Quotes from the Movie American Gangster

This is the problem. This is what’s wrong with America. It’s gotten so big you can’t find your way.

Ellsworth "Bumpy" Johnson

This is the problem. This is the way it is now: You can’t find the heart of anything to stick the knife.

Ellsworth Johnson

Forget it, Frank. There's no one in charge.

Ellsworth Johnson

It’s chaos. Every gorilla for himself.

Frank Lucas

The man I worked for, he had one of the biggest companies in New York City- he ran it for more than fifty years. Fifteen years, eight months, nine days- I was with him every day. I looked after him, took care of him, protected him... I learned from him. Bumpy was rich, but he wasn't white man rich, you see he wasn't wealthy. He didn’t own his own company. He thought he did, but he didn’t. He just managed it. White man owned it so they owned him. Nobody owns me, though. Because I own my company. And my company sells a product that’s better than the competition at a price that’s lower than the competition.

Frank Lucas

The most important thing in business is honesty, integrity, hard work, family, never forgetting where we came from. See, you are what you are in this world, that’s either one of two things: Either you're somebody ... or you’re nobody. I'll be right back

Frank Lucas

That basically the whole picture right there.

Frank Lucas

[To Trupo]'Detective. There are some things you don’t do. This is one of them. Not on a man’s wedding day.

Frank Lucas

Brand names mean something, Nicky. Consumers rely on them to know what they’re getting. They know the company isn’t going to try to fool them with an inferior product. They buy a Ford, they know they’re gonna get a Ford. Not a fuckin' Datsun. Blue Magic is a brand name; as much a brand name as Pepsi. I own it. I stand behind it. I guarantee it and people know that even if they don’t know me any more than they know the chairman of General Foods.

Frank Lucas

I do pay them, I pay them all. Cops, accountants, lawyers, who don’t I pay? Everybody. I pay them a fortune, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t satisfy them. The more you pay, the more they expect. You can’t start with them because they can’t stop. It’s like dope. They always want more.

Frank Lucas

This is my home. My country. Frank Lucas don't run from nobody. This is America.

Frank Lucas

The number one fear of people isn't dying, it's public speaking. Pick up the fuckin' glass!

Det. Richie Roberts

For a cop the uppermost thing is the arrest. For a prosecutor, the arrest is nothing without the evidence to convict. We don’t have any real evidence on anyone on this board, so they’re coming down. We’re starting over from the street.

Det. Richie Roberts

His name is Frank Lucas. Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina. Couple of arrests years ago. Gambling, robbery, unlicensed firearm. For fifteen years he was Bumpy Johnson’s collector, bodyguard and driver. He was with him when he died. Five brothers, he’s the oldest, lots of cousins, all living here now, spread out around the boroughs and Jersey. The brothers are Eugene Lucas in Brooklyn, Earl Lucas in Newark, Lester Lucas in Queens, Turner Lucas, the Bronx and Teddy Lucas, in Bergen County. Except for the chinchilla coat, which no one can explain, Frank’s life seems orderly and legitimate. He gets up early. Five a.m. Has breakfast at a Midtown place, usually alone. Then goes to work. Meeting with his accountant, or lawyer, dropping in on one of the several office buildings he owns. Nights, he usually stays home. When he does go out, it’s to a club or dinner - with his new wife - friends, celebrities, sports figures - never O.C. guys. Sundays he takes his mother to church. Then drives out to change the flowers on Bumpy’s grave. Every Sunday, no matter what.

Det. Richie Roberts

Won’t get any informants. Not inside. It’s like a Sicilian family. Like he’s structured his own family the same way to protect himself. Being with Bumpy long as he was, he would have been around Italians a lot. Enough to learn that much.

Det. Richie Roberts

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