Gangster films are a convoluted subgenre of gangs and organised crimes which came into existence much before. Still, three films from 1931 and 1932, namely Scarface, The Public Enemy, Little Caesar and one more film in 1949 White Head was recognised by the American Film Institute in its classic genre.
Over time, the genre became even more popular, and the bad guys became a rave for moviegoers.
From small-town crooks to major Mafia bosses, here is a list of some of the best from the genre to binge-watch.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the film is based on Puzo’s base selling book in the same. Godfather is the first instalment in The Godfather trilogy with an ensemble cast of Al Pacino, James Caan, Marlon Brando and John Marley. The Godfather is a classic which is considered the greatest and most influential film in the history of cinema.
A 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese, is considered to be one of the greatest films ever made. Starring Robert De Niro, the film is about a young Henry Hill who is influenced by the criminal life and Mafia presence in working-class Italian-American neighbourhood in Brooklyn.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
An American crime film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino is based on the several crime stories of Los Angeles. The title, ‘Pulp Fiction’ refers to the pulp magazines and crime novels during the mid-20th century. The entire narration of the film is told out of chronological order.
Another American epic crime film directed by Martin Scorsese is based on the non-fiction book ‘Casino: Love and Honour in Las Vegas’ by Nicholas Pileggi. A tale of power, greed and deception, the film features De Niro.
Produced and directed by Ram Gopal Varma, written by Saurabh Shukla and Anurag Kashyap, this film is considered to be the first Gangster trilogy about organised crimes in India. It was one of the most critically acclaimed films which have a realistic depiction of the Indian underworld.
Directed by Vishal Bhardwaj, starring Pankaj Kapur, Irrfan Khan, and Tabu, Maqbool is a readaptation of the play Macbeth by Shakespeare. Though the film did not make numbers at the box office, it is an internationally acclaimed film.
Shootout at Lokhandwala (2007)
Directed by Apoorva Lakhia, the film was based on the 1991 Lokhandwala Complex shootout between gangsters and 400 Mumbai police. The shootout happened because of the hint that Maya Dolas was hiding in the building. However, the protagonists in the film were given slightly different names.
Gangs of Wasseypur (2012)
A two-part crime thriller, the film produced and directed by Anurag Kashyap and is centred on the coal mafia of Dhanbad. The film explores the power struggle in small towns and vengeance between three crime families. The critics and audience well-received and widely appreciated the film.
Classe tous risques (1960)
Based on a novel by Jose Giovanni is a French-Italian gangster film by Claude Sautet. It is a story about Abel Davos, a French mobster who tries to make his way from Italy through Marseille to Paris. The film had a great influence on French cinema.
Pepe le Moko (1937)
Another French film directed by Julien Duvivier, the film is about the trapping of a gangster on the run in Algiers who believes he is safe from arrest in the Casbah. The film is based on the book Pepe le Moko by Henri La Barthe.
A Night’s Wife / Sono Yo no Tsuma (1930)
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu, the film is a 1930s Japanese crime drama. The film is about Japan’s home-grown crime syndicates, the yakuza who are prone to use the Katana (long samurai sword) more than the gun.