Gangster Films

Essay by IxNxFxExRxNx0High School, 10th gradeA+, September 2004

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The gangster movie has been a favorite genre of audiences for many years. Some of the reasons for the success of gangster films are because of the fact that they create an fantasy of an underworld that is hyped and gives a positive view point to the audiences. Film viewers admire the power and lifestyles of the Mafia and gangs and side with them. Different elements such as violence, drugs, money, and sex are seen a lot in this genre.

The film Scarface written by Oliver Stone, directed by Brian De Palma is a 1983 Hollywood gangster film which tells the tail of the rise and fall of a Cuban refugee turned drug dealer. Scarface also touches on various political issues in America at that moment in time. The film Goodfellas directed by Martin Scorsese in 1990 is a film about gangsters working their way up through the ladder of the mob.

Casino which was directed by Martin Scorsese as well, in 1995 is a struggle for power, money, and a woman over two gangsters. The Godfather I and II directed in 1972 and 1974 respectively by Francis Ford Coppola deals with the life of the son of a mob boss, and early life and career of Vito Corleone.

The different gangsters of Hollywood films are typically selfish, street smart, corrupt, and tough. Their main goal in life is to gain power and money because they have a desire for success and credit in life. However, sometimes underneath all that they can express sensitivity and gentleness. This is clear in Scarface, where the main character Tony Montana (Al Pacino) is portrayed as a criminal from Cuba that has come to America to live the American dream at all expenses. He is ruthless and becomes the number one drug dealer after...