Talk:American History X

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Editorial dispute regarding categories[edit]

A disagreement exists between editors as to whether this film should be included in the category Category:Neo-Nazism in the United States. One side feels that the inclusion is warranted because Neo-Nazism in the United States is the subject of the film, the other side feels that the inclusion is not warranted because the film is fiction and not a documentary.

What do other editors think? Beyond My Ken (talk) 23:59, 11 October 2017 (UTC)

  • The category "Neo-Nazism in the United States" is about actual Neo-Nazism, not fictional Neo-Nazism. We don't include Reefer Madness in the category Category:Drugs in the United States. - MagicatthemovieS — Preceding unsigned comment added by MagicatthemovieS (talkcontribs) 20:03, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
  • I don't see the difference between fiction and non-fiction in this instance. Since Neo-Nazism in the U.S. is what the film is about, and is not incidental to it, but the core of the story, it belongs in the category. I would also note that it's been oin the category for almost two years, since January 5, 2016 [1], until you removed it. Beyond My Ken (talk) 00:07, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Who is this "we" you speak of, and can you please provide a pointer to a policy that covers what you claim is the case? Thanks. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:09, 14 October 2017 (UTC)

Alternate Ending[edit]

I have read online there was an alternate ending - which shows Derek Vinyard after shaving his head and returning to join the Neo-Nazi Skinheads. I cannot verify it. Anyone else read this? RyanDanielst (talk) 06:50, 26 July 2019 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:American History X/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Cavie78 (talk · contribs) 21:16, 12 May 2020 (UTC)

I'll take this one Cavie78 (talk) 21:16, 12 May 2020 (UTC)


  • "prison for voluntary manslaughter, and during this time, he is rehabilitated, and then" I don't think we need three commas here
  • "going down the same path" Could this be put in a more encylopaedic way?
  • "The story is fictional, but the characters are based on McKenna's childhood and experiences of growing up in San Diego. Eager to adapt it into a film, he then sold the script to New Line Cinema, who were impressed by the writing." I think this could be worded better - establish that Eager wrote a script based on his own experiences, *then* sold it to NLC
  • "Before the film's release, Kaye and the film studio were hampered by a number of disputes about the final cut of the film. The final version was longer than Kaye intended, which resulted in him publicly disowning the film, and harming his own directing career in Hollywood." Again, I think this could be worded better. "Hampered by" makes it sound like the disputes were outside Kaye and the studio's control? "harming his own directing career" makes it sound like this is something Kaye did on purpose? "which harmed his directing career" may be better? Why is Hollywood mentioned specifically? By the looks of things he did very little in the way of directing *anywhere* afterwards (including TV)

 Done Reworded as suggested, hope it's better now.


  • "In the bathroom" What bathroom? The school's?  Done
  • "In a television interview after his father's death" Unclear what's happening here - is this a flashback?

 Done Yes it's a flashback. I've tweaked it slightly to try and make it clearer. Paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 are flashbacks whereas the rest are present-day. The plot is written in linear structure of events, otherwise it would jump to the past and present.

  • "Doris invites Murray, her boyfriend" Is this the same Mr Murray from the opening paragraph of a different character?  Done Yes, resolved


  • You call him Mr Murray in the Plot section, but Murray here?  Done


  • "sold the rights to it when he was 26" Is there anything more about this? An unknown 26 year old selling the rights to his first (?) screenplay to a major studio seems unusual? Also, later on you say that a producer brought the script to New Line, so who exactly did McKenna sell the script to?

 Done The source is a DVD from Writers Guild Foundation that I haven't seen. But to quote the DVD cover exactly: 'McKenna sold his first screenplay, American History X to New Line Cinema at the young age of 26'. It does sound unusual.. but the source is reliable to me!

  • "The inspiration for the story came from his childhood, where he grew up in a punk-rock scene, often witnessing violent behavior" Suggest rewording to something like "The inspiration for the story came from the punk-rock scene of McKenna's childhood, where he often witnessed violent behavior."  Done
  • "characters realistic as possible" -> "characters as realistic as possible"  Done
  • "McKenna interviewed and scrutinized" Not sure "scrutinized" is the right word here?  Done
  • "After he turned it down, Tony Kaye was offered to direct instead, which he accepted, making it his directorial debut in a feature film." Suggest rewording to "Hopper turned down the offer and Tony Kaye was then approached to direct. Kaye, who had been De Luca's preferred choice from the beginning, accepted and made his directorial debut in a feature film on American History X. (I think it's important to include the fact from your source that Kaye was De Luca's first choice)  Done


  • "Kaye initially objected, citing that Norton" -> "Kaye initially objected, feeling that Norton"  Done
  • "and even agreed to a pay cut from his $1 million fee" -> "and he even agreed to a pay cut from his $1 million fee" What is the million dollar fee? For this movie or was that his standard fee? Any idea what level of cut he took? (and why?)

 Done Reworded. He was paid $1 million for his previous films, so this would be his usual/standard fee. As per the source, he took a cut 'considerably less than half his normal price' to be in this film, because he badly wanted it.


  • "supposedly controls Britain's media" -> "supposedly controlled Britain's media"  Done
  • "Furlong, as well as Ethan Suplee, recall the uncomfortable nature of assuming their roles." Suggest rewording to "Both Furlong and Ethan Suplee found taking on the role of characters with hateful views to be uncomfortable.  Done


  • Ok


  • Is there anything to say here about the fact that Kaye objected to being asked to reduce the 95 minute run time of the movie, but the finished version is actually longer?  Done Just checked the sources - it was 'changes' only and no mention of reduction in run time.
  • "In June 1998, the film studio test-screened a second version of the film which included changes made by Norton. The studio persuaded Kaye to release this version. Kaye objected, and was offered an extra eight weeks to edit and submit another version of the film. Some of the changes that Kaye objected to was an additional 18 minutes of footage." Not clear what's happening here. The studio "persuaded" suggests that Kaye accepted the second edit, albeit unwillingly, but then you say he objected and was given time to produce a different edit? "Tried to persuade" maybe? Is there anything specific that Kaye objected to in those 18 minutes?

 Done Reworded, let me know if it's clearer now. There wasn't anything specific to the 18 mins, but I found scenes they disagreed on, which I've mentioned.

  • "a number of troublesome actions," I don't think troublesome is the right word here  Done
  • "studio announced that it would release the film regardless" Make it clear that this is the Kaye/Norton edit  Done
  • "which was 40 minutes longer than his own cut" Unless I'm missing something the finished version runs to 119 minutes and Kaye's cut was 85 minutes so that 24 minutes longer, not 40?

 Done Yes, you're right. To stick to the facts, there was a 95-min cut and 119-min cut (24 mins difference), which is what I've added. (However, Kaye said "The version of American History X that got released was 40 minutes longer than my cut. I had done a hard, fast, 95-minute" - he must be wrong/exaggerating. There is no 135-min release of the film anywhere!)

  • "Kaye's behavior caused him to be unemployable in Hollywood" Suggest rewording to "Kaye's behavior caused Hollywood to view him as unemployable" You could also say that he didn't direct another feature film until...  Done

Home Media

  • "The film was released on DVD on April 6, 1999 and on VHS by New Line Home Entertainment on August 24" -> "The film was released by New Line Home Entertainment on DVD on April 6, 1999 and on VHS on August 24 of the same year"  Done
  • "which includes special features, 7-minutes of deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer" -> "including seven minutes of deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer"  Done

Box Office

  • Is there anything to say about markets other than the US? Worldwide gross seems rather tacked on at the end.

 Done There was no additional info on other markets from Box Office Mojo.

Critical response

  • "the film received an approval rating" -> "the film has an approval rating"  Done
  • "However, Ebert concludes" -> "However, Ebert concluded"  Done
  • "expressed disappointment. LaSalle felt that while the film succeeded" -> expressed disappointment in the film. LaSalle felt that while the movie succeeded"
  • "but concedes" -> "but conceded that"  Done


  • "Norton was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor" -> "Norton was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Derek Vinyard"  Done


  • "and in other functions" What do you mean by other functions?

 Done Events on raising awareness etc. There's no explicit mention in the source however.

  • "Sébastien Homer of L'Humanite writes" What is this quote about? The French film screening?  Done Yes
  • "a list of 500 greatest movies of all time" -> "a list of the 500 greatest movies of all time"  Done
  • "72nd-greatest" Don't think a hyphen is needed here  Done
  • "Although director Kaye did not watch the film until 2007, he acknowledges the film has become "quite a little classic in its own befuddled way"" -> "Although director Kaye did not watch the film until 2007, he has acknowledged that it has become "quite a little classic in its own befuddled way"  Done
  • "writing for The Independent opined the film" -> "writing for The Independent opined that the film"  Done
  • "These acts of violence are no different to the hate represented in the film, argues Clayton Schuster of Vice." The construction of this set of sentences seems odd - you should make it more encyclopaedic and start with your author and source, then go on to say that he compared the 2015 and 2017 atrocities to the hate shown in the movie.  Done
  • "Justin Kirkland from Esquire magazine believes "Perhaps the reason that American History X still feels so relevant two decades" Establish when this was said "Writing for Esquire magazine in 2018, Justin Kirkland stated that he believed that "Perhaps the reason that American History X still feels so relevant two decades"?  Done


  • Look good with appropriate licences.


  • Generally look good
  • What is source 2? A book? Can you format the cite properly and include page numbers?  Done It's a DVD.
That's it from me, placing on hold for now. Sorry for taking so long to get this review finished. Cavie78 (talk) 10:13, 17 May 2020 (UTC)
@Lizzy150: Pinging in case you haven't seen the review Cavie78 (talk) 10:15, 19 May 2020 (UTC)

@Cavie78: Thank you for reviewing this article, much appreciated! I've made corrections and commented as appropriate. Let me know what you think, thanks L150 22:44, 19 May 2020 (UTC)

Thanks @Lizzy150:. Can you provide a source for the statement you added about Kaye not directing another film until 2006 at the end of the Release section? Once that's done I'll be happy to promote Cavie78 (talk) 09:47, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
Cavie78, Thanks, this has been added now. L150 11:40, 20 May 2020 (UTC)
Excellent, thanks {{ping|Lizzy150}. Congrats on another Good Article! Cavie78 (talk) 13:13, 20 May 2020 (UTC)