There are gangsters, and then there is Al Capone. The deadliest mobster that America has ever seen turned Chicago into the crime capital of the world, and he ruled the city's underworld during its most profitable time: the Roaring Twenties. It's always a bit upsetting to hear that he was finally caught by the law for simple tax evasion in 1931 before dying of syphilis, as that's no way for a man of his stature to go. Of course, Hollywood has always looked to depict America's most illustrious bad guys, and Al is no different. Here are the five most brutal Al Capone movies.
Robert De Niro is the ultimate bad ass in Brian De Palma's love letter to Eliot Ness, the man who tirelessly looked to bring down Capone's empire. In the film, De Niro notoriously beats down one of his fellow mobsters with a baseball bat, giving one of his grandest performances as the infamous mobster.
Steiger's depiction of Capone is the definitive account of his life, which follows him from his youth in Brooklyn to turning into the sultan of Chicago's underworld. Steiger is tremendous as the volatile mobster, and his violent mood swings send a shiver down your spine every time they erupt.
Before being remade by Brian De Palma and Al Pacino in the 80s, Paul Muni starred as Antonio "Toni" Camonte in this 1932 gangster drama that was heavily inspired by Capone's life. The main character shares the same initials as Capone, and some of Capone's friends and colleagues even assisted with the script.
"The St. Valentine's Day Massacre"
Capone's most famous act has been shown numerous times in cinematic history, but none more so than Roger Corman's 1967 movie, named after the event. Jason Robards Jr. plays a character who has a striking resemblance to Al and orders a hit on his North Side gangster rivals.
"The Scarface Mob"
Produced as a TV show, but then edited into a movie, Neville Brand plays Al with Bruce Gordon chasing him down as Eliot Ness. It struggles to hold up to modern standards, but if you can overlook its aged foibles, there are some fine performances and a great dynamic between the leading pair.