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Working titles included: The Neighbor, Bamboozle, Atlantic City, N.J., and Atlantic City, USA.
       End credits include the following written statement: “The Producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of: Resorts International Hotel and Casino; Park Mobile Inc., Atlantic City; City TV, Toronto, for their program excerpts and Vicki Gold Levi.”
       An item in 25 Jun 1979 Publishers Weekly noted that the rejuvenation of Atlantic City, NJ was reflected in multiple movie and television projects. Filming rights to Pinnacle’s paperback, Atlantic City, written by Warren Murphy and Frank Stevens, were optioned by producers Jeff Ramos and Emil Davidson; and, according to a 20 Jul 1979 press release in AMPAS library files, Warner Bros. signed a deal with George Englund Enterprises to produce a feature film based on the forthcoming novel, Atlantic City, written by Paul Erdman, with Sydney Pollack was slated to direct in late 1980. According to an article in 26 Sep 1979 Var, International Cinema Corp. (ICC), formed by Canadian producers John Kemeny, Denis Heroux and Joseph Beaubien, was planning to make a feature set in Atlantic City, based on Laird Koenig’s novel, The Neighbor. This project would ultimately become the film Atlantic City. Koenig wrote a first draft of the screenplay, however, director Louis Malle brought in playwright John Guare to rewrite. The 19 Apr 1981 LAT reported that Guare never read Koenig’s book or script. Guare had his own concept for a story set in Atlantic City, and was only required to include parts for a ... More Less

Working titles included: The Neighbor, Bamboozle, Atlantic City, N.J., and Atlantic City, USA.
       End credits include the following written statement: “The Producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of: Resorts International Hotel and Casino; Park Mobile Inc., Atlantic City; City TV, Toronto, for their program excerpts and Vicki Gold Levi.”
       An item in 25 Jun 1979 Publishers Weekly noted that the rejuvenation of Atlantic City, NJ was reflected in multiple movie and television projects. Filming rights to Pinnacle’s paperback, Atlantic City, written by Warren Murphy and Frank Stevens, were optioned by producers Jeff Ramos and Emil Davidson; and, according to a 20 Jul 1979 press release in AMPAS library files, Warner Bros. signed a deal with George Englund Enterprises to produce a feature film based on the forthcoming novel, Atlantic City, written by Paul Erdman, with Sydney Pollack was slated to direct in late 1980. According to an article in 26 Sep 1979 Var, International Cinema Corp. (ICC), formed by Canadian producers John Kemeny, Denis Heroux and Joseph Beaubien, was planning to make a feature set in Atlantic City, based on Laird Koenig’s novel, The Neighbor. This project would ultimately become the film Atlantic City. Koenig wrote a first draft of the screenplay, however, director Louis Malle brought in playwright John Guare to rewrite. The 19 Apr 1981 LAT reported that Guare never read Koenig’s book or script. Guare had his own concept for a story set in Atlantic City, and was only required to include parts for a major male star and Susan Sarandon. A Writers Guild arbitration in Feb 1979 determined that Atlantic City was not based on Koenig’s book or on his screenplay. “Original screenplay” credit was given to Guare. In Feb 1981, a press kit accidentally included a biography of Koenig and a page on his novel The Neighbor, although Koenig was not included on the list of credits in that press kit. An article in the 25 Nov 1981 Var reported that producer Claude Leger and director Max Fischer were in production on a feature version of Koenig’s novel The Neighbor which was released as Killing ‘Em Softly (1982).
       An item in the 29 Oct 1979 HR noted that Maureen Stapleton was considered for a role in the film.
       The 24 Oct 1979 Var reported that ICC would co-produce the film with Alexandre Mnouchkine of Les Films Ariane Prods., a production company based in Paris, France. However, the 7 Nov 1979 Var and the 8 Nov 1979 DV noted that ICC co-produced the film with Gabriel Boustany of Selta Films, based in France. The film, budgeted at $6.2 million, began production 31 Oct 1979, and the 5 Dec 1980 DV reported filming took place in Atlantic City and Montreal, Canada, during the nine-week schedule. According to a 1980 unsourced item from files at AMPAS library, Malle received permission from Atlantic City’s Resorts International to film in their casino for fifteen hours.
       An article in the 14 Jul 1980 DV noted that Atlantic City would premiere in competition at the Venice Film Festival, held 29 Aug--8 Sep 1980. Following the Venice Film Festival, the film was scheduled to be released in France, Germany and Italy. The 27 Feb 1981 DV reported the film would open the Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Filmex) on 2 Apr 1981. The film’s premiere engagement in New York City began on 3 Apr 1981, and Atlantic City grossed $38,283 in its first three days of release. The film opened nationally on 10 Apr 1981.
       The film’s opening credits include the following written acknowledgement: “Winner of the Golden Lion Venice Film Festival 1980.” Press releases noted the film was a co-winner of the 1980 “Golden Lion” Best Film Award. An 18 Mar 1981 press release stated Atlantic City won three Genie Awards at the Academy of Canadian Cinema Annual Awards. Susan Sarandon won for “Best Performance by a Foreign Actress,” Kate Reid won for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role,” and Annie Pritchard won for “Best Achievement in Art Direction.” The film received five Academy Award nominations: Atlantic City (Denis Heroux and John Kemeny, Producers) for “Best Picture;” Louis Malle for “Directing;” Burt Lancaster for “Actor in a Leading Role;” Susan Sarandon for “Actress in a Leading Role;” and John Guare for “Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen.”
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
8 Nov 1979.
---
Daily Variety
14 Jul 1980.
---
Daily Variety
5 Dec 1980.
---
Daily Variety
27 Feb 1981.
---
Hollywood Reporter
29 Oct 1979.
---
Los Angeles Times
5 Apr 1981
p. 29.
Los Angeles Times
19 Apr 1981.
---
New York Times
3 Apr 1981
p. 15.
Publishers Weekly
25 Jun 1979.
---
Variety
26 Sep 1979.
---
Variety
24 Oct 1979.
---
Variety
7 Nov 1979.
---
Variety
3 Sep 1980
p. 25.
Variety
25 Nov 1981.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT

PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
International Cinema Corporation and Selta Films Present
A John Kemeny - Denis Heroux Production
A Louis Malle Film
A Film Produced with the participation of The Canadian Film Development Corporation
A Canada - France Co-production - Cine-Neighbor Inc. (Montreal) and Selta Films-Elike Kfouri (Paris)
Produced with the participation of Famous Players Limited
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
Asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
Asst dir pre-prod
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Gaffer
Key grip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dept coord
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Editing apprentice
SET DECORATORS
Const mgr
Const mgr
Carpenter
Carpenter
Prop master
Set dresser
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward master
Ward stylist
Asst ward stylist
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
SOUND
Boom op
Dubbing mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
MAKEUP
Makeup and hairstylist
Wig specialist
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod coord
Continuity
Unit mgr
Unit mgr
Prod office coord
Prod accountant
Video seq
Teamster capt
COLOR PERSONNEL
Processing by
SOURCES
SONGS
"Atlantic City, My Old Friend" music and lyrics by Paul Anka
"Norma" by Vincenzo Bellini, performed by Elizabeth Harwood and the London Philharmonic
"Song of India" used with the permission of Leo Feist, Inc.
+
SONGS
"Atlantic City, My Old Friend" music and lyrics by Paul Anka
"Norma" by Vincenzo Bellini, performed by Elizabeth Harwood and the London Philharmonic
"Song of India" used with the permission of Leo Feist, Inc.
"On the Boardwalk of Atlantic City" [sic, title should read "On the Boardwalk (In Atlantic City)] Copyright 1946 - Twentieth Century Music Corp. administered world wide by Bregman, Bocco & Conn, Inc.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
Atlantic City, U. S. A.
Atlantic City, N. J.
The Neighbor
Bamboozle
Release Date:
10 April 1981
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 3 Apr 1981; Los Angeles opening: 10 Apr 1981
Production Date:
began 31 Oct 1979 in Atlantic City, NJ, and Montreal, Canada
Copyright Claimant:
Selta Films, S.A.R.L. & Cine-Neighbors [sic], Inc.
Copyright Date:
6 July 1982
Copyright Number:
PA154989
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Lenses/Prints
Lenses and Panaflex Cameras by Panavision
Duration(in mins):
103
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
France, Canada, United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In Atlantic City, New Jersey, an older man and small-time numbers runner, Lou, watches as his young neighbor, Sally, rubs lemon juice over her upper body. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dave watches a man hide a package of cocaine in a phone booth. Dave steals the package and leaves before two thugs arrive to discover their drugs are gone. Dave and his pregnant girlfriend, Chrissie, hitchhike to Atlantic City and surprise Sally as she waitresses at a casino. Sally is unhappy with the arrival of her estranged husband and pregnant sister, but reluctantly agrees to help for one night. In Sally’s run-down apartment building, they pass Lou on his way to assist Grace, the bedridden widow who lives downstairs. Lou makes Grace’s dinner for which she pays him a few dollars. Upstairs, Sally and Dave argue and, when Sally’s back is turned, he steals her wallet and leaves. Later, Lou works the neighborhood. Meanwhile, Sally, who dreams of being the first female croupier in Monte Carlo, attends a blackjack class at the casino. She is mentored by her teacher, Joseph, who also gives her classical music and French language tapes to study. Lou meets local mobster, Fred, in a bar, and gives him the numbers picks and money he has collected. Dave approaches Fred, but the mobster refuses to buy the stolen drugs, although he gives Dave the name of someone who will. Dave asks if he can borrow Lou’s apartment for business and offers to pay him $100. Dave takes a portion of the drugs to make his deal and has Lou hide ... +


In Atlantic City, New Jersey, an older man and small-time numbers runner, Lou, watches as his young neighbor, Sally, rubs lemon juice over her upper body. Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dave watches a man hide a package of cocaine in a phone booth. Dave steals the package and leaves before two thugs arrive to discover their drugs are gone. Dave and his pregnant girlfriend, Chrissie, hitchhike to Atlantic City and surprise Sally as she waitresses at a casino. Sally is unhappy with the arrival of her estranged husband and pregnant sister, but reluctantly agrees to help for one night. In Sally’s run-down apartment building, they pass Lou on his way to assist Grace, the bedridden widow who lives downstairs. Lou makes Grace’s dinner for which she pays him a few dollars. Upstairs, Sally and Dave argue and, when Sally’s back is turned, he steals her wallet and leaves. Later, Lou works the neighborhood. Meanwhile, Sally, who dreams of being the first female croupier in Monte Carlo, attends a blackjack class at the casino. She is mentored by her teacher, Joseph, who also gives her classical music and French language tapes to study. Lou meets local mobster, Fred, in a bar, and gives him the numbers picks and money he has collected. Dave approaches Fred, but the mobster refuses to buy the stolen drugs, although he gives Dave the name of someone who will. Dave asks if he can borrow Lou’s apartment for business and offers to pay him $100. Dave takes a portion of the drugs to make his deal and has Lou hide the remaining stash. He asks Lou to accompany him to the drug deal, but Lou refuses because he cannot leave Grace alone. Dave gets Chrissie, who took a class on reflexology, and she is massaging Grace’s feet when they leave. Meanwhile, at the casino, Sally discovers her wallet is missing. As Lou and Dave walk to the buyer’s hotel, Lou reminisces about working with important mobsters and laments that he had to kill a few people. At the hotel, Dave notes that Lou is nicely dressed and therefore should deliver the drugs to Room 307. Lou is concerned that Dave is setting him up, but agrees to make the delivery for $100. Lou meets with the buyer and receives $4 thousand for the cocaine. As Dave waits downstairs, Fred arrives with the two thugs from Philadelphia and a chase ensues. One of the thugs stabs Dave, and Lou leaves the hotel as Dave is wheeled into an ambulance. Police contact Sally after finding her wallet in Dave’s pocket, and she rushes to the hospital, but Dave is dead. At the hospital, Lou introduces himself to his distraught neighbor. Sally wants to inform Dave’s parents, but does not have money to call to their home town of Saskatchewan, Canada. Lou pays for the call and when Sally cannot speak, he informs Dave’s parents himself. Sally does not know how to tell her sister, and Lou suggests that she rest, informing her that Chrissie is with Grace and can hear the news in the morning. In his apartment, Lou ponders the drug money and then watches through his window as Sally rubs lemon juice over her skin. Aroused, Lou races to Grace’s apartment, sends Chrissie upstairs, and makes love to Grace. The next morning, Lou takes some of the cocaine, and returns to hotel Room 307 where the buyer is happy to pay $4 thousand for more drugs. Later, Lou picks up Sally after work and says that he paid for Dave’s body to be sent back to Canada. He takes her to an expensive lunch, leading her to believe he is wealthy. She wonders why he lives in their building, and he claims to be staying for Grace’s sake. Sally shares her dream of working in Monte Carlo, and asks him for guidance. Lou accompanies her to a home that she is renovating with several friends, and she takes him to her room where they make love. Later, they return to their apartment building where Lou watches helplessly as the thugs beat Sally and fruitlessly search her purse for the cocaine before leaving. Angry that he did not protect Sally, Lou rushes past Grace who is now out of bed. He wraps the remaining cocaine in foil and pockets it, alongside a gun he keeps in his dresser. Sally’s apartment has been torn apart by the thugs. A frightened Chrissie admits that she and Dave came to Atlantic City to sell the stolen cocaine, and that Lou went with Dave to the drug deal. Meanwhile, Lou goes back to the drug buyer’s room and offers to sell him the remaining cocaine for $5 thousand. The buyer only has $4 thousand, so Lou keeps a fifth of the package and sells him the rest. Later, the thugs follow Lou to a gaming table inside the casino where Sally works. Meanwhile, Sally is fired because the casino does not want an employee with an ex-convict husband, even if he is dead. The thugs harass Lou, but are pulled away by security as Sally approaches him and angrily demands Dave’s money. Lou leaves as she is dragged out of the casino by security. She follows Lou to a bus station and gets him kicked off the bus. The thugs find them, demand the money, and threaten Sally with a knife, but Lou shoots them dead. Lou and Sally steal the thug’s car and Lou leaves Atlantic City for the first time in twenty years. They rent a motel room and Lou excitedly watches television coverage of the murders. He admits that he never killed anyone before and offers to move to Florida with Sally. She agrees, although she still wants to go to Monte Carlo. The next morning, Lou is excited to tell Grace about the shooting and surreptitiously calls her from the bathroom. While he is on the phone, he sees Sally take half the money out of his wallet. When he comes out of the bathroom, Sally offers to go for food, and, as she leaves, Lou tells her to ditch the car soon. She thanks him for saving her life and drives off. Lou takes a taxi back to Atlantic City. Later, Grace goes to Room 307 and sells the rest of the cocaine for $1 thousand. She joins Lou, and they happily stroll along the Atlantic City boardwalk. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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