1. What's the most influential gangster film of the 1930s?
|Paul Muni in Scarface.|
|James Cagney is The Public Enemy.|
|Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar.|
2. Where would you rank The Godfather trilogy among the classic gangster films?
R.D. Finch: At the absolute top. They're (well, the first two parts anyway) not just great gangster films but among the greatest films of any type.
3. After the 1970s, the traditional gangster film genre all but disappeared except for occasional films like GoodFellas, Bugsy, Mobsters, and Carlito's Way. What do you believe led to the downfall of the gangster film?
ClassicBecky: This is definitely the toughest question. Although 1980-2010 did have famous mobster movies (Scarface remake, Untouchables, Once Upon A Time in America, The Godfather Part III, GoodFellas, Casino, Road to Perdition, The Departed), they were not in my eyes true gangster films, except perhaps for Scarface (I hated it), Godfather III (hated that too) and GoodFellas (bloody but good). The others I mentioned are either nostalgia-based or personal struggle-type stories. I think perhaps the growing emphasis on marketing to younger audiences was partly responsible for this. Especially in the 80s, the sexual revolution was in full swing, and movies like Flashdance, Basic Instinct, etc. were popular. Light romantic comedies, the Indiana Jones movies, the Rocky movies, Star Wars sequels, Rambo, and the beginning of a proliferation of family Pixar-type movies seemed to be the wave of the future.