[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/gangs_of_new_york_ver4.jpg]]
-> ''Mulberry Street... and Worth... Cross and Orange... and Little Water. Each of the Five Points is a finger. When I close my hand it becomes a fist. And, any time that I wish, I can turn it against you.''
--> -- '''Bill The Butcher'''

A 2002 American historical film by Creator/MartinScorsese based on a 1928 nonfiction book of the same name.

It's 1846, and rival gangs are [[BigApplesauce fighting over]] [[WretchedHive the Five Points]] [[UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity district]]. Priest Vallon (Creator/LiamNeeson) leads the "Dead Rabbits", the gang of Irish-Catholic immigrants. [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Bill]] "TheButcher" [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Cutting]] (Creator/DanielDayLewis)leads the anti-immigrant "Natives". During a bloody battle, Bill kills Priest and declares the Dead Rabbits outlawed as Priest's young son Amsterdam watches.

15 years later, Amsterdam (Creator/LeonardoDiCaprio) returns to the Five Points and infiltrates Bill's gang with his childhood friend Johnny's help, [[TheInfiltration working his way into Bill's inner circle]]. Bill, who never recognizes Amsterdam as the son of his old rival, takes him in as a favorite and mentors him. Amsterdam secretly plots his revenge, but doubts his motivation after saving Bill from an assassin. Amsterdam and Johnny's shared attraction for Jenny, a pretty pickpocket and con artist, further complicates matters.

All of this is set against the backdrop of the [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar Civil War]] and political corruption of the 19th century. The feel of the era is firmly established through small touches, such as Bill's gang mocking a theatre performance of ''UncleTomsCabin'', and the rampant racism of Civil War America is prevalent throughout the film. Bill maintains most of his power through an uneasy alliance with the Tammany Hall political machine; a critical turning point occurs when Amsterdam [[EnemyMine wins Tammany to his side]] by promising him the Irish vote. The film's climax occurs as the New York Draft Riots break out and the U.S. government resorts to violence to stop the insurrection.

Ends in a famous TimePassesMontage featuring the changing skyline of New York over the years, which caused the director no end of [[ExecutiveMeddling hassle]] in the wake of 9/11.
----
!!This film provides examples of:

* ActionGirl: Jenny is more than capable of taking care of herself. There's also [[WolverineClaws Hell-cat]] [[GirlWithPsychoWeapon Maggie]].
** Heck, there are several unnamed female Dead Rabbits in the opening battle scene.
* ActionPrologue: The fight between Bill's gang and the Dead Rabbits at the beginning.
* AdaptationExpansion: The book was a sociological study. It had no plot, and certainly no Amsterdam or Jenny.
* AffablyEvil: Provided you're not an immigrant, Bill the Butcher seems like he'd be a pretty fun guy to hang around. Even if you are, he'll let you hang with him if you're useful enough. But don't ever enter his presence without some offering of tribute. You gotta pay for his company.
* AlasPoorScrappy: In-universe, after spending all the movie treating him like crap, Bill finally says something nice about [[spoiler:Happy Jack]] to Boss Tweed when he finds his corpse strung on a lamp post.
-->'''Bill:''' I could spare ten of you much easier than I could spare him.
* AllAreEqualInDeath: In the end, all of the victims from the Draft Riots get the same barebones burial, despite their race, nationality, social class, or gang alliance.
* AluminiumChristmasTrees: "The Butcher" is shown working, indeed, as a butcher. By the time this scene comes out he has been well established as a ruthless murderer and crime lord, increasing the surprise.
** This can apply to a number of things in the movie; modern audiences can be shocked and appalled by how New York really was in the 1860's, looking at modern New York now it's almost unbelievable. And yet the film, though taking a few creative liberties, is largely accurate.
** [[SlidingScaleOfShinyVersusGritty But surprisingly]] ''[[SlidingScaleOfShinyVersusGritty clean]]''...
* AmusingInjuries: RunningGag with [=McGloin=]
* AnachronismStew: While Scorsese [[ShownTheirWork definitely did the research]], he noted that the film is intended to be more of an "operatic" myth than a documentary, as a result, he felt free to mix and match [[RuleOfCool cooler-sounding]] elements of various historical accounts that didn't coexist in real life.
** Scorsese says his inspiration came from running into a basement in Little Italy while [[BrooklynRage avoiding a beating]], and discovering that [[BeneathTheEarth the basements of the "modern" buildings]] built on top of lower Manhattan looked like the catacombs depicted in the film.
* AntagonistInMourning: Literally. Bill keeps a shrine of Priest Vallon and celebrates his defeat respectfully and mournfully every year.
* AntiClimax: [[spoiler: The battle between Bill's nativists and Amsterdam's revived Dead Rabbits never happens because the supposed background story overtakes the main story. [[{{Deconstruction}} Contrary to cliche movie logic, the problems of two people really don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.]]]]
* AntiHero: Duh.
* AntiVillain: Bill is a Type 1. He's a vicious, racist nutjob, but he has a sense of honor and a few PetTheDog moments.
* AnyoneCanDie: By the end of the movie [[spoiler: Happy Jack, Johnny, Monk, Jimmy Spoils, [=McGloin=], Shang, Hellcat Maggie and Bill are all dead.]]
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking[=/=]FalseConfession: Boss Tweed needs four hangings to keep crime down, and Bill obliges by getting him four (willing?) petty criminals (?) to hang. One takes pride in being hung in front of his family, since they will be paid for his execution.
-->'''Judge:''' You stand here convicted of lewdness, jackrolling, sneak thievery, chloral hydrating, sodomy, strangulation and enthusiastic corruption of the public good.
* AssholeVictim: [[spoiler: Specifically [=McGloin=], during the draft riots. In general most of the rioters could count, it's hard to feel sympathy for them after they start murdering black men and burning down random buildings, mugging people on the street, and invading homes and businesses.]]
** RuleOfSymbolism: [=McGloin=] fought for both the Dead Rabbits and Nativists. The irony does not escape either Bill of his fate, being killed by a third party.
* BadassBoast: Just read the top of the page. Especially badass because he's saying this to a powerful politician, the (in)famous Boss Tweed, while on Tweed's home turf. That takes balls.
* BadassLongcoat: In his stovepipe hat and "duster" coat, Bill looks like the world's dirtiest circus ringmaster.
** Priest Vallon also sports a black one at the beginning of the movie. It stands out against the white snow on the ground.
* BadassMustache: Bill the Butcher and his prominant handlebar mustache certainly qualify.
* BadassPreacher: Invoked with "Priest" Vallon who is not an actual priest or clergyman but still goes around carrying a Celtic cross and wearing a priest collar to protect his name. But played straight with the Bishop.
--> '''[=McGloin=]:''' Did you know there's a nigger in the church?!!
--> ''(Bishop smacks him across the head with his Crosier)''
* BeautyIsNeverTarnished: When you've got LeonardoDiCaprio in your film...
** This is emphasized the most when [[spoiler: Bill the Butcher captures him and claims that he will disfigure him with a hot knife. We cut to people gasping at Amsterdam (Di Caprio) in disgust... only to see that Di Caprio looks as handsome as ever with only the slightest cut on his cheek.]] It was a very {{Narm}}ful scene for some.
** To the film's credit however, it does showcase plenty of dirt and grime amongst the three leading actors. One such notable instance includes [[spoiler: the scene in which Amsterdam finally kills Bill; his face is ''drenched'' in blood, as is the rest of him.]] Bill and Jenny don't fare too much better through the riots either.
* BecomingTheMask: See WhatYouAreInTheDark.
* BerserkButton: After being shot in the shoulder by a Gaelic-speaking assassin, Bill goes ballistic. [[ClusterFBomb "You mother-whoring Irish nigger!....you see this knife! I'm gonna make you speak English with this fucking knife!"]]
** Later, when Bill is dealing with [[spoiler:Amsterdam's betrayal]], the latter spits blood in Bill's face. Bill goes absolutely livid and unleashes a barrage of headbutts before he continues.
* TheBerserker[=/=]UnflinchingWalk: Monk's style of combat during the first battle between Priest Vallon and Bill the Butcher. He walks around, ignoring any danger to himself, and just gets his clubs in.
* BigApplesauce
* BigBad: Cutting.
* BigLippedAlligatorMoment: [[invoked]] In-universe example. The escaped elephant from Barnum's circus during the riots, as Amsterdam and company stop during their march to just stare in bewilderment, providing the final proof that the world really has gone mad.
* TheBigRottenApple: 19th century New York at its most squalid.
* BittersweetEnding: [[spoiler: Amsterdam finally gets gets his revenge and kills Bill, and he leaves New York with Jenny. But New York was devastated by the draft riots, and both sides are dead. Despite this, New York will be rebuilt.]]
* BlackComedy: Has its share -- for instance, Bill casually chatting up a friend as he walks to the gallows and buying his mother's locket from him.
* BlackVikings: Chinese in 1863 New York. Specifically, although there were some back then, they were not enough to have their own community.
* BlatantLies: Johnny tries to claim that he let Jenny steal his pocket watch when he and Amsterdam first meet her. Amsterdamn isn't fooled for a second.
* BloodKnight: Bill revels in combat, especially the kind involving {{kni|feNut}}ves and cleavers and other sharp blades in general.
* BloodlessCarnage: Averted. The gang war in the opening scene leaves the snow-covered ground pink with everyone's blood.
* BondOneLiner: "That, my friends, is the ''minority'' vote."
* BookEnds: Amsterdam receiving praise from both of his father/mentor figures:
** The first Natives/Dead Rabbits brawl in 1846:
--> '''Priest Vallon (showing a medal of the Archangel Michael)''': And what did he do?
--> '''Young Amsterdam''': He cast Satan out of Paradise.
--> '''Priest Vallon''': Good boy.
** Then, the gang council before the second brawl in 1863:
--> '''Bill the Butcher (discussing permitted weapons)''': Bricks, bats, axes, knives... pistols?
--> '''Amsterdam''': No... no pistols.
--> '''Bill the Butcher''': Good boy.
* BoomerangBigot: The Irish-Catholic [=McGloin=], who joins up with the "Natives" in order to acquire more power on the streets.
** His alliance with Bill is also heavily influenced by his hatred of blacks.
* BrooklynRage: Lower East Side Rage, actually. Brooklyn was mostly farmland at the time.
* TheButcher, Bill
* ButtMonkey: [=McGloin=] is this to Bill.
--> '''Bill''': "Don't mind him, he used to be an Irishman."
** Mulraney is this even more so. When Mulraney escorts a group of aristocrats through the Points, Bill goes out of his way to undermine Mulraney's credibility and make him look like a total putz.
* ByronicHero: Bill Cutting, if there ever was one.
* CallingMeALogarithm: Subverted when a characters asks Amsterdam and his friends if they take exception to being called "fidlam bens". He replies that he might if he knew what it meant. (Now, if it means "chiselers", then yes, he is offended.)
* TheCameo: Director Scorsese is the head of an upper-class household that Jennie robs while pretending to be a housemaid.
* CardCarryingVillain: Bill is well-aware that his beliefs are incompatible with the future, and doesn't really mind change - and it's hinted he ''welcomes'' it - but not in '''''his''''' lifetime.
* CarryABigStick: Monk, whose weapon of choice is a shillelagh, with a notch for every person he's killed.
* CharacterFilibuster: Bill has a long one while talking to Amsterdam after their night at a brothel, discussing his life's story while [[{{Eagleland}} draped in an American flag]].
* ChewingTheScenery: Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill the Butcher.
-->"What'll it be then? Rib or chop? loin or shank?!"
:::And:
-->"I'll paint Paradise square with his blood. ''Two coats!'' I'll festoon my bedchamber with his guts."
* TheCityNarrows: The Five Points in RealLife!
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: Bill, at least in the theater scene and in a less comical fashion than is usually portrayed. After nearly being assassinated by a Gaelic-speaking radical, he screams in pain (reasonably enough), [[{{Squick}} then sticks his finger into the bullet hole and tastes his own blood]], lets loose a monumental ClusterFBomb and furiously demands that the captured assassin speak English or he will kill him. Then, when he realizes that both the other audience members and the actors on stage are staring at him, he immediately calms down and graciously says: "Tragedians, let us continue." (See also SophisticatedAsHell.)
* ColorCodedCharacters: The Natives wear blue sashes while the Irish wear red sashes, like the Bloods and the Crips.
** Partly TruthInTelevision, only in real life it was just a stripe on their pants.
* CostumePorn: The upper class are only in it for twenty minutes, yet the lower class clothes and all their pretty colours are on full display for most of the time.
* CoveredWithScars: Amsterdam has scars on his chest when revealed in a shirtless scene, which he got while in reform school. [[spoiler: Bill the Butcher later gives him one on his cheek.]]
* CrapsackWorld: New York City of the 1860's is not a fun place, much less the Five Points.
* CruelMercy: Priest Vallon once beat Bill nearly to death and then spared him, intending him to live in shame. [[spoiler: Bill later turns this around on Amsterdam after publicly humiliating and disfiguring him]].
* CultureClash: Particularly between "natives" and immigrants, mixed with racism, UrbanSegregation, poverty
* DamnItFeelsGoodToBeAGangster: As Bill's protege, Amsterdam gets to wear fine clothes and gets invited to a cotillion.
* DarkerAndEdgier: Find any movie or tv show set in the 19th United States that's darker, and more unflinching in it's portrayal of the problems of the culture.
* DastardlyWhiplash: The [[BadassMoustache moustachio-twirling]], [[NiceHat top-hatted]] Bill the Butcher could be Snidely Whiplash's uncle. [[ReconstructedTrope His very, very scary uncle.]]
* DeathEqualsRedemption: Amsterdam seems to forgive [[spoiler: Johnny]] when he dies.
* DeathOfTheHypotenuse: [[spoiler: Johnny in a case of death by Butcher.]]
* DeliberateValuesDissonance: The examples are legion. Chinese immigrants are physically (and violently) prevented from voting. Two rival city fire departments brawl in the street instead of actually putting out the fire. The welfare state is nonexistent, as the only people who give a damn about the sufferings of the slum inhabitants are church leaders and opportunistic "do-gooders" like Boss Tweed. And the only action taken against the threat of epidemic disease is ''squirting antibiotic gunk all over the streets from time to time''.
* DirtyCop: "Happy" Jack Mulraney. Given the place and time period, it's to be expected.
* DoesntLikeGuns - Bill the Butcher doesn't like to use guns when he fights, preferring to stick to [[KnifeNut meat cleavers and butcher's knives]], because he follows a strict code of honor. His arch-rival Priest Vallon held the same belief, so when Bill's Natives faced off against Vallon's Dead Rabbits the fight included just about every weapon ''but'' guns. This also goes for later in the movie when young Amsterdam Vallon and the resurrected Dead Rabbits negotiate a duel with Bill's gang, and when agreeing on what weapons will be allowed, Amsterdam specifies that there will be no pistols, to which Bill replies "Good boy."
** SecretTestOfCharacter: Bill actually suggests pistols to him, prompting Amsterdam to refuse them.
* TheDragon: "Happy Jack" Mulraney to Bill
* DragonInChief: Cutting to Boss Tweed.
* TheDreaded: Bill "The Butcher" Cutting actively cultivates this impression of him in everyone in order to maintain his power and even just to survive.
-->'''Bill:''' I'm 47. 47 years old. Know how I stayed alive this long? All these years? Fear. The spectacle of fearsome acts. Somebody steals from me: I [[AnArmAndALeg cut off his hands]]. He offends me: I [[TongueTrauma cut out his tongue]]. He rises against me: I cut off his head, [[DeadGuyOnDisplay stick it on a pike]]. Raise it high up [[DecapitationPresentation so all in the streets can see]]. That's what [[LawfulEvil preserves the order of things]]. Fear.
* DualWielding: When the rioters attack his manor, Schermerhorn attacks them with two pistols. It ends up being AwesomeButImpractical as the rioters attack him before he can reload either gun.
** During the opening melee, Bill charges into the fray with a cleaver in one hand and a machete-sized butcher's knife in the other, using both to kill dozens of Dead Rabbits.
* DuelToTheDeath: Bill vs. Priest; later, Bill vs. Amsterdam.
* DullSurprise: Amsterdam, for someone with a "murderous rage" in him, is pretty bland.
** [[TranquilFury Maybe there's just no more heat to his anger?]]
* EnemyMine: Nativists and Dead Rabbits can be seen fighting together when the Army attacks New York.
** Considering you have Dead Rabbits in the Nativists (like [=McGloin=]) already, and the fact that despite all his rantings about the Irish, Cutting is a second-generation Irish himself, it's not surprising.
** [=McGloin=]'s death at the hands of the soldiers enrages a Dead Rabbit into attacking them, despite the fact that he was with the Nativists.
* EpicMovie: This was to be Scorsese's EpicMovie, and chef d'ouevre. ExecutiveMeddling caused it to be cut down some, and the acting of the romantic leads has led to mixed critical reception. It's nevertheless every inch an epic film though.
* EyeScream: Bill taps a knife against his glass eye, an effect that was actually improvised by Daniel Day-Lewis with the help of an extra-thick contact lens. Not to mention that Bill says he plucked the eye out himself and mailed it to Priest Vallon because he wasn't able to look the Priest in the eye during his first defeat.
* [[EyepatchOfPower Glass Eye of Power]] : Bill's glass eye has [[CaptainGeographic an American Eagle]] instead of a pupil.
* EndOfAnAge: Bill laments the death of the old ways, and the birth of the impersonal modern era. [-''"Civilization is crumbling."''-]
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Bill absolutely despises liars, cheats, backstabbers and dishonourable behaviour in general.
** [=McGloin=] does not look kindly upon selling corpses for cash.
* FamousLastWords: "Thank God, I die a true American." Bill the Butcher's last words, both in RealLife and in the film.[[note]]Though their fictional and real life deaths do not mirror each other precisely; for one, William Poole, the Butcher's insperation, died eight years earlier. [[/note]]
* FinalBattle: Lampshaded.
* FloatingHeadSyndrome: [[MisplacedNamesPoster With jumbled names to boot!]] I never knew that Cameron Diaz had such a cool moustache!
* FoeCooties: "I'm not interested in The Butcher's leavings."
* FourthWallPsych: After killing [[spoiler: Monk]], Bill looks into the camera to say, "That, my friends, is the [[{{Pun}} minority vote]]." [[spoiler: He's actually talking to the people inside the barber shop.]]
* FriendlyLocalChinatown: Where you get to listen to endearingly bizarre "ching-chong" opera music and ogle strumpets imprisoned in birdcages.
* {{Gangsterland}}: Everybody in the Five Points is either in one of the gangs or has been bribed into doing the gangs' bidding. Even priests, missionaries, politicians and rich people are involved wit them.
** Even firefighter companies behave like gangs, fighting each other instead of putting out a fire.
* GenreBusting : Screenwriter Jay Cocks described the film as a "Western from Mars", its a reimagination of the past as a post-apocalyptic wasteland, with violent urban street gangs in a context with real menace and violence rather than WestSideStory, and a focus and interest on UrbanSegregation that would make sociologists and anthropologists proud. Scorsese indeed hoped that the film would launch a new genre to replace TheWestern, believing that stories in this landscape will have increasing resonance in the years to come.
* GirlWithPsychoWeapon: Hell-cat Maggie has WolverineClaws.
* GoodOldFisticuffs: Amsterdam's fight with [=McGloin=]. {{Justified|Trope}} as the usual way of resolving disputes between men that doesn't involve knives or guns.
* GoodScarsEvilScars: Bill has a glass eye; later, he [[spoiler: brands Amsterdam's face with a hot knife]].
* GoryDiscretionShot: Bill [[spoiler: caving in Monk's head with his own shillelagh]].
* GroinAttack: Jenny uses this against Amsterdam. He doesn't go down for the count though.
* HatOfAuthority: One can easily tell the person's standing in a gang by the size of their top hat. Bill "the Butcher" has the tallest stovepipe hat of all.
* HiddenDepths: It's strongly hinted Bill knows that his way of thinking is dying, and even accepts it. He simply refuses to live in the "modern world" that is coming.
* HighHeelFaceTurn: Apparently sleeping with Amsterdam is all it takes to make Jenny turn against the man who cared for her and rescued her from a life of prostitution and misery.
** Various snips of dialog (such as her saying she's been secretly saving up money) imply she'd been looking for a way out for awhile now and merely needed an opportunity and excuse. Perhaps not entirely surprising given Bill's somewhat choleric temperament.
* HistoricalInJoke: "Now ''that'' was bloody Shakespearean. Do you know who Creator/WilliamShakespeare was? He was the fellow who wrote the King James Bible."
** African beats mixed with the Irish jig ("A jig doing a jig", says Bill), and you get the origins of tap dancing.
** An Irishman could never be a sheriff. Sure, boy-o.
* HonorBeforeReason: This is pretty much Johnny's undoing. [[spoiler:He tips Bill off that Amsterdam plans to murder him, and Amsterdam is generous enough to prove Johnny right that same evening. After the assassination attempt failed, Johnny ought to have been sitting pretty favorably in Bill's eye. But then Johnny's guilty conscience impels him to rejoin Amsterdam's crew and, further, to confess his betrayal. Amsterdam turns him out on his ear, and when Bill's men sieze Johnny, the Butcher evidently decides his loyalty isn't worth too much. If Johnny had just stuck with Bill after ratting Amsterdam out, he might've been a lot less sympathetic, but he'd also have been a lot less dead.]]
* HookerWithAHeartOfGold: Jenny
* HopeSpot: Monk wins against a Nativist candidate for the position of sheriff in a [[strike:fair]] election, but [[spoiler: Bill kills him anyway]].
* {{Hypocrite}}: For all of Bill's talk about honor and traditional laws of combat, his primary method of attack is sneaking up behind his enemy to stab them.
** For that matter, for all his hatred of the Irish, he himself was of Irish descent.
* IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace: Hell Gate Reformatory in the Bronx.
* IKissYourHand: Bill the Butcher kisses the hand of an uptown girl visiting the sleazy Five Points, complimenting her perfume.
* IWorkAlone: Said verbatim by Jenny when Amsterdam offers to team up with her in the rich district.
* ImperiledInPregnancy: Jenny's baby was cut out of her after she got pregnant from Bill the Butcher, leaving a big nasty scar on her body and her traumatized.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Bill and throwing knives.
* IncrediblyConspicuousDrag: PlayedForLaughs when an incredibly obvious transvestite (stubble and all) shows up to a dance where males are paired with females. He, of course, goes to the "female" side.
* InformedDeformity: When Bill has [[spoiler:Amsterdam]] at his mercy, he describes the hellish ways in which he will disfigure him with his knife. When we next see him, he is walking down the street with his face obscured but several onlookers stare in horror, implying Bill stuck to his word. When the camera pans around, there doesn't seem to be much of a difference aside from a slight scar on his cheek that is hardly noticeable.
* InTheBack: [[spoiler: Bill the Butcher throws a meat cleaver into Monk's back after he is elected sheriff, before beating Monk to death with his own shillelagh.]]
* InTheNameOfTheMoon: The street warriors all call out their gang names before battle.
* TheIrishMob: Depicted in their early days as a street-gang mostly concerned with protecting the Irish Catholic immigrant community from hostile Protestants.
* IrishPriest: Priest Vallon of course.
* {{Irony}}: Bill spits when a Tammany representative tells him he will be rewarded for bringing Irishmen to the polls, and says he will not play a part in handing the country over to those who played no part in fighting for it; cut to newly arrived Irishmen being made to sign enlistment papers and given guns and uniforms along with their application for citizenship, and getting on a troopship while coffins are being offloaded.
** Most of the Bill's hatred for the Irish is hilarious considering Day-Lewis himself is a naturalised Irish Citizen.
** A more meta example of Irony is that Day-Lewis was cast as Lincoln over a decade later in ''{{Film/Lincoln}}''
* IronicEcho: Happy Jack hangs his watch on a lamp post, to demonstrate no one will touch it. [[spoiler: Jack's ''corpse'' is hung from a lamp post after Amsterdam kills him.]]
* ItMayHelpYouOnYourQuest: Monk gives Vallon his father's rusty shaving razor.
* LargeHam: Daniel Day-Lewis must have been enjoying himself.
-->"'''WHO IS THIS UNDER MY KNIFE?!?!'''"
-->"'''I'M GOING TO TEACH YOU TO SPEAK ENGLISH WITH THIS FUCKING KNIFE!!!!'''"
-->"'''WHOOPSIE-DAISY!!!!'''"
-->'''"IT'S ELECTION DAY!!!"'''
** [=McGloin=] does his share of scenery chewing.
--->"'''DIDJA KNOW THERE'S A ''NIGGER'' IN THE CHURCH?!'''" ''([[ShutUpHannibal Whack!]])''
* KarmicDeath: An entire Union flank turns it's attention to resident JerkAss, [=McGloin=].
* KickTheDog: Bill stabbing [[spoiler:Monk]] InTheBack with a butcher knife.
* KillEmAll: And how.
* KillThePoor: As tensions come closer to exploding, Schermerhorn casually states his belief that you can always hire half the poor to kill the other half.
* KnifeNut: Bill "The Butcher" Cutting. Amsterdam trains himself to be an expert at throwing knives.
* KnifeThrowingAct: Bill stages an impropmtu one with Jenny as the target.
* KnightInSourArmor: Monk. Not that he doesn't know better, the poor bastard.
* MeaningfulName: ''Amsterdam'' Vallon. New Amsterdam, of course, was the original name of New York. The irony doesn't escape Bill's notice.
--> '''Bill the Butcher''': Amsterdam? [[UsefulNotes/LEtatCestMoi I'm New York]].
** Last but certainly not least, is Bill "TheButcher" Cutting.
* MeltingPot: Lampshaded by Bill watching a black youth dancing on a table.
-->'''Bill:''' Look at that. What in Christ's name is that? Rythms of the [[DarkestAfrica dark continent]], thrown into the kettle with an [[{{Oireland}} irish shindig]]. Stir it around a few times, pour it out as a fine American mess. A [[NWordPrivileges jig]] doing a jig.
* MercyKill: [[spoiler: Johnny]]. Also, Bill does this to Priest Vallon at the start of the film when he tells his son not to look away.
* MinorInsultMeltdown: Bill the Butcher during the knife throwing act. "Whoopsie-daisy!"
* MobWar
* MortalWoundReveal: During the final battle, after the duel is interrupted by cannon fire and the smoke clears, Bill the Butcher and Amsterdam sit up. It's revealed that [[spoiler: Bill the Butcher]] has a shrapnel wound in his gut.
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Johnny betrays Amsterdam when he realizes she has eyes for Amsterdam and not him.
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: His last name is "Cutting." And everyone refers to him as "The Butcher."
* NiceHat: Bill the Butcher sports a stylish top, as do a few of his associates.
** Ultra tall pimped-out stovepipe hats became associated with gangsterism after upper-class kids [[OlderThanTheyThink started imitating]] the foppish Bowery Boys and hanging out in Astor Place.
* NiceJobBreakingItHerod: ''Twice'' by Bill.
* NobleDemon: Bill, oh so much.
* NoDoubtTheYearsHaveChangedMe: Bill would never have recognized Amsterdam on his own.
* NoNameGiven: Bill is always accompanied by three nameless thugs who don't utter a single line between the three through the whole movie.
* NotSoDifferent: Bill on the Priest.
-->'''Bill:''' The Priest and me, we lived by the same principles. It was only faith divided us.
** Amsterdam dismisses the rich families like the Schermerhorns and Greeleys in the north of Manhattan as "rich gang members".
** Amsterdam and Bill. Compare Bill's backstory and Amsterdam's arc [[spoiler: post-beatdown]].
* NotWorthKilling: [[spoiler: Amsterdam]] gets off with a nasty scar, though. Foreshadowed by Bill's speech about the Priest doing the same thing to him. Jenny also qualifies during the KnifeThrowingAct.
* OfficerOHara: Mulroney.
* TheOnlyOneAllowedToDefeatYou: Played straight -- Bill the Butcher and Vallon. Lampshaded when [[spoiler:[[ShootTheShaggyDog their climactic battle is rudely interrupted by a naval bombardment of the city.]]]] Bill [[DiscussedTrope discusses it]] on several occasions as being part of his "ancient laws of combat".
* OohMeAccentsSlipping: Cameron Diaz is the most guilty of this, but she's only the ''most'' guilty. Meanwhile you have English method-Nazi Daniel Day-Lewis, who listened to ancient recordings of William Jennings Bryan to get a better approximation of a New York accent ''that doesn't even exist anymore''. Justified for Amsterdam, who "lost his language" after living for sixteen years in an orphanage run by Americans, so a slip-up could be expected.
* OrphansPlotTrinket: Priest Vallon's shaving razor. It turns out Monk went rifling through Vallon's effects [[spoiler:[[ItMayHelpYouOnYourQuest to retrieve it for]]]] the orphaned Vallon years later.
* ParentalSubstitute: Bill to Amsterdam for a short while.
* PercussivePickpocket: Jenny does this to Amsterdam when they meet.
* PetTheDog: "She ain't really my mother."
** Bill talks to Arthur, one man about to be hanged, and offers him $1.50 for his late mother's locket. While this may seem petty and cruel, Bill then tells him genuinely, "I'll miss you, Arthur. See you in the Hot Country, shamus." Keep in mind, Bill is a ''Nativist'' who is giving a traditional Irish benediction.
* PoliceAreUseless: Though not for the expected reasons.
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: Averted. Amsterdam's gang includes a black member, who is taunted, scorned, and ultimately lynched.
* PoliticallyIncorrectVillain: Of course, [[ValuesDissonance it is the 1860's]], but still.
* PragmaticVillainy: [[SleazyPolitician Boss Tweed and]] [[CorruptPolitician his Tammany Hall cronies]] are appalled by Bill's actions, only because it's [[SlaveToPR bad for]] [[VillainWithGoodPublicity their appearances.]]
* PrecisionFStrike: "Heres da ting: I don't give a tuppeny fuck about your moral conundrum you meat-headed shit-sack. ...That's more or less da ting."
** "Mr. Tammany ''Fucking'' Hall..."
* PublicDomainCharacter: Boss Tweed, head of New York City's Tammany Hall Democratic machine and (therefore) more or less boss of working-class New York (rich people were, increasingly, Republicans). Bill is also based on a real person, but many more [[ArtisticLicense liberties]] are taken with him (including the name of the character) in order to make a compelling story.
** Likewise, Mr. Schermerhorn and Mr. Greeley
* PublicDomainSoundtrack: A few period songs, such as "Paddy's Lamentation".
* TheQuisling: Mulraney and [=McGloin=] have thrown their lot in with the natives after the end of the Dead Rabbits. It [[KarmicDeath comes back to bite them both]] later.
** Happy Jack, who sorts of becomes TheBrute
* RealityIsUnrealistic: the fight scenes contain no ramping, SlowMo or elaborate choreography and look ridiculous. People are punched and then fall over in an effect that is almost narmful, even though it's probably one of the most accurate depictions of a massive brawl in recent cinema. After seeing stylised fight scenes in movies, more genuine ones look ridiculous.
** Maggie the Cat may seem like a ridiculous charicature, but she was a real person and ''exactly'' as depicted in the film.
* RealMenLoveJesus: Priest Vallon, most of all. Bill is devout in his own way, and Amsterdam's rise to badassery is coupled with his reconnecting with his Catholic roots. Immediately before the final confrontation, we see Bill and Amsterdam praying.
* ReminiscingAboutYourVictims: Bill is always fond of remembering Priest Vallon.
* TheResenter: Johnny. [[spoiler: [[MurderTheHypotenuse It doesn't]] [[ForgivenessRequiresDeath end well.]]]]
* ResetButtonEnding ([[DistantFinale sort of]]):
-->[[spoiler: "But for those of us what lived and died in them furious days, it was like everything we knew was mildly swept away. And no matter what they did to build this city up again... for the rest of time... it would be like no one even knew we was ever here."]] Doubles as {{Tearjerker}}.
* TheReveal: The title card letting us now we're in New York 1846, after the introduction that seemed to have been lifted from the Dark Ages.
* {{Revenge}}
* TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized: The Draft Riots
* RocksFallEveryoneDies: The climactic gang fight [[spoiler: is interrupted by the U.S. Navy bombarding New York with cannon fire]].
* SceneryGorn
* SelfDeprecation: "I look as sober as my grandfather... He was a stinkin' drunk."
* ShootTheShaggyDog: The Union engagement of the mob reveals the ultimate [[spoiler:pointlessness of Bill and the Irish gangs' ancient code of ethnic vendettas and street combat, which has been rendered obsolete by]] the advent of the modern era.
* SlapSlapKiss: More like Kick Scramble Sex for [[spoiler: Jenny and Amsterdam]].
-->'''[[spoiler:Amsterdam Vallon]]:''' Is there anyone in the Five Points you ''haven't'' fucked?!
-->'''[[spoiler:Jenny Everdeane]]:''' Yes! '''''YOU!'''''
** Ends with a wafer-thin mint of WallBangHer.
* SleazyPolitician: Boss Tweed, natch.
-->Tweed: The appearance of the law must be upheld... ''especially'' when it is being broken.
* SleepWithOneEyeOpen: And Bill's only got one eye, which is why he says he never sleeps much.
* SlidingScaleOfShinyVersusGritty: Like ''Theatre/{{Oliver}}'' 's cleaned-up version of Victorian England, Scorsese's 1864 is surprisingly bright (the real New York of the 1860's, particularly the lowly Five Points district, would have had [[TheDungAges far more manure on the streets and pigs running around]]). Although there's a good deal of gritty in the characters.
** There's still a stark difference between how the Five Points look compared to how clean and bright uptown New York looks.
* SmugSnake: "Happy" Jack Mulraney is a totally loathsome little sod, who will quite complacently use his position as a policeman to beat up and extort bribes from the petty criminals of the Five Points, but is totally dominated by Bill.
** Boss Tweed, too. He ''tries'' to be a MagnificentBastard. In the latter half of the film, he stokes the flames of conflict between Bill Cutting and Amsterdam until the two are driven into a gang war which leaves all his rivals decimated. As a result, he is able to emerge as the uncontested master of New York politics until his downfall in 1871. However, a ''lot'' of his constituency is dead by the movie's end. "We're burying a lot of votes tonight..."
* SoProudOfYou: Bill on Amsterdam in the ''weirdest'' ways. Their relationship is... complicated. See DoesntLikeGuns for one example.
* SocietyMarchesOn: Of course. But Bill wouldn't recognize [[http://farm1.staticflickr.com/151/331441085_c2a4e678b9.jpg the Five Points as it is now]], in the financial and government center of Manhattan.
* SophisticatedAsHell: Bill's speaking style: "From which part of that excrementitious isle were your forbears spawned?". Ironically, he couldn't never read too good.
** Bill is also very worldly and stylish. When he kisses the hand of a young Schermerhorn lady, Bill smiles and comments on her perfume, "Mm, Orange Blossom, delicious."
*** And then goes on to deliver a StealthInsult to the girl's father within her hearing; he calls her a peach and says she should have a fine career on the stage, which is apparently a compliment of her looks, but when you consider that actresses were for a long time equated with prostitutes...
* SoundtrackDissonance: The music during the battle between Priest Vallon and Bill Cutting's gangs is a fairly modern synth dance beat.
** Also the music "Shimmy She Wobble" playing as the Rabbit's are readying for battle sounds like it may be an old Irish tune, but is really a fife and drum blues number from Mississippi recorded in the 1950's.
* TheTheTitleConfusion
* TimePassesMontage: One of the most famous things about the film is the very end. Miramax had a lot of problems with it in the wake of 9-11, causing it to be delayed a whole year, sadly.
* TorchesAndPitchforks: The New York Draft Riots are initially a protest over the Union drafts, but quickly devolves into a [[TheRevolutionWillNotBeCivilized deadly lynch mob]].
* TrashTheSet: ''Gangs Of New York'' did this for the Draft Riot scene, which was a pity if you think about it, they don't often make such detailed and elaborate sets for movies these days.
* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: Bill the Butcher [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Poole was a real person]] and the New York Draft Riots actually did happen. Unfortunately the real Bill the Butcher died in a shooting eight years before the Draft Riots took place. Frighteningly enough, Hellcat Maggie [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hellcat_Maggie was a real person too.]]
** The real Bill was also much less dangerous than his fictional counterpart: he apparently never killed anyone.
** Much of the film's dialogue is taken from contemporary accounts of the Draft Riots, albeit out of context.
** Tweed, Schermerhorn, Greeyley and P.T. Barnum are historical characters-
* ViolentGlaswegian: Sub in an [[{{Oireland}} Irishman for a Scotsman]] and the trope is played totally straight.
* VoteEarlyVoteOften: Monk might very well have won the election fair and square but Boss Tweed made sure he had several times more votes than there were voters.
-->'''Amsterdam:''' Twice? You only voted ''twice''? You call that civic duty?!
* WhatYouAreInTheDark: Amsterdam fears that he may have saved Bill out of genuine affection for the killer of his father.
--> '''Bill:''' He was the only man I killed worth remembering... I never had a son. Civilization is crumbling.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: "You should have shaved closer this morning."
* WorldBuilding: The recreation of the streets and slums of New York in the mid 19th century is quite impressive.
* WorthyOpponent: Of all the men Bill has killed, he only remembers Amsterdam's father.
-->'''Bill:''' The Priest and me, we lived by the same principles. It was only faith divided us. He gave me this, you know. That was the finest beating I ever took. My face was pulp, my guts was pierced, and my ribs was all mashed up. And when he came to finish me, I couldn't look him in the eye. He spared me because he wanted me to live in shame. This was a great man. A great man. So I cut out the eye that looked away. Sent it to him wrapped in blue paper. I would have cut 'em both out if I could have fought him blind. Then I rose back up again with a full heart and buried him in his own blood.
** Right after he kills Priest, Bill solemnly places a dagger on Priest's chest and whispers reverently, "You're gonna need this to cross the River", then lets his men know ears and noses of their victims will be the trophies of the day but Vallon will be untouched to cross over into the afterlife whole. His last moments with the dying man are kind of touching in their own way as well.
** Emphasized when Amsterdam finally makes his move and Bill displays him for the crowd -- he seems less angry about Amsterdam trying to kill him and more angry about Amsterdam playing as TheMole and trying to kill him sneakily, rather than facing him like a man as his father had.
* WretchedHive: Amsterdam refers to the Five Points as "the forge of Hell." Later he gets a guided tour of all the various criminal subcultures hanging out in Paradise Square.
* YellowPeril: The Chinese community is portrayed quite sympathetically, however in-story they're viewed this way by the white majority, and the costumes recall this to some degree. Complaints on historical accuracy claim that New York's Chinese population in those days was so miniscule as to be irrelevant to the time period or anyone's interest.
* YouKilledMyFather/ NotInThisForYourRevolution: This is Amsterdam's motivation for stalking Bill when he first arrives in New York, but as time goes on his crusade becomes more and more bound up with the plight of the Irish immigrants.
* YouWillBeSpared: "God's only man spared by the Butcher!"
** Also could be considered a small ShoutOut to [[Film/TaxiDriver one of Scorsese's earlier films]].

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