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Alphabet City (1984)

19-year old “King of Alphabet City” Johnny (Vincent Spano) is a drug dealer and a collector for the mob. He also torches buildings, intimidates nightclub owners and generally keeps his lieutenants in line.

But Johnny decides to give up his life of crime when the gangsters he works for order him to burn down the Lower East Side tenement building in which his mother lives.

The mobsters do not take kindly to being defied, and Johnny now faces a battle to protect his family  – he has an artist wife with a loft in SoHo and a baby – from recriminations.

The most mainstream movie directed by underground filmmaker Amos Poe has a great performance by Spano but virtually no plot. When Spano is centre stage this violent slice-of-life drama crackles with menacing intensity. Otherwise, it’s a rather bland affair that goes over too much familiar ground.

The music is by Nile Rodgers of Chic fame.

Johnny
Vincent Spano
Angela
Kate Vernon
Lippy
Michael Winslow
Mama
Zohra Lampert
Sophia
Jami Gertz
Gino
Raymond Serra
Juani
Daniel Jordano
Tony
Kenny Marino

Director
Amos Poe