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Blow (film): Wikis



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Directed by Ted Demme
Produced by Ted Demme
Denis Leary
Joel Stillerman
Written by Nick Cassavetes
David McKenna
Starring Johnny Depp
Jordi Mollà
Penélope Cruz
Ray Liotta
Paul Reubens
Franka Potente
Rachel Griffiths
Ethan Suplee
Cliff Curtis
Emma Roberts
Cinematography Ellen Kuras
Editing by Kevin Tent
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) April 6, 2001 (2001-04-06)
Running time 124 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $53 million
Gross revenue $83,282,296 [1]

Blow is a 2001 biopic about the American cocaine smuggler George Jung, directed by Ted Demme (his final film). David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes adapted Bruce Porter's 1993 book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All for the screenplay. It is based on the real life stories of George Jung, Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder, and the Medellín Cartel. The film's title comes from a slang term for cocaine.



The film opens to a young George and his parents Fred (Ray Liotta) and Ermine (Rachel Griffiths). Fred files for bankruptcy and loses everything. Fred tries to instill George with a belief that money is not important.

A grown-up George (Johnny Depp) moves to Southern California with his friend "Tuna" (Ethan Suplee) and they plan to earn a living by selling marijuana with the help of Barbara Buckley (Franka Potente), girlfriend of George who introduces them to her friend/entrepreneur Derek Foreal (Paul Reubens), the main dealer. With Derek's help, George and Tuna make a lot of money. Kevin Dulli (Max Perlich), a college student back in Boston who is a friend, visits them and tells them of the enormous demand for pot in Boston. With the help of Barbara, an airline stewardess, they start bringing the drugs to Boston.

As the demand grows, they decide to start buying the drugs directly from Mexico with the help of a few Mexican drug lords. George then proceeds on to Chicago to do business, but is caught trying to import 660 pounds of marijuana and he is sentenced to two years. George skips bail to take care of Barbara, who is suffering from, and eventually succumbs to, cancer

While hiding from the authorities George visits his parents back in Massachusetts. While he is having a heart to heart talk with his father, George's mother calls the police who come and arrest him.

George is now sentenced to twenty-six months in a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. His cellmate Diego Delgado (Jordi Molla) has contacts in the cocaine trade in Colombia and convinces George to help him go into business. When George gets out of prison, he violates his parole conditions and heads down to Cartagena, Colombia to meet up with Diego. They meet with Cesar Rosa, who represents Pablo Escobar, and negotiate the terms for smuggling 50 kilograms for "good faith". As the smuggling operation grows, Diego gets arrested, leaving George to find a way to sell 55 kilograms of blow and get the money in time. He reconnects with Derek in California, and the two successfully sell all of it in 36 hours, amassing a $1.35 million profit. George is then whisked off to Medellin, Colombia, where he finally meets Pablo Escobar (Cliff Curtis) who agrees to go into business with George and Diego. With the help of main middleman Derek, the pair becomes Pablo's #1 importer. After an altercation with Diego over his "connection", who happened to be Derek (Diego pressured George to reveal his connection), and a drug-related collapse, George returns home and vows to leave the drug business forevermore, especially as he now has a daughter.

All goes well with George's civilian lifestyle for five years, until his wife Mirtha (Penelope Cruz) organizes a 38th birthday party for him. Many of his former drug business associates attend, including Derek who reconciles with George after it is revealed that Diego cut him off of their deal. The party is raided by police and George is arrested. Following his conviction, he becomes a fugitive dodging his court date. His wife Mirtha causes him to be arrested while driving one night. He is sent to jail for three years and during that sentence Mirtha gives him the news that she wants a divorce and she wants custody of their nine year old daughter, Kristina Sunshine Jung. On his release he finds himself struggling to keep a relationship with his daughter on good terms.

George promises his daughter Kristina (Emma Roberts) a vacation in California and goes into one last deal to garner enough money for the trip. On the deal, he is set up by the FBI and DEA, along with old accomplices, and sentenced to 60 years at Otisville Correctional Facility in upstate New York. He explains in the end that the sentence did not bother him, nor did the fact that he was betrayed by his accomplices "to save their own asses" bother him, so much as the emotional damage he caused on those he loved (especially his daughter) and how his ambition exceeded his talent.

In prison, his lawyer says that his request for a furlough for George to see his dying father was squashed by his unforgiving mother, who says it would only upset him. He is given a tape recorder to record a final message to his father. In the message, George recounts his memories of working with his father, his run-ins with the law, and how finally, too late, does he realize what his father meant when his said that money is not important.

The film closes with George being an old man in prison, imagining that his daughter finally comes to visit him and conversing with him. She slowly fades away as a guard calls for George indicating that she is not real and just an illusion. The film concludes with notes indicating that Jung is still in prison, his sentence not to expire until 2015, and his daughter, disgusted at his crimes, refuses to speak to him or visit him, with the final imagery being a photograph of the actual George Jung, an aged and ruined convict.



Blow's soundtrack is a compilation of songs and artists from the 1970s, such as: "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" by The Rolling Stones,"All the Tired Horses" by Bob Dylan, "Rumble" by Link Wray, "Glad and Sorry" by Faces, "Strange Brew" by Cream, "Black Betty" by Ram Jam, "Blinded By the Light" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band, "Let's Boogaloo" by Willie Rosario, "Keep It Comin' Love" by KC & the Sunshine Band, Yellow World, "That Smell" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, "Can't You See" The Marshall Tucker Band, and "Push & Pull" by Nikka Costa.

Film music composer Graeme Revell also composed the original score for the film.[2] However, his work -along with others'- was not released in the soundtrack CD. For example, the music in the scene where George Jung knows that his girl friend is going to die from cancer, a track titled "Little Ditty" written and performed by Paul Wagner, is missing in the soundtrack album.


Blow was a minor box office success. With a budget of roughly $53 million, it managed to rake in just under $53 million domestically, but raised just over $30 million internationally for a worldwide total of $83,282,296.[3]

Reviews for Blow were decidedly mixed. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the film has received a rating of 54%, which is "rotten".[4] Many critics were quick to compare Blow to previous films such as Scarface, Goodfellas, and Boogie Nights, which contained similar plot lines and took place in approximately the same time period (i.e. late 1970s, early 1980s). Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film a positive review, praising Ted Demme's direction, Johnny Depp's performance, and the screenplay that tells a story without placing any sort of moral judgment on Jung.[5]

Roger Ebert noted the film for its acting and direction as well, but questioned the value about making Jung the subject of this film: "That's the thing about George [Jung]. He thinks it's all about him. His life, his story, his success, his fortune, his lost fortune, his good luck, his bad luck. Actually, all he did was operate a toll gate between suppliers and addicts. You wonder, but you never find out, if the reality of those destroyed lives ever occurred to him."[6]


Ray Liotta and Rachel Griffiths play Johnny Depp's father and mother, despite Liotta being fewer than nine years his senior and Griffiths almost six years younger than Depp.


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Blow is a 2001 film about an American cocaine smuggler. It is based on the real-life story of George Jung, Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder and the Medellín Cartel.

Directed by Ted Demme. Written by David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes.



George Jung (Johnny Depp) wants to be rich as fast as he can. He starts dealing with marijuana with his girlfriend Barbara (Franka Potente). And so the whole westcoast of California gets its drugs from him. But then Barbara dies and George gets inprisoned because of dealing. In prison he gets to know Diego and because of Diego he gets to know the colombian Medellin-Cartel and the drug-king Pablo Escobar. George starts to be part of the real big drug-business: cocaine. Nearly every gram that's in the USA comes from him. When he meets his big love (Penélope Cruz) in Colombia and when his friend Diego betrays him, George wants to stop dealing, but he has to learn that relations like that...can't be quit that easily....

George Jung

  • (to Judge) I crossed an imaginary line with a bunch of plants!
  • 15 kilos? I PISS 15 kilos.
  • ... maybe it was the Colombian guestlist... or the cocaine buffet...
  • This is grade:A, 100% pure Colombian cocaine, ladies and gentlemen. Disco shit. Pure as the driven snow.
  • May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face. And may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars.
  • It was the greatest feeling I ever had. Followed very abruptly by the worst feeling I ever had.
  • The official toxicity limit for humans is between one and one and half grams of cocaine depending on body weight. I was averaging five grams a day, maybe more. I snorted ten grams in ten minutes once. I guess I had a high tolerance.
  • Life passes most people by while they're busy making grand plans for it.
  • Throughout my lifetime I've left pieces of my heart here and there. And now, there's almost barely enough to stay alive. But I force a smile, knowing that my ambition far exceeded my talent.
  • You're my heart, kid. Now, can I live without my heart?
  • Danbury wasn't a prison, it was a crime school. I went in with a Bachelor of marijuana, came out with a Doctorate of cocaine.

Fred Jung

  • Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on.
  • Money isn't real, George. It doesn't matter. It only seems like it does.
  • Let me tell you something, George: you'd have been great at anything.

Inmate 1

  • Shit, I'm in this bitch for life.

Inmate 2

  • Mother fucker I'm a criminal, ain't nobody givin' me no fuckin' job.
  • You don't know dick about smugglin' no damn drugs.

Diego Delgado

  • Happy to see you George, my brother.


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