Listen Up, Wiseguys: 10 Mafia Movies That Made Their Mark

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Gangsters and mobsters are great at a lot of things. Using machine guns, sporting fashionable scars, threatening the opposition, drug smuggling and gun sales, turning government officials crooked — let’s face it, they’re a talented bunch. They are also the subject of a long list of great films, having gained a stylized vintage cool as time goes on and we forget past proverbial “whackings.” Let’s take a look at some of the best fedora-donning films that have hit theaters over the years.

1. The Godfather

Why not start out with a classic? Starring Marlon Brando as the patriarchal Don Vito Corleone and Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, his son and eventual replacement, The Godfather tells the story of the real life mobster Vito Corleone in the 1920s. It’s a classic for a reason. The acting is superb, Al Pacino smoothly drifts away from his resistant and straight-laced son, attending his sister’s wedding at the start of the film, before becoming the man who fills his father’s violent and cold-hearted shoes later.

Diane Keaton’s portrayal of Kay Adams Corleone, Michael’s wife, is equally impressive, and follows along the same vein that most characters in the film do — from innocence, or at least a degree of innocence, to corruption. The soundtrack is also highly worthy of comment, winning the Golden Globe for Best Original Score and a Grammy for Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or TV Special back in 1973.