Ganging Up On Gangster
Revelations that most of the screenplay of American Gangster is based on rumors and speculation and contains untrue accounts of what actually occurred could crush the film's Oscar chances, the Associated Press observed Thursday in a feature story that contradicted many of the allegations in the movie. The wire service noted, for example, that Frank Lucas, the '70s' drug lord depicted in the movie by Denzel Washington, never employed caskets of Vietnam casualties to smuggle heroin and never provided information that led to the arrests of narcotics officers. A.P. quoted Judge Sterling Johnson Jr., a special narcotics prosecutor in Lucas's case, as saying, "The picture is 1 percent reality and 99 percent Hollywood." Former DEA agent Jack Toal told A.P.: "[Lucas] was my informant for years. ... He never mentioned any crooked DEA agent or cop." Lucas himself was quoted as saying, "I never testified on nobody." He also dismissed the suggestion that New Jersey police detective Richard Roberts, played by Russell Crowe, was the person who brought him down. "They wanted a white boy," Lucas said of the character.