gregg Williams & Tim Ellis, courtesy of Ark Records; "Hallelujah/Amazing Grace," arranged by Alabama Sacred Heart, led by Miss Malden, courtesy of The Alan Lomax Archives/Rounder Records; “The Hands that Built America (Theme from Gangs of New York ),” written and performed by U2, featuring Sharon Corr, violin and Andrea Corr, tin whistle, produced by The Edge, engineered and mixed by Carl Glanville, assisted by Chris Heaney, string arrangement by The Edge, live strings conducted by Daragh O’Toole, violins by Katie O’Connor and Una O’Kane, viola by Rosie Nic Athlaioch, cello by Emer O’Grady, Sharon and Andrea Corr appear courtesy of Atlantic Records Inc., U2 appear courtesy of Universal Music BV, published by Universal Music Publishing BV except Blue Mountain Music Ltd (UK) and Mother Music (IRL).
Composer: Ronan Browne
  Da-Can Chen
  Brian Dunning
  Simon Emmerson
  David Fanshawe
  G. W. E. Friedrich
  Peter Gabriel
  Jeff Johnson
  Johnny Kalsi
  Alan Lomax
  Badara Ndiaya
  Jocelyn Pook
  Martin Russell
  Howard Shore
  Davy Spillane
  Othar Turner
  U2
  Dr. Hukwe Zawose
  Hong-Qi Zhang
Source Text: Suggested by the book The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld by Herbert Asbury (New York, 1928).
Authors: Herbert Asbury

Copyright Claimant Copyright Date Copyright Number
Miramax Film Corp. 0/0/2002 dd/mm/yyyy  

PCA NO: 39027
Physical Properties: Sd: Dolby Digital; SDDS Sony Digital Dynamic Sound; dts Digital Sound in selected theatres
  col: Technicolor; Originated on Kodak Motion Picture Film
  gauge: Super 35mm
  Widescreen/ratio: 2.35:1

 
Genre: Epic
  Epic
Sub-Genre: Historical
  with songs
 
Subjects (Major): Cultural conflict
  Fathers and sons
  Gang wars
  Irish Americans
  New York City--Five Points
  New York--History
  Revenge
 
Subjects (Minor): African Americans
  P. T. Barnum
  Betrayal
  Boxing
  Butchers
  Catholics
  Chinese Americans
  Clothes
  Dances
  Elections
  Fights
  Fires
  Honor
  Immigrants
  Jewelry
  Knife throwing
  Loyalty
  Murder
  Pickpockets
  Police
  Political corruption
  Prayer
  Prostitution
  Protestantism
  Riots
  Romance
  Romantic rivalry
  Scars
  Self-mutilation
  Slums
  William Marcy "Boss" Tweed
  Uncle Tom's Cabin (Play)
  United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
  Wounds and injuries

Note: The following written disclaimer appears at the end of the onscreen credits: “While this motion picture is based upon historical events, certain characters’ names have changed, some main characters have been composited or invented and a number of incidents fictionalized.” Another end credit reads: “Footage from ‘ Djembefeloa ’ provided courtesy of Laurent Chevallier, P.O.M. Films, Freddy Denaës & Gael Teicher.” The onscreen credit for Industrial Light & Magic reads: "Special Visual Effects by Industrial Light & Magic, A Division of Lucas Digital, LTD., Marin County, California." Intermittent narration by Leonardo DiCaprio, as “Amsterdam Vallon,” is heard throughout the film.
       As stated in the disclaimer, the picture is based on several historical incidents and people. The area depicted in the picture, New York’s Five Points, no longer exists, but in the 1800s was considered the worst slum in the world. The intersection of what were then Worth, Little Water, Mulberry, Cross and Orange streets, culminating in “Paradise Square,” was the Five Points area. Located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the Five Points was home to thousands of immigrants from the early 1800s onward. Irish immigrants flooded into the Five Points, particularly from the 1840s, and as noted in the film, by the mid-1800s, approximately fifteen thousand Irish were arriving in New York harbor every week. After leaving Ireland due to the staggering poverty, famine and disease in their native country, the Irish landing in America were met with hatred from the so-called “Native Americans,” mostly of Anglo-Dutch ancestry. The Protestant “Nativists,” as they were then called, were especially virulent about the immigrants’ Catholic religion, as they felt the Irish would “give loyalty to their Church before the nation,” according to studio press notes on the film. [In the picture, “Bill ‘The Butcher’ Cutting” makes numerous, disparaging remarks about Catholicism.] Nativists also feared that the Irish and other immigrants, as well as freed slaves, would work for less money than native-born Americans and therefore affect employment.
       The gangs depicted in the film, such as the Dead Rabbits (which comes from a Gaelic term meaning “a violent, angry hulk”), the Bowery Boys and the Slaughter Housers, were real gangs that roamed Manhattan, terrorizing citizens, protected by various factions of the police and political organizations and constantly warring with one another. Of the characters in the film, several are based on real people, including Bill, who was based on Bill “The Butcher” Poole. Although Poole actually died in 1855, before the main action of the film occurs, he was a well-known Nativist gang leader who fought against the Irish and was eventually killed in a brawl with an Irish gang member. Poole’s purported last words were “Goodbye boys, I die a true American!”
       Hell-Cat Maggie, a bouncer in an Irish bar, was known for wearing artificial brass fingernails to kill her opponents and for keeping a jar of ears as souvenirs of her battles. William Marcy “Boss” Tweed [d. 1878] is considered by many scholars to have been the most corrupt politician in American history. The leader of Tammany Hall, Tweed orchestrated the election of hand-picked candidates and was incessantly in search of opportunities for graft. Some historians note that despite his massive corruption, Tweed was important in the history American immigration for his help in obtaining jobs for immigrants and for persuading them to vote, which few of them had ever done in their native countries. As shown in the film, Tweed often relied on various gangs to help him stuff ballot boxes by coercing, or forcing, people to vote several times for Tammany candidates.
       The incident in the film in which Bill and his men approach the Catholic cathedral in Five Points, but are turned away by hundreds of parishioners and their priests, was based on a real incident. In 1835, a group of Nativists attempted to storm the old St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Mulberry Street, but were repulsed by the parishioners, led by Bishop Hughes. The first major riot between New York gangs in the Five Points occurred on 4 Jul 1857, when a group of Dead Rabbits and Plug Uglies fought the Bowery Boys. It is estimated that 1,000 people participated in the fight, with hundreds being injured.
       The Draft Riots, which are depicted at the conclusion of the film, were the worst riots in American history, and resulted in the greatest loss of life in New York City until the terrorist attacks on 11 Sep 2001. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln instituted the country’s first military draft, as the Union Army was badly in need of soldiers. Thirty thousand men, six thousand of whom were to come from Brooklyn, were called up, although an exemption to the draft allowed those who could pay $300 to avoid being drafted and send a substitute in their place. Many poorer citizens resented the exemption, and on 13 Jul 1863, riots broke out in New York City to protest the draft. According to historical sources, rioters in the tens of thousands spread throughout the city, with virtually every city policeman being killed or wounded, and dozens of African-Americans being brutally murdered. An orphanage for African-American children was one of the many buildings burned to the ground during the riots, which lasted for four days before being quelled by Union soldiers.
       The following information about the production of Gangs of New York comes from studio publicity, magazine articles and trade paper news items: Director Martin Scorsese first read Herbert Asbury’s account of 1800s New York gang life on 1 Jan 1970. Scorsese was immediately fascinated by the book and intended to make a film based on it. On 16 Jun 1977, producer Alberto Grimaldi ran a two-page ad in DV , announcing imminent production of a film based on the book, with Scorsese listed the director. Scorsese could not obtain financing for the picture and so worked on other productions, although he and his frequent collaborator, screenwriter and former Time magazine critic Jay Cocks, had completed the first draft screenplay of Gangs of New York by 1977. In 1991, Grimaldi brokered a deal for Universal to produce the picture for a budget of $30 million. At the time, the only cast member set for the film was Robert De Niro, who was to play Bill. Universal eventually assigned the underlying rights to the book and the project to Disney in 1997, according to a 3 Jan 2000 Var news item.
       In 1998, Michael Ovitz, Scorsese’s friend and agent, suggested that he consider casting DiCaprio as Amsterdam. DiCaprio, who had heard about the long-intended project several years earlier, states in studio press notes that he “was so determined to do this project with Marty [Scorsese] that I actually changed agencies when I was seventeen in order to be in closer contact [with him].” With DiCaprio attached to the project, Ovitz was able to re-interest Disney Studios in the project, which had been dormant. According to an 11 Oct 1999 HR article, “Disney had agreed to co-finance the film after [Scorsese and Cocks] rewrote the script, which added a love story.” Eventually, however, Disney chairman Joe Roth decided that due to the violent nature of the film, it “was not an appropriate Disney-themed movie,” according to a 7 Apr 2002 NYT article.
       Scorsese, Ovitz and producer Rick York then attempted to interest Warner Bros. in producing the picture, as Scorsese was contractually obligated to direct a film for that company, but Warner Bros. also declined. After several companies, including Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount and M-G-M, turned down the project, Miramax, a subsidiary of Disney, offered to take over the domestic distribution of the picture and help finance the production. In order to obtain the necessary funds for what was projected to be a large budget, Miramax head Harvey Weinstein sold the foreign distribution rights to Gangs of New York to Initial Entertainment Group [IEG], headed by Graham King, for approximately $65 million. Touchstone, a division of Disney, eventually became allied with Miramax in supplying funding for the production, in exchange for a portion of the proceeds from domestic distribution.
       On 3 Jan 2000, Grimaldi filed suit against Universal, IEG, Disney, Ovitz and several others, alleging breach of promise. Grimaldi’s suit stated that he had been forced out of the project after it moved from Universal to Disney, even though he had originally optioned and developed the material. Grimaldi asked for a $10 million award, as well as sole producer credit. In Apr 2000, the suit was settled, with Grimaldi being awarded $3 million, as well as the right to be listed as the sole producer instead of as a co-producer with Scorsese. In addition, Grimaldi’s son, Maurizio Grimaldi, who had worked on the project, was awarded an executive producer credit, and the rights were to revert to Grimaldi if the picture was not made by the end of 2001. According to news items, Scorsese’s ex-wife and frequent producer, Barbara DeFina, was no longer involved in the production of Gangs Of New York , nor was their joint production company, Cappa Productions. [DeFina is in the list of individuals and companies thanked by the filmmakers in the ending credits.]
       The film’s screenplay underwent numerous re-writes and, according to a 24 May 2002 Entertainment Weekly article, the script was not fully completed by the time production began on 18 Sep 2001. As noted by the Entertainment Weekly article, Hossein Amini was one of the writers who worked on the film’s screenplay, although he is not credited onscreen. According to studio press notes, Steven Zaillian “worked on the structure of the story” and Kenneth Lonergan “concentrated on further development of the characters.”
       By the time the film was ready to begin production, De Niro was forced to drop out due to “personal reasons,” according to a 15 Nov 1999 HR news item, and Scorsese considered Willem Dafoe for the role of Bill. Dafoe apparently declined the role, which was then accepted by Daniel Day-Lewis, who had not appeared onscreen since the 1997 production The Boxer . News items indicate that Pete Postlethwaite was considered for a role, although he does not appear in the completed film. According to a 23-30 Aug 2002 Entertainment Weekly article, “virtually every important young actress” was auditioned for the part of “Jenny Everdeane” before Cameron Diaz was cast. A book on Scorsese states that actresses Anna Friel, Claire Forlani, Heather Graham, Monica Potter and Mena Suvari were among those considered. The source also states that Barbara Bouchet was cast as “Jenny’s mother,” but she instead appears as “Mrs. Schermerhorn.”
       According to the presskit, Day-Lewis apprenticed to a real butcher to learn Bill’s trade, while a Jan 2003 Premiere article about the production reports that he also “could throw knives with frightening accuracy.” The distinctive glass eye worn by Bill, which features a blue bald eagle as the pupil, was achieved by a glass contact lens worn by Day-Lewis. Diaz studied with “a gentleman reputed to be Rome’s premier pickpocket” according to a Feb 2001 W article. In order to assure the authenticity of the slang spoken in the film, The Rogue’s Lexicon , compiled by New York City police chief George Matsell in 1859, was consulted, according to a Dec 2002 Smithsonian article. The presskit states that dialect coach Tim Monich also relied upon “period sources, humorous writings, poems, ballads and newspaper clippings,” as well as an early recording of New Yorker Walt Whitman to determine the various accents used in the picture. The studio presskit states that part of the film’s authenticity was achieved through the use of over 850,000 items that had recently been unearthed in the Five Points area by an archeological team. After production was completed, however, almost the entire collection was destroyed, while being kept in one of the World Trade Center buildings.
       One of the main challenges in recreating the area of the Five Points was that few photographs of the time period depicted in the film exist. In press notes, production designer Dante Ferretti, who collaborated with Scorsese on four previous films, relates that he was influenced by the photographs of Jacob Riis, who took many well-known photographs of New York slums in the 1870s. Some of the buildings erected on the vast Cinecittà Studios set for the movie—which covered more than one square mile—included real buildings of the time, such as the Old Brewery. Built in the 18th century, the Old Brewery became a notorious tenement, occupied by thousands of people. Other sets based on actual buildings included Sparrow’s Chinese Pagoda. Ferretti also designed two full-sized ships in the water section of the Cinecittà backlot and constructed a replica of New York harbor, in addition to several blocks representing other areas of Manhattan. According to the 2001 W article, Gangs of New York was the largest epic shot at Cinecittà since the 1963 Twentieth Century-Fox production Cleopatra (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1961-70 ).
       According to the studio presskit, the picture contains more than one hundred speaking parts, and “before filming was complete, a total of 22,000 background player man-hours would be logged.” Scorsese carefully chose light-skinned Italian extras who could portray Irish immigrants, while “a large group [of extras] was also recruited from local US Army and Naval bases,” according to the presskit. Second-unit director of photography Florian Ballhaus is the son of director of photography Michael Ballhaus, who had worked with Scorsese on five earlier films. Several sources note that Scorsese and Ballhaus were inspired by the paintings of 17th century Dutch painter Rembrandt in creating the film’s lighting.
       Many sources report that the film’s budget was increased from approximately $83 million to at least $103 million during shooting, which was often plagued by bad weather and other delays. According to a 7 Apr 2002 NYT article, Scorsese and DiCaprio “agreed to pay a combined $7 million to help defray the cost overruns.” The film eventually became the most costly production ever made by either Scorsese or Miramax, as of Jan 2003. According to the Jan 2003 Premiere article, filming was completed after “going eight weeks over schedule.” Numerous reports surfaced as to extra shooting done after principal photography was completed, with everything from inserts of special effects models to close-ups of lead actors to a clarified, new ending being shot. The exact dates of additional filming are vague, although a Jan 2003 AmCin article reveals that Silvercup Studios in Astoria, NY was used for additional shooting.
       Harvey Weinstein originally hoped to release the film at Christmas 2001, but after the terrorist attacks on New York City, Scorsese and his editing team took a two-month hiatus, delaying post-production. Miramax also feared that it was not a “politically correct” time to release such a violent film, with its negative portrayals of police officers and firefighters, according to a 26 Oct 2001 Screen International article and an 8 Oct 2001 DV news item. Various sources state that tensions existed between Scorsese and Weinstein due to the film’s length, which in Oct 2001, reportedly ran approximately three hours and forty minutes. Despite alleged disagreements between Weinstein and Scorsese, a 14 May 2001 DV news item noted that Scorsese had signed a five-year, “first look deal with Miramax as an extension of his ‘Gangs’ deal.”
       On 20 May 2002, a twenty-minute “preview” of the picture, with French sub-titles, was shown at the Cannes Film Festival. According to a 21 May 2002 DV news item, Scorsese and editor Thelma Schoonmaker, with whom he frequently works, spent seven weeks compiling the preview trailer, which was well received. According to the news item, after completing the trailer, Scorsese returned to “editing the film and is also in the midst of shooting some pickups.” Gangs of New York was next scheduled to be released on 12 Jul 2002, but that date was also pushed back until 25 Dec 2002. On 18 Oct 2002, Entertainment Weekly reported that the film’s music score was not yet complete, as the music written by Elmer Bernstein was being discarded in favor of a score by Howard Shore. Although a 16 Aug 2002 Wall Street Journal article stated that the filmmakers intended to retain a “portion” of Bernstein’s music in the film, he is not listed in the onscreen credits. The Jan 2003 AmCin article states that the special effects done by Industrial Light & Magic, which took approximately two years to complete, were “being refined right up until the film’s release.” The 25 Dec 2002 release date became controversial due to the simultaneous release of the DreamWorks production Catch Me If You Can , which also stars DiCaprio. Eventually, Miramax decided to release Gangs of New York on 20 Dec 2002.
       In addition to being named one of AFI’s top ten films of 2002, Gangs of New York received Golden Globe Awards for Best Director and Best Original Song (“The Hands that Build America” by U2). The film also garnered Golden Globe nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Diaz) and for Best Actor--Drama (Day-Lewis). The film received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Day-Lewis), Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song ("The Hands That Built America") and Best Sound. Day-Lewis was named Best Actor by film critics in New York, Boston and Seattle, and tied with Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt in the awards given by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Day-Lewis also was selected as Best Lead Movie Actor by SAG, and BAFTA awarded him as Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role. The film was nominated by the PGA for its Darryl Zanuck F. Producer of the Year Award, and Scorsese was nominated by the DGA for Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film. At the time of Scorsese's DGA nomination, it was announced that the guild also had selected the director to be the recipient of their 2003 career achievement award.
       Herbert Asbury’s book was also the basis for the 1938 Republic production Gangs of New York , directed by James Cruze and starring Charles Bickford and Ann Dvorak, although the earlier film was set in the 1930s and was completely fictional in tone. 

Bibliographic Sources:   Date   Page
American Cinematographer   Jan 2003   pp. 36-59.
Daily Variety   16 Jun 1977   pp. 6-7.
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Entertainment Weekly   24 May 2002   pp. 8-9.
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Smithsonian   Dec 2002.   
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Wall Street Journal   16 Aug 2002.   

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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