Historical Review Of The Movie “Gangs Of New York”

The Gangs of New York is a movie which shares the rich history of America. Movies have been used by Hollywood actors to showcase the historical background of various countries. Most people enjoy watching movies therefore if such initiatives are used, more individuals will get to know about what used to happen before. This is important since it enables them to appreciate the things that they have today considering that they might have not been in existent before. History is also important when offering information regarding to why various things are happening today. The purpose of this paper will be to do an historical review of the movie “Gangs of New York”.

Synopsis of the movie

Gangs of New York is a story of conflict that used to happen among rival gangs that operated in New York’s Five Points district in 1860s. It is a story of survival and savage brutality amid the tribal groups which were formed in order to fight for the interests of their respective members. Morality, religion and law are some of the niceties that could not be afforded by individuals who lived in the Five Points area. This was a world that was full of desperation, poverty and chaos in which no authority was recognized except those imposed by the most ruthless and strongest in the society under consideration. In this movie, communities were seen struggling in order to survive under the overwhelming circumstances which were conspiring against them. The Five Points District was controlled by gangs and at some point, one the gangs headed by a native decided to brutally murder an Irish-American. The son of the murdered man decided to run away for safety upon witnessing the killing of his father. He however, returns back 16 years later to avenge the death of his dad. The young man is was able to establish himself quickly in this chaotic area therefore making his revenge mission a success. During this time, the area under consideration in this movie was undergoing serious corruption cases, civil wars and worst riots in the U.S history.

How historically accurate this movie is

All that has been mentioned in the movie is fairly historically accurate. This is because all that happens in it actually happened during that time according to the available historical information. However, the names of the real gang leaders have been changed, events compressed, and the timelines distorted in order to meet the needs of the movie’s director.

The message conveyed by the movie about U.S history

This movie clearly shows how the issue of illegal immigration has been a subject of concern in the U.S from way back in history. One of the issues that contributed to the conflicts in the Five Points district is the fight against illegal Irish immigrants by the gangs that existed by then. The boy who came back to revenge against the killing of his father 16 years later was an Irish immigrant. This movie also shows that for any good thing that happens to the society or someone, there is a price that must be paid for it. People living in New York currently enjoy a peaceful environment and were it not for the riots that were conducted years back as shown in the movie, things could not be the same way as they are today. It is therefore imperative that individuals should always strive hard to ensure that the goods things that they found are safeguarded. This way they will be honoring the efforts of those who came before them.


This movie has taught me that life during the old days in New York was full of chaos brought about by the criminal gangs, civil wars and riots. These chaos were however necessary since they played a significant role in shaping the city to what it is today. Most of those people who took part in the riots and civil wars were inspired by common believes. Sharing common believes increased their solidarities and this way they could not be easily overwhelmed.

This movie really did a good job in conveying an historical lesson of what it took for New York to become what it is today. Getting to understand the history of this place enables the current inhabitants to always coexist peacefully with each other so that they cannot take the city back to where it was before.


Movies play an important role in the society considering that most people derive their entertainment by watching them. It is therefore imperative that these movies should be oriented towards spreading positive and educative messages so that viewers can entertainment themselves and also learn at the same time. The Gangs of New York movie has played an important role in educating the concerned parties about the history of this city as shown in this paper.

13 January 2020
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