George Jung, Inspiration for Movie ‘Blow,’ Released From Prison After Nearly 20 Years
George Jung wouldn't be a name most people would recognize if it wasn't for the 2001 film 'Blow.' In the movie, Johnny Depp plays Jung and takes us through his life as the biggest cocaine dealer in America in the 1960's, 70's and 80's. Though not intended to make a hero out of a criminal, it is a fascinating movie. It is rumored that at the time, Jung was responsible for about 89% of the cocaine in America. He had money, he had women, he had it all.
Sometimes you're flush and sometimes you're bust, and when you're up, it's never as good as it seems, and when you're down, you never think you'll be up again, but life goes on. -Fred Jung (George's Dad)
All things that go up must come down eventually, and that's really the main theme of the movie. Eventually, Jung's time at the top came crashing down and he was arrested. This basically became the theme not just in the movie, but also in Jung's real life. The film ends with a shot of Jung (in real life) behind bars.
That jail sentence ended today. According to TMZ, the 71 year old was released from FCI Fort Dix in New Jersey this morning. He is rumored to be moving to a half way house on the west coast and from there will start his transition back into society. Those transitions to a life on the right side of the law haven't historically worked out well for Jung, but hopefully this time it will.
'Blow' has been in my personal top 5 favorite movies since the first time I saw it. There are so many lessons you can take out of Jung's story. It's not about vindicating a criminal, but it's about learning from someone else's mistakes. At points in his life he was living the way that most of us can only dream about, but because of making mistakes and going about things in the wrong way it was all gone in an instant. The final line in the movie really sums it up best:
In the end, was it worth it? Jesus Christ. How irreparably changed my life has become. It's always the last day of summer and I've been left out in the cold with no door to get back in. I'll grant you I've had more than my share of poignant moments. Life passes most people by while they're making grand plans for it. Throughout my lifetime, I've left pieces of my heart here and there. And now, there's almost not enough to stay alive. But I force a smile, knowing that my ambition far exceeded my talent. There are no more white horses or pretty ladies at my door.-George Jung
If you want to know more about the real life George Jung and have a few minutes to spend, you will definitely want to check this out. Here's an 8 part interview with Jung conducted by Ted Demme (the director of Blow) in 2001 about his thoughts on the movie and the real story.