10 Best Italian Gangster Movies

Tuesday, March 22 by Sarah Sullivan

The 10 best Italian Gangster movies are in such a list because of their excellent plots, exquisite direction, and action that keeps audiences entertained and energized through to the final minutes. While Italian Gangsters aren’t always at the forefront of some of the following, their inclusion still accented the film and made it that much richer.

  1. "The Godfather"' Known by far as the king of all Italian Gangster movies, Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece is undoubtedly at the top of every “Best of” list for its genre. The epic tale of the Corleone family is a story of the old generation clashing with the new, as young Michael, Mafia head Vito Corleone’s son and heir is clear he wants nothing to do with the family business. That is until the family falls under fire. And no one goes against the family.  
  2. "The Godfather Part II" A rare sequel that lives up to its predecessor, the continuing story of the Corleone family is twofold. In one, we witness young Vito Corleone’s life in Sicily and the events that take him to New York and place him at the head of a crime family. The second story picks up where the previous film left off, following Michael Corleone as he takes on the family and attempts to move the business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba.  
  3. "GoodFellas" Mob hierarchy is the name of the game in this 1990 Martin Scorsese film and Henry Hill (in one of Ray Liotta’s best acting credits) is focused on climbing it. The film follows as the half-Irish, half-Sicilian Hill as he works his way through the gang starting as a young man and continuing for the next 25 years.    
  4. "The Untouchables" The fictionalized account of the arrest of Al Capone is considered a classic tale. The film follows Federal agent Elliot Ness (Kevin Costner) as he brings together an unconventional team to bring down Capone in 1920s Chicago.
  5. "Donnie Brasco" The true story of FBI agent Joe Pistone (Johnny Depp) as he infiltrates the New York mafia is both fascinating and terrifying. Though Pistone (operating under the name Donnie Brasco) befriends members of his mafia faction and gathers evidence, his personal life begins to disintegrate.  
  6. "Scarface" The original “Scarface” film shocked audiences with its subject matter and graphic violence, making it something of a taboo offering. A former bodyguard to a slain gang leader takes over his town and other rival gangs with excessive violence as he climbs the chain of command, quickly becoming a threat to the other bosses around him.  
  7. "Miller’s Crossing" The Coen Brothers designed this highly stylized gangster film. Set against the backdrop of the 1930s prohibition, two rival gangs are pitted against each other as they fight with brutal violence to gain ground in the criminal underworld.  
  8. "Casino" Martin Scorsese’s 1995 offering takes the mob to Vegas, where two mobsters and childhood friends (Robert DeNiro and Joe Pesci) reveal the involvement of the mob in this shining playland. Ace runs a casino, while brash Nicky spends his time terrorizing the locals. However, both are challenged by their fatal flaws: a hustler named Ginger and a disregard for order.  
  9. "Once Upon a Time in America" The Sergio Leone tale told on a scale as epic as “The Godfather,” the film follows a group of New York Jewish gangsters from childhood, through their adult life. Though the Italian gangsters are a side note in this piece, they still contribute greatly to the final picture of the film.  
  10. "Mean Streets" One of Martin Scorsese’s first films, “Mean Streets” features Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel in a story about survival in New York’s Little Italy. Charlie (Keitel) takes care of everybody, except himself. Though he aspires to move up in the ranks of the mob, he can’t help but be dragged down by friends, religion and his own caring behavior.
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COMMENTS

  1. March 22, 2011 9:27 am

    Jemmweiss

    MILLERS CROSSING-Prohibition began in January 1919 and was repealed in 1933. Hardly a reason to call it “the prohibition of the 1930′s” since only 3 of it’s 14 years occurred in the ’30′s. The crime organization it spawned is still active in some cities where the original crime families have survived on other types of crime. Gambling, prostitution, loan sharking and protection are some of their current businesses.