In the turbulence of the 1970s, the international drug trade underwent a fast, violent and lucrative revolution — and one ordinary American was at its center. He could have been your next door neighbor. But in just a few short years, George Jung, a high-school football star from Small Town USA, single handedly became the world’s premiere importer of cocaine from Colombia’s Medellin cartel, changing the course of an entire generation. 

Blow is a high-velocity look at George Jung’s spectacular rise and fall — based on the true story of how powder cocaine turned into America’s biggest drug problem and how one man from the blue-collar suburbs became the 35 billion-dollar a-year conduit to the Colombian cartels. Ted Demme (Monument Ave.) directs this riveting look at the manic allure — and dangerous reality — of a drug smuggler’s everyday life, and unfolds one of the great untold stories from the recent annals of American crime and culture. 

From the hippie innocence of the 60s to the snow-blind money-chasing haze of the 80s, George Jung pursued what he thought was the American Dream. Johnny Depp stars as Jung, who started out trying to pursue the good life. Rather than become just another construction worker like his father (Ray Liotta), Jung moves to California where he discovers sun, romance and the profitable pleasures of selling marijuana. At first, dealing drugs is just a way to maintain his free-wheeling, independent lifestyle. But as he gets more ambitious, a bust stops Jung — temporarily. 

In prison, Jung meets Diego

Delgado (Jordi Molla), a talkative inmate who claims to be an insider in Colombia’s rising drug trade. On the outside, Delgado introduces George Jung to Pablo Escobar (Cliff Curtis), the billionaire godfather of international cocaine trafficking, who has a plan to export tons of cocaine to American shores, bringing to the disco era to a far more expensive, addictive and hip form of high. Delgado also introduces Jung to a beautiful, self-indulgent party-girl named Mirtha (Penelope Cruz), who he marries. Ultimately, she gives birth to the greatest love of his life, his daughter Kristina Sunshine Jung. 

Soon enough Jung is literally rolling in money, so much that he has to buy a new house just to store the wall-to-wall cash. But even as he and the Colombian coke supply usher in a new era of American decadence and broken morals, Jung begins to have second thoughts, wanting to be something more than a criminal in his daughter’s eyes. Then, just when he thinks he’s riding high, George Jung takes a dizzying fall that knocks him out of the underworld and into the hands of the Feds. 

With smart humor and probing detail, Blow outlines the lifestyle of a mega-rich smuggler — the border crossings, the ruthless negotiations, the sudden betrayals, the wild characters, the run-ins with the justice system, the inherent problems in dealing with massive amounts of cash, the temptations — and, ultimately, the tragedy of blowing all of your dreams for greed. Blow also stars Rachel Griffiths, Franka Potente, Paul Reubens and Ethan Suplee. The screenplay is by Nick Cassavetes and David McKenna. 



January 25, 2001


Ted Demme


Bruce Porter (book) & David McKenna (screenplay)


New Line Cinemas


Biography, Crime, Drama


124 minutes