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A movie called Gangs of New York, directed by the attractive thirty-

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something Taxi Driver star Martin Scorsese, was about to start production.

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The movie would tell the epic story of the gangs

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That terrorised the streets of the Five Points slum in 19th-century New York.

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Scorsese's ambitious plan would eventually take 25 years to come to life on the big screen.

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After 20 years since its debut,

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Scorsese's film Gangs of New York still stands out as an oddity.

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It serves as a sort of spiritual prequel to his modern gangster movies,

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But it's oddly of the time.

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He was fascinated by tales of gangs in his neighbourhood

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While growing up in Little Italy, particularly.

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“I gradually realised that the Italian-Americans weren’t the first ones there, that other people had been there before us,”

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Scorsese told the Smithsonian in December 2002.

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Scorsese stumbled upon Herbert Asbury's book The Gangs of New York in 1970.

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The book, which was first published in 1927,

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described the gangs of Lower Manhattan, 

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Especially those in the Five Points.

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Many immigrants, including Irish people,

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lived in The Five Points, 

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A neighbourhood infamous for its crime, filth, and disease.

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At times, 15,000 Irish people per week entered New York from Ireland.

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