Gangster Films to Watch!

Choose and watch one of the following films!

Complete your worksheet and be ready for class teamwork & radio show recording!

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Reservoir Dogs (1992)

“Why can’t we pick our own colors?”

Quentin Tarantino set the film scene on fire with this sparkling story of five criminals put together for a heist that goes wrong—each anonymously named after a color and each played by an actor as good as the next. Tarantino charts the bloody fallout with a savage wit, a masterly grip on storytelling and dialogue that’s still to die for, two decades later.

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Scarface (1932)

“Listen, Little Boy, in this business there’s only one law you gotta follow to keep out of trouble: Do

it first, do it yourself, and keep on doing it.”

He may not have snorted quite as much cocaine as Tony Montana (who has?), but Antonio “Tony” Camonte (Paul Muni) will always be the original Scarface. Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson’s formative gangster classic shocked the world with its lightly fictionalized take on how Al Capone Tommy-gunned his way to being king of Chicago.

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Scarface (1983)

“You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little friend!”

The world is yours, Tony Montana, or at least our No. 29 slot is. Don’t even begin to complain that Brian De Palma’s dizzyingly lurid coke meltdown ranks higher than the 1932 original—it’s proven to be vastly more influential, the throbbing id of many criminal fantasies since.

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The Usual Suspects (1995)

“How do you shoot the devil in the back–what if you miss?”

A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup. Boasting petty criminal characters conceived so brilliantly they achieve near-mythological status, The Usual Suspects is known for riveting suspense and action, an intriguing plot line and a jaw- dropping twist at the end.

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Little Caesar (1931)

“The bigger they come, the harder the fall,” Rico boasts. “I ain’t doin’ bad in this business so far.”

Rico is a small-time hood who knocks off gas stations for whatever he can take. He heads east and signs up with Sam Vettori’s mob. A New Year’s Eve robbery at Little Arnie Lorch’s casino results in the death of the new crime commissioner Alvin McClure. Rico’s good friend Joe Massara, who works at the club as a professional dancer, works as the gang’s lookout man and wants out of the gang. Rico is ambitious and eventually takes over Vettori’s gang; he then moves up to the next echelon pushing out Diamond Pete Montana. When he orders Joe to dump his girlfriend Olga and re-join the gang, Olga decides there’s only one way out for them.

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Eastern Promises (2007)

“Sentimental value? Ah. I heard of that.”

There’s more to David Cronenberg’s full-throated gangster nightmare than just a bunch of naked dudes smacking each other in a sauna. This is a prescient examination of the Russian takeover of London, featuring a career-best turn from Viggo Mortensen as the taciturn, grimacing antihero.

 

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Pulp Fiction (1994)

“The truth is you’re the weak. And I’m the tyranny of evil men. But I’m trying, Ringo. I’m trying real hard to be the shepherd.”

More than 20 years later, Quentin Tarantino’s second feature is as exhilarating as ever, with John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson’s wisecracking hitmen now fully a part of the cultural lexicon.

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