American History X received good reviews, with Norton’s performance and Furlong’s portrayal receiving acclaim; Norton got nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor. The movie grossed $6,719,864 in USA & Canada and $23.9 million worldwide.
This movie takes as its central theme racial prejudice towards blacks in America in the 1990s, a period in which white supremacists and neo-Nazis were active, and their mutual hatred determined their fights. In American History X, two Los Angeles brothers were involved in white power skinheads and neo-Nazis played by Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. While serving his time for voluntary manslaughter, Norton attempts to prevent his brother Furlong from becoming indoctrinated further.
The Idea Behind American X
The story draws inspiration from the writer’s childhood and experiences growing up in San Diego. The film has also been used for educational purposes in the United States and other countries. In 2020, Kaye directed African History Y, a movie inspired by American History X.
The Making & Success Of American History X
David McKenna wrote the script based on his life. New Line Cinema fell in love with the concept and bought it. The film is Tony Kaye’s first feature film directing role. Filming took place in 1997, with a $20 million budget. Unfortunately, the final cut was longer than Kaye intended, resulting in him publicly disowning the film and negatively affecting his career as a director. On October 30, 1998, New Line Cinema released the movie in the United States. Despite its $20 million budget, the film earned $23.9 million.