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American Psycho (21-Jan-2000)

Director: Mary Harron

Writers: Mary Harron; Guinevere Turner

From novel: American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Music by: John Cale

Producers: Edward R. Pressman; Chris Hanley; Christian Halsey Solomon

Keywords: Horror, Serial Killer, Dark Comedy, New York

A high-powered New York City banker must attempt to hide his demented alter-ego from friends and associates as he begins to lose his mind.

Patrick Bateman, a well-to-do Manhattan investment banker enjoying a lifestyle fueled by America's warm embrace of capitalism and deregulation in the late 1980s, balances his "above-board" existence as a skilled worker and schmoozer with a secretive double life as a serial killer, eventually losing his ability to keep the two separate as his hatred for his "legitimate" associates slowly takes hold over his psyche. Adapted from the controversial yet well-respected Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name, American Psycho divided critics and audiences upon its release, though it has grown into a cult favorite in the years since.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Christian Bale
30-Jan-1974   The Dark Knight
Willem Dafoe
22-Jul-1955   Last Temptation of Christ
Jared Leto
26-Dec-1971   Harry in Requiem for a Dream
Josh Lucas
20-Jun-1971   Wonderland
Samantha Mathis
12-May-1970   Jack and Sarah
Matt Ross
3-Jan-1970   Alby Grant on Big Love
Bill Sage
17-Jul-1962   Simple Men
Chloe Sevigny
18-Nov-1974   HIV-infected girl in Kids
Justin Theroux
10-Aug-1971   Mulholland Dr.
Guinevere Turner
23-May-1968   Preaching to the Perverted
Reese Witherspoon
22-Mar-1976   Legally Blonde


Christian Bale   ...   Patrick Bateman
Willem Dafoe   ...   Donald Kimball
Jared Leto   ...   Paul Allen
Josh Lucas   ...   Craig McDermott
Samantha Mathis   ...   Courtney Rawlinson
Matt Ross   ...   Luis Carruthers
Bill Sage   ...   David Van Patten
Chloe Sevigny   ...   Jean
Cara Seymour   ...   Christie
Justin Theroux   ...   Timothy Bryce
Guinevere Turner   ...   Elizabeth
Reese Witherspoon   ...   Evelyn Williams
Stephen Bogaert   ...   Harold Carnes
Monika Meier   ...   Daisy
Reg E. Cathey   ...   Homeless Man
Blair Williams   ...   Waiter #1
Marie Dame   ...   Victoria
Kelley Harron   ...   Bargirl
Patricia Gage   ...   Mrs. Wolfe
Krista Sutton   ...   Sabrina
Landy Cannon   ...   Man at Pierce & Pierce
Park Bench   ...   Stash
Catherine Black   ...   Vanden
Margaret Ma   ...   Dry Cleaner Woman
Tufford Kennedy   ...   Hamilton
Mark Pawson   ...   Humphrey Rhineback
Jessica Lau   ...   Facialist
Lilette Wiens   ...   Maitre D'
Glen Marc Silot   ...   Waiter
Charlotte Hunter   ...   Libby
Kiki Buttignol   ...   Caron
Joyce Korbin   ...   Woman at ATM
Reuben Thompson   ...   Waiter #2
Bryan Renfro   ...   Night Watchman
Ross Gibby   ...   Man Outside Store
Christina McKay   ...   Young Woman
Allan McCullough   ...   Man in Stall
Anthony Lemke   ...   Marcus Halberstram
Connie Chen   ...   Gwendolyn Ichiban


Review by Walter Frith (posted on 7-Jun-2007)

Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) will deceive you. To women, his astounding good looks, fabulous wardrobe and knowledge of mergers and acquisitions will seem irresistible. To men, his personality and personal life (at least what they think they know about it), is one of envy. Patrick likes to make mention of the fact that when women ask him what he's "in to" he says: "Murders and executions, actually". From a distance across a nightclub table with loud music playing, it sounds like "mergers and acquisitions". There is much more to 'American Psycho' than this description and the film's layers of artsy decorum crossed with bizarre humour and lacerating violence makes for a film with an extraordinary vision on the part of Mary Herron who captures the horrors of violence as well as any director praised in the modern era. It's an old story, but this is a film mostly for film buffs who know what makes a good mix in the film industry and the average movie patron may discard it as sick trash. This hurts the film somewhat because its limited appeal will get lost in an ever increasing amount of film productions and a film like this may end up as a needle in a hay stack, for lack of a better term. Patrick Bateman has another passion. After luring his prey to his yuppie pad in the heart of New York City, Bateman has the seduction going perfectly. Champagne in the bedroom, a pleasant atmosphere and he puts music on and critiques it in harmonious fashion before killing his victims through strangulation, the use of sharp instruments or chain saws.....all done with an intensity to bloody his hardwood floors, muck up his white walls and clutter up his closet with dismembered body parts. The film puts an interesting twist on the "me" generation. Set in the heart of the 80's era of greed (1987 to be exact), all of the familiar wardrobes, music and sets of that time come back to show what times were like and how the human mind is capable of so many dark and evil things. We get a sense early of Patrick's violent tendencies when he goes to pick up his bed linen from a Chinese laundry and shrieks at the fact that stains haven't been removed and he bellows out: "I am going to kill you" to the owners of the laundry facility after his frustration boils over from their inability to speak proper English. His over reaction and ability to make a mountain out of a mole hill make Patrick Bateman a character to be feared and Christian Bale pulls off the role perfectly and you may recall him as the young boy going through World War II in Steven Spielberg's 1987 effort 'Empire of the Sun'. One thing that LOOKS like it will hurts this film is the lack of participation on the part of the other characters. Willlem Dafoe plays a police detective who investigates the murders that Patrick has committed, Reese Witherspoon is his materialistic and semi-synthetic fiancee and Chloe Sevigny is Patrick's executive assistant and Jared Leto is a colleague of Bateman's in the high powered world of finance. But as shallow as these characters are, the film works just fine for one reason. The film is told from Bateman's point of view and his own obsession with the violent aspects of his mind and the acts that come about as a result of his fantasies shuts out all of the character's grasps on his life to the extent of only rejoicing in his own violent excess. 'American Psycho' was originally intended as a turn for Oliver Stone to direct Leonardo DiCaprio. Given the fact that many consider Stone's 'Natural Born Killers' a cult masterpiece, he would have been a good choice but this film needed a fresh vision from a relatively unknown film maker. It's one of those subjects that's been done too often to put a familiar name in the director's chair and the fresher the directing senses are for a film like this, the more likely it is to rile up people to cause controversy and talk which will only increase the film's success. The film has a conclusion that will throw you off key somewhat in terms of what actually DID happen. The balance between comedy and horror in this film is as difficult to pull off as a tight rope walker balancing himself on a wire hanging over Niagara Falls. A great deal of the credit for the film has to be given to editor Andrew Marcus. He sharply enhances Bale's performance in the lead by inserting his image routinely like a pop up target in many scenes to make the audience truly recognize him as a hard boiled and classic movie villain. Visit FILM FOLLOW-UP by Walter Frith

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