10 Best Movies About Italians

Tuesday, April 5 by Layla Sinclair

The 10 best movies about Italians feature a ton of pasta dinners, a lot of hand gesturing, and a little bit of mafia activity. The films below focus on Italian American life and contain love stories, crime plots, and inspirational tales.

  1. “The Godfather” This movie simply must appear on any movie list about Italians. Francis Ford Coppola’s masterpiece chronicles the love, violence, and treachery of one Italian family headed by patriarch Don Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando. His younger son Michael (Al Pacino) learns the family trade and finally takes hold of his father’s business in a famous finale scene.
  2. “Rocky” For an uplifting movie about Italians, re-watch this classic film starring Sylvester Stallone. He plays Rocky, the Italian American boxer who goes from being a nobody to facing off against Apollo Creed in a championship match. The movie will have you cheering by its end.
  3. “Goodfellas” This movie may not depict Italians in the best light, but it’s a great mob movie with an excellent cast. This film about Italians stars Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta. Liotta’s character plays a criminal who finds himself spiraling out of control. 
  4. “Moonstruck” Cher plays a woman who has had enough with love. She plans to marry a boring, older man until his younger brother, played by Nicholas Cage, steps into the picture. Full of fire and impulse, he reawakens her emotions in New York's Little Italy.
  5. “My Cousin Vinny” This film centers on two Italian New Yorkers, who are charged with murder when passing by an Alabama town. They send in their wise cracking cousin, Vinny, to defend them. Joe Pesci plays Vinny in this best movie about Italians.
  6. “Fatso” Directed by Anne Bancoft and starring Dom DeLuise, this movie about Italians revolves around an Italian man’s obsession with home cooked food. Despite his bad health, it takes a case of love for him to finally ditch his bad eating habits.
  7. “Donnie Brasco” A movie about Italians that takes place in New York, “Donnie Brasco” stars Al Pacino and Johnny Depp. In this crime thriller, Depp plays an undercover agent attempting to pull secrets from the local mafia. Soon, however, he is questioning with him his loyalty lies after Pacino’s character takes him under his wing.
  8. “Mean Streets” Another classic movie starring Robert De Niro, “Mean Streets” is a movie about life in Little Italy. Martin Scorsese directs De Niro, Harvey Keitel, and David Proval through the crime-ridden streets in this movie about Italians.
  9. “Saturday Night Fever” This movie shot John Travolta into stardom. He plays an Italian American from a traditional family in Brooklyn who gets the dancing bug. The film highlighted the disco craze of the 1970s and helped sell many white suits.
  10. “A Bronx Tale” Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci re-team for this generational story about the mob and the Bronx. Tragedy permeates the movie about Italians, which takes place in a tough-as-nails environment.