7 Famous Movie Bootleggers

Tuesday, August 28 by
 

In Lawless, Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, and Jason Clarke play the Bondurant Brothers, three bootleggers who find that law enforcement officials want a cut off their action. They join a storied film history of characters willing to run afoul of the law in order to help good citizens get all kinds of sh*tty. Thus, we salute the Bondurants as well as these other famous screen bootleggers.

Wendell Scott – Greased Lightning

Wendell Scott, a taxi cab driver in post-World War II, learns his craft for car racing by transporting illegal moonshine in the backwoods of Virginia. Before long, he becomes a veteran driver who wins his battles with the law and on the track.

Tony Camonte – Scarface

Before Al Pacino played a role that earned him a framed position on every rapper’s wall, the same role was actually played by Paul Muni in 1932. Al Capone was the inspiration for Muni’s Tony Camonte, who rose through the ranks of the Chicago mob after success with killing off his speakeasy rivals. However, the film is a little bland compared to the remake. Mountains of cocaine just make everything better.

Al Capone – The Untouchables

Robert De Niro’s portrayal of Al Capone is likely the most memorable on-screen bootlegger, thanks to scenes like this:

Leo O’Bannon – Miller’s Crossing

Actually, I’m going to have to take that back and give that distinction to Albert Finney as Leo O’Bannon. I think you’ll agree:

Ernest Bilko – Sgt. Bilko

Just because you’re a Master Sergeant in the US Army doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun. Or a lot of fun. That’s exactly what Sgt. Bilko does, all beneath the nose of his unsuspecting Colonel and a Major from the Inspector-General’s Office. Bilko and his underlings in the motor pool successfully run a secret casino, bar, and also profit from renting out military vehicles. It takes a sharp mind to keep that many balls in the air and avoid being shipped to Greenland.

Young Larry Flynt – The People vs. Larry Flynt

Long before he was a pornography magnate, Larry Flynt still had to pay the bills. Hey, an ten-year old needs some walking around money. So, he got an early start by selling moonshine along with his brother, Jimmy. It wasn’t long until he entered the strip club business which would eventually lead to becoming a hero to many a teenage boy with the founding and publication of Hustler magazine.

Jay Hamilton – Walking Tall

This film was inspired by the true story of Buford Pusser. A small logging town has been caught in the grip of corruption when casino-owner and drug dealer Jay Hamilton is allowed to run wild. Until The Rock returns to town armed with a two-by-four. It might lack the sophistication and precision of an automatic weapon, but it gets results dammit.

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