As far back as I can remember I’ve always wanted to watch Gangster Movies. To me watching a gangster movie was better than being President of the United States.
Goodfellas was the first Gangster Flick I saw and it left an indelible impression. For a while Home Alone was my favourite movie and it took some serious concentration to switch Joe Pesci in my mind from being Harry the Wet Bandit to the Oscar winning mafia sociopath Tommy DeVito. Yeah - I know they came out in the same year, but I was too young to be watching Gangster Flicks in 1990.
Henry Hill derived such pleasure from being a gangster and even a prison stretch looked fun – it sucked me in. The voice over narration throughout Goodfellas provided so much rich content that served only to whet my appetite for more and more gangster movies.
Luckily for me there was already The Godfather trilogy to feast on, Scarface; Miller’s Crossing; Once upon a Time in American and many more to satiate my hunger. I was being fed brand new servings of Pulp Fiction, Casino, Carlito’s Way and Donnie Brasco. I was gorging myself at the buffet table of Gangster Flicks and loving every mouthful.
I’m not alone either. The gangster genre is considered neither niche nor cult cinema. In an episode of The Sopranos (The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti - S01E08) a discussion around Dr Melfi’s dinner table concludes that “in our cultural history, mob movies are classic American cinema, like westerns” – and who can disagree? Of course gangster movies aren’t limited to La Cosa Nostra.
The millennium brought with it many polls of the ‘greatest ever’ for every conceivable subject, particular cinema. The Godfather more often than not was voted as the number one movie of all time. Not best gangster movie, but best movie. Goodfellas and Pulp Fiction were never far behind. The Gangster genre is not niche cinema, it is cinema and it has helped to define motion pictures since the days when movies were still silent. At the inaugural Academy Awards ceremony, in 1929, Underworld won the very first Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The first full length feature talkie was a gangster movie called Lights of New York and some of the biggest films that helped define the early era of sound movies were The Public Enemy, Little Caesar and Scarface. The 1967 classic Bonnie and Clyde is considered the birth of modern cinema or New Hollywood. It was strongly influenced by French New Wave movies and is given credit for breaking down many cinematic taboos (namely sex and violence). This of course opened the door for The Godfather and just about every movie since.
However, having said all that, while the internet serves up dishes for just about every conceivable taste, I have found precious little devoted to the appreciation of Gangster Movies. If you Google the terms Gangster and Movies you will be inundated with lists and top tens of people’s favourite gangster movies, but not much about them in general at least nothing of sufficient quality… and here’s where GangsterFlick.com comes in.
I don’t profess to be an expert in Gangster Movies, only a fan - so what I serve up is my opinion and nothing more, but this site I hope will provide a lush green gangster movie oasis in the barren dessert of the world-wide-web that is filled with the whacked out corpses of failed tributes to the Gangster Genre.
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