The 4 Best Gangster Movies of All Time
Throughout American cinema history, gangster movies have been film lover favorites. With so many great films to pick from it’s hard to know which are the best, but there are several which most fans agree are especially noteworthy.
4) Miller’s Crossing
Released in 1990 an directed by the famous Coen brothers, Miller’s Crossing is one of the best mobster genre films that blends raw edginess while paying homage of gangster films from the golden age of Hollywood. Beyond being a great genre film, Miller’s Crossing is also hailed as a contemporary classic by movie critics.
Starring Gabriel Byrne as Tom, right hand man to Irish mob boss Leo (played by Albert Finney), Miller’s Crossing is a story of love triangles, betrayals and harsh violence. Like of some of the great Greek tragedies, Miller’s Crossing seems harshly realistic and strangely mythical all at once, making it an incredible film.
1990 was a spectacular year for mobster movies with both Miller’s Crossing and another genre defining film, Goodfellas, being released. Directed by Martin Scorsese, Goodfellas differed from Miller’s Crossing in several ways, but was just as powerful a film that received high marks by both critics and film fans alike.
Based on a true story, Goodfellas details the life of Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta) as an Irish mobster that rises to power in the Italian mafia after a huge heist with partners Jimmy (Robert De Niro) and Tommy (Joe Pesci). Henry climbs the ranks and then falls prey to the corruption, power, drugs and greed that begin to tear the mob apart. Unforgettable cast and performances have made Goodfellas an instant classic.
2) White Heat
On the tail end of World War II, Americans were turning to a new kind of film style that was reminiscent of film noir, but had a distinctly grittier edge. In 1949, White Heat was released, starring James Cagney as Cody Jarret, a mob boss ruled by his mother even as he ruled over his gang.
With powerful and unforgettable performances and scenes, including the famous “Top of the world, Ma!” line screamed by Cagney towards the end of the tragic outcome, White Heat was a turning point from cleaner, more idealistic mobster films of earlier times, and is hailed as one of the greatest of the genre to this day.
1) The Godfather
This movie tops the list of “best films ever made” and “best gangster films ever made” for a reason: it is a true masterpiece of filmography. The Godfather, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and released in 1972, tells the story of the Corleone mafia family in a poignant and tragic way that spares none of the gritty details.
When Don Vito Corleone is nearly shot and killed by a rival that wanted protection in exchange for drug profits, reluctant prodigal son Michael Corleone begins a slow culmination of power and revenge that snowballs into a tragedy reminiscent of the great Shakespearean plays, making the Godfather the best gangster movie ever made.
This is a guest post contributed by Karen Andersen from MinTemaFest. MinTemafest is Scandinavias largest party supplies shop, with over 10,000 festartikler (party products) in stock. Every you need for a perfect Gangster Fest.