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  • The Young Americans [1993] [DVD]
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The Young Americans [1993] [DVD]

Price: £4.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Harvey Keitel, Iain Glen, John Wood, Terence Rigby, Keith Allen
  • Directors: Danny Cannon
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Starz Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 2 Feb. 2009
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 48,790 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Harvey Keitel stars as John Harris, a tough New York cop who comes to Britain to help Scotland Yard bust a narcotics racket. It seems that some US dealers are tying to expand across the pond into the lucrative London market, and Harris is convinced that his nemesis Carl Fraser (Viggo Mortensen) is the man in charge of the operation. Determined to put Fraser behind bars, Harris soon starts cutting a violent path through London 's criminal culture, kicking off a bloody battle which could tear the underworld apart.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By John Mounsey on 4 Dec. 2002
This little-known British film from first time director Danny Cannon is in my Top 10 favourite films and is probably my favourite UK film of all. Here's why:
First of all, Cannon's direction is incredibly slick considering this was his first feature film. It is a tragedy that his second project turned out to be the ill-fated blockbuster Judge Dredd, as after his work on this he deserved much more. However, he is now receiving recognition and respect due to his work on the TV series "CSI", so that is good news.
Secondly, the performances in The Young Americans are top notch. Keitel is on auto-pilot for most of the time, but this is a good thing as his central character - NYPD cop John Harris - is a cold straight-talking man, so no overacting was needed here. Iain Glen (Tomb Raider), Craig Kelly (Queer as Folk) and Thandie Newton (Mission Impossible 2) all provide impressive key roles as well.
Thirdly(!), David Arnold's score and the soundtrack as a whole are both remarkable. A single section of the score called "Christian's Requiem" is quite possibly one of the most powerful pieces of music of it's kind, with a full orchestra and choral backing. Bjork's chart hit "Play Dead" (co-written with Arnold) of course needs no introduction, as it was and remains a top track, totally in keeping with the ethos of the film for which it was written.
Finally, the cinematography is beautiful throughout. I cannot recall London being filmed with such professionalism in a UK film. And yes, that INCLUDES the likes of Lock Stock and Snatch. Cannon the the cinematographer deserve great credit for giving the entire production such a top-class "Michael Mann" level of beauty.
Overall then, I cannot recommend this film highly enough. All we need now is a widescreen DVD edition, although I doubt that this will happen for some time sadly. John Mounsey.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Swami on 14 Oct. 2009
Format: DVD
If you go into seeing this movie as a typical 90's crime thriller involving hardened cops busting up drug rings set around a gritty, dark city scape, then you will be disappointed. In terms of plot and high adrenalin action this film fails to deliver the goods, providing audiences instead with a weak crime plot and laughable on screen violence.

HOWEVER, that is not the whole story! What the Young Americans gives you instead of your tried and tested thriller, is a beautiful and at times highly moving piece of cinema. The plot instead revolves around the very essence of crime, how it shapes peoples lives and how it never pays. An incredible music score by David Arnold and breath taking cinematography accumulate to give the audience a tender glimpse at how in a struggle of power it is the innocents stuck in the middle that suffers. In the case of this film, it looks at how a young man named Christian ends up being tangled in circumstances over his head and against his will, and it explores who is really to blame. Is it all the fault of the barons or are the police just as to blame for using people as nothing more than pawns for their own agendas.

As it is The Young Americans is definitely worth a watch, with its beautiful cinematography and music score and intelligent and endearing performances, especially from Harvey Keitel as Detective Harris, Viggo Mortensen as Mr Frasier and Craig Kelly as the young Christian. It is unfortunate that the film does not focus on these aspects as this is where it really comes into its own. Instead it keeps trying to be a high octane thriller, in which it ultimately fails and therefore is only half the film that it could have potentially been.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr Blonde on 10 Dec. 2012
Format: DVD
This film is directed by Danny Cannon director of the first 'Judge Dredd' movie and 'I Still Know What You Did Last Summer'. So when his name appeared in the opening I sighed disappointedly and got ready for a crappy popcorn movie.
By the end of the first act my mind was completely changed, I was gripped, captivated and engaged in this beautifully shot, directed and well acted film. What a masterpiece this film turns out to be. It's a early 90s British film about cops and gangsters. That brings to mind images of Guy Ritchie movies and the countless cheap imitations that followed ('Rancid Aluminum' being the worst) however this was made in 1993, well before this craze of British Crime Capers, and it's all the better for it. These Guy Ritchie movies and the ones they inspired can be fun and entertaining but it gets very old very quick. If you want to see a different type of British Crime film check this out. Unlike the Guy Ritchie films that moved at a million miles an hour and were hyper-stylized this is slower, more character driven, with a great style closer to Noir, lots of deep blacks and shadows and well constructed scenes. It reminded me more of the James Gray film 'The Yards' (2000) and they definitely share a strong connection.
It explores themes of Britain adopting American culture and the way we can be manipulated. It has a lot of interesting ideas and has a real police investigation feel to it e.g. when the police are getting armed for the climax, it is the classic armory shots of loads of firearms but we see them signing out each of the guns they take. It's little touches like this that keep the film feeling real and gritty and keeps us engaged and believing in these characters.
Excellent British cast of familiar T.V. and British film actors that you'll certainly recognize.
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