Blow is a 2001 biopic about the American cocaine smuggler George Jung, directed by Ted Demme (his final film). David McKenna and Nick Cassavetes adapted Bruce Porter's 1993 book Blow: How a Small Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All for the screenplay. It is based on the real life stories of George Jung, Pablo Escobar, Carlos Lehder, and the Medellín Cartel. The film's title comes from a slang term for cocaine.
The film opens to a young George (Jesse James) and his parents Fred (Ray Liotta) and Ermine (Rachel Griffiths). Fred files for bankruptcy and loses everything, but tries to convey to George that money is not important.
As an adult, George (Johnny Depp) moves to Southern California with his friend "Tuna" (Ethan Suplee) and they plan to earn a living by selling marijuana with the help of George's girlfriend, Barbara Buckley (Franka Potente), an airline stewardess who introduces them to Derek Foreal (Paul Reubens), the main dealer. With Derek's help, George and Tuna make a lot of money. Kevin Dulli (Max Perlich), a college student back in Boston, visits them and tells them of the enormous demand for pot in Boston. With Barbara's help, they start bringing the drugs to Boston.
As the demand grows, they decide to start buying the drugs directly from Mexico with the help of a few Mexican drug lords. George is caught in Chicago trying to import 660 pounds of marijuana and is sentenced to two years. After unsuccessfully trying to plead his innocence (by reciting the lyrics of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe"), George skips bail to take care of Barbara, who is suffering from, and eventually succumbs to, cancer.
While hiding from the authorities, George visits his parents back in Massachusetts. While he is having a heart to heart talk with his father, George's mother calls the police, who come and arrest him.
George is now sentenced to 26 months in a federal prison in Danbury, Connecticut. His cellmate Diego Delgado (Jordi Molla) has contacts in the Medellin cocaine cartel and convinces George to help him go into business. Upon his release from prison, George violates his parole conditions and heads down to Cartagena, Colombia to meet up with Diego. They meet with Caesar Rosa to negotiate the terms for smuggling 15 kilograms to establish "good faith". As the smuggling operation grows, Diego gets arrested, leaving George to find a way to sell 50 kilos (110 lbs) and get the money in time. George reconnects with Derek in California, and the two successfully sell all 50 kilos in 36 hours, amassing a $1.35 million profit. George is then whisked off to Medellin, Colombia, where he finally meets Pablo Escobar (Cliff Curtis) who agrees to go into business with them. With the help of main middleman Derek, the pair becomes Escobar's top US importer. However, Diego resents George for keeping Derek's identity secret and pressures George to reveal his connection. George eventually discovers that Diego has betrayed him by cutting him out of the connection with Derek. Inspired by the birth of his daughter and chastened by a drug-related collapse, George severs his relationship with the cartel and vows to leave the drug business forever.
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