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Plot:

Matthew, a young schizophrenic, finds himself out on the street when a slumlord tears down his apartment building. Soon, he finds himself in even more dire straits, when he is threatened by Little Leroy, a thug who is one of the tough denizens of the Fort Washington Shelter for Men. He reaches out to Jerry, a streetwise combat veteran, who takes Matthew under his wing as a son. The relationship between these two men grows as they attempt to conquer the numbing isolation of homelessness.

Also Known As: Una vida cada día, Le saint de Manhattan, Alguém Para Dividir os Sonhos, Fort Washingtonin sankarit, Streets of New York, O Santo de Forte Washington, Die Helden von Fort Washington, A sikátor szentje, A hajléktalanok szentje, New York - City of Hope, Fort Washington - vita da cani, Swiety z fortu Waszyngtona, Светецът от форт Вашингтон, Святой из форта Вашингтон, The Saint of Fort Washington, Ángeles sin cielo

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  • filip-kiliszek
    filip kiliszek

    One of my favorite movies of the kind: social insignificance, urban survival. The acting by Danny Glover as Jerry, a homeless Vietnam veteran and Matt Dillon as Matthew, a schizophrenic photographer, is very good, I’ve always liked Danny Glover, the same I can’t say about Matt Dillon, but this character fitted, I enjoyed it. The plot is interesting if you see the plot as a way of showing different human characters and how social hierarchies or the environment they’re in, don’t dictate the individual characteristics. Photography I have a mix opinion, if I think about the city of New York in the eighties and nighties, this is alright, but could be better with the material available in that time, but if I think about how the author photographed the New Yorker’s humanity in that chaos and misery, is amazingly good, is poetic in some cases. The soundtrack is one of the worsts I’ve ever heard in a film, but there is an exception, the scene Matthew took the first photograph with actual film in the camera, that is touching, but all the rest is annoying, but maybe i was hoping for something more dramatic and the author didn’t wanted that, well, not exactly dramatic, something more in accordance with the time/place it was filmed.

  • yves-lefevre
    yves lefevre

    Excellent movie.This film shows that people who lives in the underworld of poverty in big cities.But it does so from a realistic and dramatic view. The characters are well portrayed.The plot is simple, and unfortunately close to reality. One of the virtues of the movie is that it is not overloaded with elements to increase the drama. life is shown as it is.Good direction, The soundtrack score by J.Newton Howard fits perfectly to the film .The acting is also at good level with Danny Glover and Matt Dillon8/10

  • alana-gomes
    alana gomes

    You’d have to have a heart made out of volcanic lava not to feel some emotions in this tale of an unexpected friendship. Like “Midnight Cowboy” and “A Patch of Blue”, this friendship concerns two opposites, each with different problems. Danny Glover is a homeless man whose wife took his two daughters and left him for another man, and because of the failure of his business and a handicap because of the Vietnam War, he has been unable to make a living. Matt Dillon is a schizophrenic man whose SRO (Single Room Only) apartment was razed by the city, and he cannot get public assistance to understand he can’t locate the owner to prove his claim so he can get a new apartment. Walking around the city taking pictures in a camera without film, he snaps one of Glover, who confronts him for the alleged insensitivity, but soon learns the truth about him. They become acquaintances, with Glover protecting the vulnerable Dillon at the Ft. Washington Men’s Shelter from the lascivious eyes of the evil Ving Rhames. At one point, when it appears as if Rhames is about to rape Dillon, Glover defends him, breaking Rhames’ arm, and the two escape from the dangerous shelter. On the streets, Glover teaches Dillon how to make some quick cash by washing the windows of drivers waiting to get on the city’s many bridges, with the goal that they will combine their proceeds to get off the street and share a room together. They end up briefly in an abandoned apartment building where a friend of Glover gladly takes them in, sharing everything he has and showing more humanity than most people who are successfully making a living in the Naked City.The cold world of HRA, the New York City Shelter System, and the police who cruelly harass the basically harmless homeless on the streets is explored brutally, but with much tenderness and compassion rising like an angel over these two almost mystical creatures who find a type of love in each other, a brotherhood that not even death can dissolve. There are many moments that really make you think. For me, the strongest moment came when the sweet natured Rick Aviles (the brutal killer of “Ghost”) is verbally assaulted on the street by a driver who spouts at him to go out and get a real job. The pain in his eyes goes beyond typical human pride, entering him like a knife into his soul. I can’t think of anybody who would not explode in that situation, especially since the loving Aviles is anxiously awaiting the birth of a baby from the woman (Nina Siemaszko) he adores more than life itself. While you can put the blame on the politicians in New York City at the time for allowing such cruelties and human indignities to go unresolved, you also have to admire them for even allowing this movie to be made. That acknowledges the fact that they are aware that a serious problem is afoot, even if they don’t go out of their way to do anything because of it.On a personal note, I have spent time in the New York City shelter system, and I can say that 15 years after this movie took place, being out on the street is a better option for some people rather than deal with violent characters (like Rhames, who is outstanding as a modern day Bill Sikes), unsanitary conditions and uncaring employees and security guards. The scene of two security guards rushing to stop Rhames is exactly like what goes on in the system today; Characters like him are not put out or arrested, but left to walk around and exploit the weak, sometimes for the security guard’s own amusement and sometimes for shared profit. This is a very important movie that has not diminished its impact with time. Every young person venturing into New York City or any other big metropolis on their own should view it as a forewarning. Like the poor innocent black kid that Dillon steps up for towards the end, the results can be catastrophic. Be prepared for a huge shock at the end that resonates in our world to this day.

  • natalie-neal
    natalie neal

    This is a very inspirational movie and very heartfelt as well. You will laugh and cry along with the actors as they go through the struggles of living on the streets. It is a very hard life and the movie is increasingly honest about living in poverty and trying to get back up after being knocked down. The actors in this movie, Danny Glover and Matt Dillon offer, maybe, their best performances ever! The imagery is very true to life and cinematography is stellar as these two try to make ends meet. You won’t be sorry to see this movie and I believe it will change how you look at homeless people, it did me! Very strongly encourage you and all of your friends to see this movie!

  • eufrosina-dumitrescu
    eufrosina dumitrescu

    I encountered this movie on a dreary, rainy day and after watching it for about 10 minutes, it thoroughly sucked me in. It is fascinating portrayal of the plight of the homeless. a problem that effects nearly a million people in this country. If you really are concerned about humanity, I strongly suggest it. It seems that there is a “void” in Hollywood to tackle social problems, but this attempt hits the nail on the head. It gave me the thought that we take so much for granted in our lives, while we ignore many issues which profoundly effect others. It doesn’t pull any punches, and there are few, if any, cliché’s…. Danny Glover, Matt Dillon and a strong supporting cast are superb, and the location shooting is impressive. Don’t pass this one up.

  • bayan-tercan-aynilhayat-ocalan-tevetoglu
    bayan tercan aynilhayat ocalan tevetoglu

    A fantastic film that makes you wonder why it didn’t win more awards.Matt Dillon is fabulous as Matthew, a homeless schizophrenic trying to survive in New York. For those that are familiar with Matt from his “bad boy” roles of his youth, this film showcases a completely different side of him as an actor. He is superb and it floors me he wasn’t recognized for this film more.Danny Glover is also great as the mentor of Dillon’s character. The relationship between the two is poignant and real, and in the end, heartbreaking.The locations used in New York, and the shelters they portray give people a look into a life that few will have to experience. The reality of homelessness and mental illness is shown so clearly in this film. I can’t watch this movie without crying. It definitely shows some of the worst aspects of life on the streets, but it also shows some of the best.

  • susan-cantu
    susan cantu

    ” The Saint of Fort Washington ” is a shocking, life film, which leaves nobody indifferent. Tells the story of the homeless, the helpless and the sick people, who wear their tragedy with optimism and faith in better life. Both of main actors, Danny Glover and Matt Dillon,are masterfully played their roles. All recommendations to watched this exceptional drama.

  • kimberly-mathis
    kimberly mathis

    There are some people, who don’t manage to make the american dream, because they are not ‘good’ enough when it comes to cheating your fellow man of his money or somehow lie yourself to the top. In old Germany there was a saying: “And even if the business is ever so small it still gives you more than honest work.”And then there are some people who find market economy offensive, find all business offensive and deeply immoral and who therefor are unable in ‘making it’.And then there are some who have gifts, which are of a kind, that they simply do not fit in in this abomination we call the ‘free world’ and that world hits down on them real hard and it seems that world wants to rot out every bit of decency that is left amongst mankind.A society is not measured by how it treats it most rich and powerful people. If so, there would be no difference between countries, since the most rich and powerful are having a fine time in any society today.A society is measured by how it treats its misfits, the most powerless and poor.Take a look in the mirror that this picture shows and ‘SHAME ON YOU’ if you ever mingle carefree and clueless amongst the idle rich.This picture you see in the mirror of this film can only lead to shame amongst all of us, who are lucky enough not to belong to these miserable people. No place for fancy rationalizations here. Those who do not want or cannot belong to our sick world of business, we have no right to treat this way. A minimum of decency should be given everyone. Are we so sure, that we can do without them? Is it not so, that there is more chance to find somebody amongst them, who can lead us out from this graveyard we are digging, than there is a chance to find that somebody in the likes of the present president? Is there not more truth amongst these homeless than you will find on any dinner-party?I just ask.

  • sr-a-ariadna-tafoya
    sr a ariadna tafoya

    A film about homelessness seemed like a depressing movie to watch, but the New York Times blurb on the video case along with Danny Glover’s presence tipped the balance. It wasn’t depressing. I was glad to see it. My wife rated it 10 out of 10. I’d give it 8 out of 10. Many scenes are heart-touching, without being over-sentimental. The acting and script are super, making it very believable. This isn’t the usual ‘shoot-em-up / car chase’ movie. It is a story about life, about the reality for so many. You do not have to be homeless, or even close to it, in order to relate to this movie. All of us have had similar experiences of despair and bad luck. And just who is the saint ? Watch and find out…

  • carolyn-king
    carolyn king

    This is the film which I cherish above all others and one which I will never forget.A look into the lives of the destitute people in the street and in the the shelters made for them, particularly the Fort Washington Shelter for Men.The story is told through the eyes of its principle narrator Jerry (Danny Glover). The story is about Matthew (Matt Dillon), a young schizophrenic, who finds himself evicted when his apartment building is torn down. He tries to ask for his welfare money but is told to go elsewhere to a non-existent address. He eventually ends up outside the the Fort Washington Shelter for Men, where he first encounters Jerry. He attempts to take a photo of Jerry with his camera, which offends Jerry. Matthew however tells Jerry that the camera is empty and that his hobby is photography. Jerry begins to take an interest in Matthew.He is threatened in the bathroom by Little Leroy, a much feared thug, who preys upon the weaker members of the Fort Washington Shelter for Men. But however he is timely rescued by Jerry who breaks Leroy’s arm in the process. Leroy swears his vengeance against both Jerry and Matthew.Jerry, a streetwise combat veteran, takes Matthew under his wing. The relationship between these two men grows as they attempt to conquer the numbing isolation of homelessness.Jerry earns some money by cleaning the windows of cars as the pass through a busy part of the street. He teaches Matthew this profession, whop speedily masters it. Matthew soon begins to save up some money. Jerry buys Matthew some film so that he can start taking some photos.Jerry tells Matthew more about his personal life. He advises Mathew that to escape from the shelters they have only to save enough money to rent an apartment and so escape the Fort Washington shelter. He also tells Matthew about his dream of selling fruits and vegetables from the back of a car to make fast and easy money. The two men now begin to have a goal in life: to rent an apartment and start a business for themselves. Will they achieve their dreams? It is up to you to watch the film and see what happens next.An outstanding performance by both Danny Glover and Matt Dillon and both are deserving of an Oscar. As well as an Oscar for the director Tim Hunter. Ving Rhames is also brilliant in his role as Little Leroy. The cinematography is good showing the busy city life and the packed Fort Washington Shelter.Overall 10/10. A film you will remember of the rest of your life.

  • yangseojun
    yangseojun

    It was one of my finest movie experiences to watch that movie. I only had the chance to watch this masterpiece once on TV a few years ago, but I can say that I can’t forget the effect it made on me. Especially, the scene where Danny Glover was wiping the car windows waiting for the green light for some cash. The way he was getting his job seriously and the drivers who were not even looking at him. A wonderful human film which shows what we are. I am still confused when those red light people come over my car and try to sell something and realizing that I am too is afraid of looking into their faces. Are they there or just we don’t care them.

  • keith-hawkins
    keith hawkins

    I saw this film about 5 years ago on TV and then spent the next 5 years trying to find out what it was called. This film is a true masterpiece it really is. The acting from the two stars is fantastic(Matt Dillon is always fantastic probably one of the most underrated actors along with Kevin Bacon). The direction is fantastic and the all round feel of the film is great, it draws you in and you really feel for the charactersand you really will them on, then it hits you hard at the end not giving you a hollywood happy ending. Hollywood always seems to tiptoe around films like this and unfortunately a mass audience never gets to see them, mainly because some d**k h**d reviewer calls them a sentimental tear jerker. The film is a real gem and if you’re reading this you probably agree.Get the word out to the people no-one should miss this classic.

  • eufrosina-marin
    eufrosina marin

    One of the movies you will remember always. Matt Dillon is just riveting in his role as Matthew. If you don’t think much of him as an actor, then this is a must see. Not playing a misguided teen in this one, but a sad person you want to see win in a world you can’t win in. Danny glover is as always great and together they’re a real team. Do yourself a favor, and watch this moving sweet film. Don’t forget to tell others about it. I will watch it again. I think you will too.

  • valerija-kokalj
    valerija kokalj

    They could say it is one more film on the homeless in New York. Right. It is. And yet it has a depth that most films on the subject don’t have because it shows too well that homelessness is in the minds of the people concerned. They are, somewhere deep in themselves, convinced that they are responsible for their fate, either by being sick, or lazy, or a-social, or whatever. And that’s the worse part of it all, as long as they are convinced the fault is inside them or their mind they will never get out, never recover, never escape that fate. The real question then is to know how and why they got convinced of their “shortcoming”. The second question is about what we do to reintegrate them in society or to keep them apart from society, invisible. There we get into the system of shelters that are controlled by some network of exploiters, some wardens, some residents, and they exploit their weaker fellows, fellow inmates maybe, and it is incredible the amount of money they can make by just preying on these poor abandoned people who have no faith in themselves, and no faith in a society that has more or less abandoned them. And imagine what it can be in New York when you need an address to get Medicare and welfare. But do not imagine it could be better in some other countries. Any human society produces in a way or another a certain percentage of people who cannot integrate the flock or herd and have to remain on the side, marginal forever. It is sad but alas true enough and that can happen to anyone, in anyone’s life: a sad episode of any type, a disease or a traumatic shock can burn a couple of fuses and there you are lost in the limbos between here and there, earth and the other side of reality. The film is showing how these people have to find some kind of motivation in themselves to take the upper road that leads out of the bogs. But gosh, how difficult it is to find that compass that will lead you to the sunshine that does not shine only for those who have a two-storied house and a station wagon. But is there an upper road of any kind, is there a road leading to the sunshine when you are lost in perpetual darkness? Dr Jacques COULARDEAU, University Paris Dauphine & University Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne

  • belousova-anna-sviatoslavovna
    belousova anna sviatoslavovna

    You and I can usually put the homeless out of our minds. It is said that if you truly felt the misery of the homeless, you would go mad. I could not watch this movie all the way through at one sitting, but had to take it in increments. You know tragedy will occur, as though the wasted lives of the hundreds of vagabonds, mentally ill and veterans on the street isn’t itself a crime.As someone who sometimes serves the homeless at the Arlington Street Church in Boston, I know these people. They act like the software engineers I work with ‘so long as they are on their ‘meds”. That we are so savage a society that we no longer take upon ourselves the obligation to do good to the helpless, to house them as we did in a more civilized time, that’s just one of the many signs of our downfall as a society.No preaching in this movie, however. Danny Glover’s and Matt Dillon’s eyes tell it all. I think one reason we have so many humanitarian actors is because they have to play the roles of the downtrodden and in doing so, become empathetic with them. Since many writers, musicians, actors were blacklisted or attacked for their heroic stands, they know the hurt of the mob or bullying police themselves.Dillon and Glover went out on the streets and lived among these denizens of the sewers, these reminders that we have regressed to Dickens’ time. The complicity of the Shelter police in the beating and murder is something that will make you retch, as the sharks of the night rob the other homeless of their pennies, armed with knives that somehow get through the metal detectors. You have no reason NOT to believe the various anecdotes that emerge, from the retarded couple and their pregnancy to the old man with the arthritic fingers, sharing his soup to the Vietnam vet with shrapnel still in his knees, screaming in pain when his drugs give out. The sharing of the homeless with the others in the same state is something that few of us in the ‘burbs will ever do,You keep thinking something beatific will happen as the boy has visions of a happy life in glorious Technicolor, but the drab colors of the mean streets of New York remind you that it’s all in his head. YOu will never pass up another street hustler with his roses on Mass Ave., trying for a few bucks to ease whatever horrors brought him to this place in life. YOu will want to open wide your home to every vagrant in the Pine Street Inn.. Yet fear will stop you: fear that some will be as the murderous hustlers of the night in those shelters. You understand why some of those you serve dinner to won’t be caught dead in a shelter, for fear they WILL be.The city of New York aided in filming this important movie, which should be shown to every HIstory class, every Sociology class and to every recruit thinking he will return to Glory when his time in Iraq is over. They’re already joining the Vietnam vets in homelessness, as this movie shows.The most horrible scene is the movie however, shown so poignantly and understatedly by Dillon, is when he tries to return home after his slum apartment is razed. His mother has moved to Florida, and left the key with a neighbor who refuses to let him in his ‘family home’ in the Bronx. You have no understanding for how a mother can desert her mentally ill child……the joke is made painfully real. “My folks left while I was out and left no forwarding address.” For the first time in my long life, I visit a Potter’s Field and am told “There is no funeral.” They are buried in a mass grave, each in a wooden box. Even as we are shown the box, the photos left as a memorial blow away, leaving no trace of that human being’s individuality, his genius. Having met many intelligent, well-educated homeless whose shell is too brittle to bear the ‘slings and arrows of outrageous fortune’, I wonder how we in this country dare call ourselves ‘civilized’. Yet I remember the admonishment in my training in Clearwater, when i volunteered to help out at a church’s homeless shelter: “Don’t ever think you can change them, can make their lives right again. You can only serve them where they are.” This movie makes even more clear why the homeless man snapped at me, as I whistled while cleaning up the mats in the morning: “What are you so happy about?” Maybe he knew what I didn’t: I was whistling because I wasn’t him. Great movie, but for God’s sake, don’t ignore what you take from it. Dillon and Glover punch up the point: There but for the grace of God go I. No wonder this movie wasn’t ‘popular’. It points the finger right at you and me, for the injustice we do to these, the helpless.

  • dhaaliivaal-pusspaa
    dhaaliivaal pusspaa

    I first saw this movie on late night cable several years ago and found myself riveted to the point where I decided to tape it and now, 10 years later still find myself unable to record over it. It’s just that good!! Matt Dillon and Danny Glover deliver performances subtle but powerful enough to make you forget they are actors. The New York locales add to the feeling of authenticity and makes you wonder if mayors past and present (including “America’s Mayor” Rudy Giuliani) are barking up the wrong tree in attacking squeegie men trying to make a buck rather than concentrating on more important things.Anyhow, back to the film: Ving Rhames appears as a thug our duo just can’t seem to escape for as hard as they try to achieve their dreams, they are constantly forced to spend the night in a shelter with him. In seeing this film you also will be unable to shake feelings of frustration we all meet at one time or another at the hands of bureaucracy. Matt Dillon’s character can’t receive a check because he has no ID, Danny Glover can’t mourn at a paupers cemetery because it’s against regulations, etc.This film is about trying to maintain hope, beauty, humor, dignity and caring when homeless and if this just sounds like your typical tear-jerker, just remember, as Glover’s character points out when condescended by a yuppie: “three missed checks and that guy’s living on the streets just like us.” It’s a powerful message when you begin to see just how hard it is to climb out of the pit once in it. Rent this film, you’ll be be glad you did. This is a gem despite Leonard Maltin’s half-assed review. This film deserves to be recognized more than it has been for Dillon proves he can act any of our “stars” under the table with just a filmless camera. You may need a hanky though. I can sit through the bloodiest of movies while eating yet this film moved me. I give this movie a 9.5 out of 10. SEE THIS MOVIE!!!

  • alin-marin
    alin marin

    As a former NYPD officer I can tell you this film is so realistic it’s scary. the terrifying homeless shelters of NY are one step above Dante’s Inferno. Potters field on Hart’s island is also portrayed exactly as it is.This Matt Dillon is some kind of actor. How do actors like this get passed over while morons like Sandler and Stiller are so highly praised? This world is just a little upside down. I have a feeling we wont be seeing many more movies like the saint of fort washington now that shrek 2 has busted all previous box office records. Like I said this world is just a little upside down! Danny Glover is also great in his role. So sad that we can spend 200 billion in Iraq and not provide proper facilities for our own mentally disturbed people.

  • siegward-hellwig-kusch
    siegward hellwig kusch

    just watched this again, and again found it moving, real, touching, sad, funny, and so many more of the emotions that make up real life; in this case, the lives of 2 homeless men. Danny Glover is perfect, as usual, and Matt Diillon *is* his character;now realize what an excellent actor he is.Couldn’t stop watching, even though I knew it had no fairy tale ending. After you see this- and don’t miss it- you will never again see a homeless person without seeing him/her as a *person* , not just a faceless “”problem”.