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A book section article by


Submitted Dec 4, 2016, 8:32:26 AM

A Review of

“Gang Of New York” is a historical movie, taken from the history of New York in 1846. At that time there are a lot of gangs that exist in the area of New York, as The Forty Thieves, The Hell’s Kitchen, Dead Rabbits, Day Break Boys, and many more. Conflict of the movie is raised to a feud between the two major gangs, namely the Dead Rabbits whose members are native Irish who fought with the Native American gangs. They do the battle in an area called The Five Points to determine who the most powerful gang is. The headmen of the Native gangs, Bill the Butcher has managed to kill Priest Vallon, the headmen of the Dead Rabbits in the battle. This victory made Bill as the most powerful person in the Five Points area, where all the little gangs must pay tribute to him. On the other hand, Dead Rabbits had to accept defeat to end the existence of the gang. Vallon's son who did not accept the death of his father, trying to take revenge on the Bill the Butcher after the 18 years of exile in the American suburbs. At the end of the story, Vallon's son finally managed to avenge his father by killing Bill the Butcher. In 1863, the death of Bill the Butcher made America into a new world, where there are no more street gangs ruling.

            The main character of the movie are Amsterdam Vallon (the son of Priest Vallon); a dynamic young people who are full of ambition alive to avenge his father's death, Bill the Butcher Cutting; a Native American headmen who are powerful, greedy, cruel, and merciless, Priest Vallon; Irishman who became headmen of Dead Rabbits gang that is peaceful, religious but opportunistic, Jenny Everdeane; a beautiful, independence thieves and fraudsters from the Five-Point which became lovers of Amsterdam Vallon; Johnny Sirocco; Amsterdam Vallon’s childhood friend who is crafty and jealous, and many more.

            This film made by the historical story of American in the mid-1800s where there were mass migration and civil war. A group of new comers raise in America of the early 1900s but it started since the first European settlement in 1600s. By 1600s, 50,000 till 100,000 Irishmen came to the America. Not only Irish but also another foreign as Spanish, Chinese, Dutch, and many more also came after. The Irish entered the city brought tribes, New York was a city full of tribes, thief, wealthy, and even poor. It makes the Native Americans are not happy and feel excluded from their own land. From the movie we can see the scene (in the minute 18.00) when Bill the Butcher and his subordinates insulting and cursing all the new comers who had just got out from the ship, by saying,” Got back to Ireland you got damn Irish, because you is a fool”. Bill here represent all of the Native America who fully hated the foreign nation or the white people. In fact, mid-1800s was the hard time for both black and white people since they have to face the discrimination’s era.

            This situation is getting worse by the urbanization of the population in 1840. Thus, there are lot of apartments that build not habitable, named tenements. Both immigrant and urban who lived in the tenements were live in sorrow. They sleep in the dirty place which is lack of sanitation and far from hygienist. This condition figured out by the minute of 19:33 where Johnny entering the Five Points area and found out that the Five Points was getting worse than the past.

            In the second year of the great civil war when Abraham Lincoln became president of the attempted liberation of slaves, there were high gaps between the black and the white immigrant. The black felt superior as the Native of America, then the white (the immigrant) felt that the Native was unfair because they just want to live in peace but the Native never let it happened. That caused the city in chaos. People are afraid of their safety. As the result, the level of the safety awareness was high and it leads the emergences of the social gangs. In 1840 there was famous district called the Five Points that identic with slum, social gangs, and rife with corruption. Located in Manhattan, this place is filled with crime and mental degradation where fights and murders are common. Many brothels, bars night, and theft everywhere. We can look at the 10th minute in the movie, where the Dead Rabbits and Native American gangs fighting each other to gain the recognition of the region. Besides the Dead Rabbits and the Native gangs that lead by Bill the Butcher there lot of social gangs growth in America as The Hell’s Kitchen, The Fourth Ward, Brickbat Mansion, Paradise Square, The Day Break Boys, Swamp Angles, Shirt Tails, Little Forty Thieves, and The Bowery. Based on the movie we can see this phenomenon in the minute of 24:25, when Johnny Sirocco explain to Amsterdam Vallon what was happen to the Five Points area after he left. Johnny mentioned all of the gangs that exist in the Five Points; he explained what they do for life and how they survive. Also in 30:30 minutes we can see that the moral society is broken, where the case of fire, other people use them to steal the valuables.

            One of the characters in the film that were recorded in history is Bill the Butcher Cutting. In the movie, Bill described as a Native American who are cynical to the newcomers (immigrants). After winning a fight with a gang of Ireland, Bill became feared in America. None dared to fight him, including the police; other gangs even have to pay tribute to Bill. Based on the movie; the 34:05 is the scene where the gang depositing tribute to Bill in a bar. In fact, Bill Poole (Bill the Butcher) is the protestant leader of the Native who was assassinated in 1855.


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Commented Dec 4, 2016, 8:42:09 AM
Please comment :)
Shane Avatar


Commented Dec 4, 2016, 3:29:12 PM
Gangs of newyork, i know this one. well done. you give just right plots analysis
arumgumelar Avatar


Commented Dec 4, 2016, 4:02:00 PM
A cool movie starred by Leonardo diCaprio although some real facts changed to accomodate more dramatical plot. Nice analysis
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Commented Dec 5, 2016, 12:55:53 AM
thank you @Shane
but I think there are still some things that need to be improved, what do you think?
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Commented Dec 5, 2016, 12:59:21 AM
Yep. thank you @arumgumelar
Frankly speaking, one of the reasons why I see this film is because Leo. :D