King Of New York

King Of New York
by Abel Ferrara (1990)

Fresh out of prison, Frank White runs his criminal activities straight from the Plaza Hotel to fund a hospital in the Bronx.


“I promise you nothing at all.”
“I promise to block off the windows and the doors and to make a hot summer night in the penthouse apartment all ‘an’ all the paes del corpo mia. And I send you one uom d’affari.”
“Who says I can’t get a senator too? Don’t go too far away from here.”
(Frank White & Russ Bishop)


He’s been absent from the scene for a while, but now he’s back to protect us and take back everything.
If you want to work for him, you can find him at the Plaza Hotel where he will welcome you with open arms.
There’s room for anyone on his team.
Anyone who is tired of being ruled by people who exploit child prostitution to make money, anyone who is against those who get rich by leaving poor people in misery.
He will know how to clean up the city from this kind of scum, he will be ready to kill one by one all those criminals who don’t deserve to live.
Don’t be fooled by his appearance and his cold gaze, by his madness, by the unconventional methods he uses to seek redemption. Even now that he’s hunted by the police and wanders through traffic with his coat closed, like a living dead, he manages to maintain that icy composure.
Never forget it, gentlemen.
He is Frank White.
He is the King of New York.


Abel Ferrara directs a great film, King Of New York is definitely one of his most beautiful and interesting works.
If the story is not particularly original (we have the usual gangster seeking redemption, in his own way), what really matters is the packaging.
The director skillfully exploits the excellent photography of Bojan Bazelli to paint a perpetually nocturnal New York made of violence, chases, and serial killings.
In this metropolitan scenario stands out, in contrast, the angular white face of an epic Christopher Walken, with angelic features and infernal gaze, never as on point as on this occasion.
Nicholas St. John’s screenplay does the rest and leaves no escape for any of the characters involved.

To complete the picture, a decidedly well-chosen and noteworthy cast, which also features a debutant Steve Buscemi.
King Of New York is a solid and convincing film, profoundly nocturnal, one of the most beautiful gangster movies of that decade.

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