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If you've ever seen Martin Scorsese's "Taxi Driver" then you most likely remember the scene wherein Travis Bickle buys a slew of handguns from a savvy criminal in a hotel room. The slick black market gun salesman is played by Steven Prince. His performance is so seamless, so patient and professional that you believe him entirely.
So it is that two years after "Taxi Driver's" release, Martin Scorsese made this fascinating document about Steven Prince, the actor that Scorsese had hired to be his driver, bodyguard, and drug connection.
Filmed in a friend's (ostensibly) Los Angeles living room, Scorsese directs from in front of the camera while working from a handful of notes to prompt Steve to tell wild anecdotes from his eventful 30 years of living.
A master storyteller, Steven recalls events from his days managing Neil Diamond, stage managing "Hair" in downtown Manhattan, and growing up in New York City. Clips from home movies of Steven as a kid help paint the picture.
A couple of Steven's stories might sound familiar since Quentin Tarantino and Richard Linklater each used them in their own films.
I won't spoil any of the shock of hearing these tales for the first time, but suffice it to say any of Steven's stories would make great audition monologues for any actor willing to do his or her homework.
"American Boy" is also a great chance to get a peek into Martin Scorsese's intimate directing style.
I love this movie! You just might love it too!
Not Rated. 55 mins.