The summer of 1984: 32 years after Duane Jackson captained the high school football team and Jacy Farrow was homecoming queen, the small town of Anarene, Texas prepares for its centennial ... See full summary »
Scudder is a detective with the Sheriff's Department who is forced to shoot a violent suspect during a narcotics raid. The ensuing psychological aftermath of this shooting worsens his ... See full summary »
After his mother's death, Collin Fenwick goes to live with his father's cousins, the wealthy, avaricious, and controlling Verena Talbo, and her compliant, earthy sister Dolly. When a city ... See full summary »
A wealthy woman is murdered in her beach house. The husband is allegedly knocked out first. He inherits all her inherited wealth. He has a female corporate lawyer, criminal prosecutor 4 years ago, represent him in court. Guilty?
The apartment building Jack Kelson and his son lived in was presented as Queen Anne Hill in the movie. In actuality, the movie was filmed in an apartment building on Capitol Hill in Seattle, on the 1700 block of Summit Avenue North See more »
Near the end of the movie, the ferry is leaving Seattle (towards Bainbridge Island or Bremerton). However a few seconds later we see the boat wake with the Olympic Mountains in the distance indicating the boat is headed towards Seattle, not away from it. See more »
Jack's Flashback Theme
and "Additional Music"
Composed by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan
Produced and performed by Tom Waits
Jalma Music Inc (ASCAP)
Tom Waits performs courtsey of Island Records, Inc. See more »
I first heard about this movie when it was filming in Seattle, my home. Being a fan of Jeff Bridges, I had to see it when it was released. I now own it on video, and it is one of my favorites.
The Seattle locations are used well, but the basic story could happen anywhere. Ex-con Bridges tries to build a life for himself and his estranged son after his release from prison. There are subplots dealing with a pen-pal romance and Jack's ex-partner, but the focus is on the father-son relationship. What makes the film fascinating is the texture and depth of Bridges' performance. Jack is not too smart, a drunk, and flat broke. He is thrown into a harsh, uncompromising world at the very bottom rung, and somehow must find a way to survive AND stay straight. As he gradually takes responsibility for his son, Nick, he regains his self-esteem and humanity. Bridges shows us all this with humor, honesty, and zero sentimentality. He never shies away from exposing Jack's flaws, but also imbues him with a raw sort of nobility. Flashback sequences drawing a parallel between young Jack and Nick add a layer of poignancy.
There is level of verisimilitude and frankness in "American Heart" that contemporary, mainstream American movies rarely exhibit. In form it greatly resembles Dustin Hoffman's remarkable "Straight Time", but this film is about relationships, not crime. If all you want from a movie is escapism, stay away. Those who like to wander near the Edge will be rewarded.
"you keep me straight, I'll keep you straight"
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