Gangs of New York

TitleGangs of New York
Publication TypeFilm
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsScorsese, Martin
Running Time2h 47m
Date Released12/2002
DistributorMiramax Films
CountryUnited States
Publication LanguageEnglish

The historical drama directed by Martin Scorsese, is inspired by Herbert Asbury's 1927 non-fiction book, The Gangs of New York. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis and Cameron Diaz. The drama centers on the long-running Catholic–Protestant feud in New York, which erupts in 1863 into violence, just as an Irish immigrant group is protesting about low wages caused by an influx of freed slaves, as well as the threat of conscription. Citywide draft riots break out just as the two rivaling protestant and catholic gangs are preparing to fight. Union Army soldiers are deployed to control the rioters. As the rival gangs face off, cannons from naval ships is fired directly into Paradise Square, where the fighting takes place, interrupting their battle shortly before it begins. Between the cannons, soldiers, and rioters, many of the gang members are killed.


Leonardo Dicaprio

Daniel Day Lewis

Cameron Diaz

Jim Broadbent

John C. Reilly

Henry Thomas

Brendan Gleeson

Liam Neeson


Produced by Alberto Grimaldi and Harvey Weinstein

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Written by Jay Cocks, Steven Zaillian, and Kenneth Lonergan

Cinematography by Michael Ballhaus

Edited by Thelma Schoonmaker

Music by Howard Shore


Crime, Drama

Full Text

Gangs of New York explores vengence, immigration, and local politics during the American Civil War. A young man plots to destroy the man who killed his father, a rival gang leader who has risen from the Irish immigrant ranks to Tammany Hall. Their final confrontation unfolds during the New York Draft Riot of 1863 when working-class men attacked free blacks in their anger over fighting a war they did not support. 

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