The Young Americans

Director: Danny Cannon
Screenwriters: Danny Cannon, David Hilton

Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


Danny Cannon’s debut feature film, The Young Americans. is a gritty, hardhitting thriller which chronicles the power struggle between two generations of gangsters in London's East End. Set against the backdrop of London's club culture, it is also the story of Los Angeles detective John Harris (Harvey Keitel), a man with a mission, which puts it squarely in the tradition of American detective genre films.

When some old-time gangsters begin to fall victim to a group of unknown, but youthful. killers, the British police enlist the aid of Harris, who specializes in youth gangs operations. Supposedly Harris is only to act as an advisor, but since his British counterpart, Edward Foster (lain Glen), does not seem to know how to deal with the situation, Harris becomes more and more actively involved. Although the British police officers he is working with obviously resent him,Harris does find two English allies in the persons of retired gangster Sidney Callow (Terence Rigby), who is concerned about the murders of his friends and the possible threat to his own life, and the young Christian O'Neill (Craig
Kelly!, who agrees to help Harris infiltrate the gang after his father is killed.

As the tension and violence intensify, it is revealed that Harris has his own agenda. For years he has been pursuing Carl Fraser (Viggo Mortensen), the cutthroat megalomaniac who is behind the killings. Fraser is out to construct
his own drug-cartel empire based in London by using young unknowns to assassinate the competition. Hams is determined not to let him get away again. Cannon, who is only twenty five and a native Londoner, was brought up
on the movies. His aim is to make gritty commercial cinema with integrity. entertaining films that I would want to pay to see." With The Young Americans, he has taken an important first step in achieving his goal.

Saturday Jan 29 4:00 pm
Egyptian Theatre

Sunday Jan 30 1:00 pm
Prospector Square Theatre

Screening Details

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