There's something so intriguing, so mysterious, so downright sexy about the idea of "the mob" (as I alluded to last week) I can get lost for hours watching even the most mediocre tale of racketeering. And by mediocre I of course mean "Mobsters," starring Christian Slater.
And dammit, I root for Christian Slater. Loved him in the Kevin Costner version of "Robin Hood."
Anyways, we're not here today to talk about the most mediocre gangster movies; what kind of post would that be? No no friends, let's talk about the best... or at least my favorite productions to cover the world or organized crime.
I have to start with "The Godfather" because... well that's where you have to start with mob movies, right? Brando, Pacino, Caan, Duvall - all at their finest. This movie set the framework for the dozens of pretenders that would follow. There was a sense of urgency in this movie that I don’t think has ever been replicated. What role will Michael play in the family business? How and when will Don Corleone meet his demise? Who or what will be the circumstance of Sonny’s temper? I could keep going, but I think you get the point.
I saw this before "The Godfather" and thought it was the end all, be all... all right maybe I jumped the gun, but it still is a pretty awesome movie. Ray Liotta plays the outside man, turned almost inside man to a T, and Pesci's famous "how am I funny" scene is still one of my favorite cinematic moments of all time. This movie also really highlighted the notion that to become a made guy, you need to have Sicilian roots, which is cool to me.
This Brian de Palma classic strikes a different chord every time I see it; most recently, the movie reminded me why to this day I don't like Michelle Pfeiffer: because she played that unlikable, junky b-word so perfectly. And odds are you're lying if you claim to have never quoted "Say hello to my little friend." Most underrated scene in mob movie history: the scene where Tony Montana is being kicked out of the club, yelling at the other diners about how they need bad guys like him to feel better about themselves. Classic.
While it’s not your run of the mill mob movie, this was nothing if not organized crime at its finest. To this day I throw up in my mouth a little every time the cop gets his ear cut off. Just brilliant. The dialogue is just so killer in this movie, as is to be expected from Tarantino, and the plot is twisty and turny. PS - Steve Buschemi rocks in this one, as usual. PPS - The tipping scene below is priceless.
Not a movie you say? Well who asked you? I kid I kid, but seriously, "The Sopranos" is without question my favorite mob production of all time. Between the writing, the characters, the plot, the scenery, the music, the sub plots... it is as close to perfection as a show will ever get in my book for my tastes. Does this sound cliche? Possibly. But I really believe if and when the full length feature is made, it just might shake the top of this current list up a bit.
Comments would be lovely. Where did I miss the mark? What did I leave out? Top 5 is NOT easy in this category… let’s talk.
Until later, friends, I bid you adieu. xoxoxo