Scorsese's top 15 Gangster Movies

by KasparM | created - 23 Jan 2012 | updated - 23 Jan 2012 | Public
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1. The Public Enemy (1931)

Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, Joan Blondell

Votes: 14,870

2. Scarface (1932)

PG | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson | Stars: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley, Osgood Perkins

Votes: 21,529

3. Blood Money (1933)

Passed | 65 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bill Bailey is a Los Angeles bail bondsman who lives in a world of complete, casual corruption, where all he has to do is pick up the phone to get the charges against a client dismissed. He... See full summary »

Director: Rowland Brown | Stars: George Bancroft, Judith Anderson, Frances Dee, Chick Chandler

Votes: 252

4. The Roaring Twenties (1939)

Not Rated | 106 min | Action, Crime, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three men attempt to make a living in Prohibitionist America after returning home from fighting together in World War I.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Priscilla Lane, Gladys George

Votes: 10,546

5. Force of Evil (1948)

Not Rated | 79 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An unethical lawyer, with an older brother he wants to help, becomes a partner with a client in the numbers racket.

Director: Abraham Polonsky | Stars: John Garfield, Thomas Gomez, Marie Windsor, Howland Chamberlain

Votes: 4,735

6. White Heat (1949)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 22,846

7. Night and the City (1950)

Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers, Hugh Marlowe

Votes: 9,522

8. Touchez Pas au Grisbi (1954)

Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
85 Metascore

An aging, world-weary gangster is double-crossed and forced out of retirement when his best friend is kidnapped and their stash of eight stolen gold bars demanded as ransom.

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: Jean Gabin, René Dary, Dora Doll, Vittorio Sanipoli

Votes: 5,342 | Gross: $0.13M

9. The Phenix City Story (1955)

Approved | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.4
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A crime-busting lawyer and his initially reluctant attorney father take on the forces that run gambling and prostitution in their small Southern town.

Director: Phil Karlson | Stars: John McIntire, Richard Kiley, Kathryn Grant, Edward Andrews

Votes: 1,788

10. Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)

Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Music

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

In 1927, a Kansas City, Missouri cornet player and his band perform nightly at a seedy speakeasy until a racketeer tries to extort them in exchange for protection.

Director: Jack Webb | Stars: Jack Webb, Janet Leigh, Edmond O'Brien, Peggy Lee

Votes: 905

11. Murder by Contract (1958)

81 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.4
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Claude is a ruthless and efficient contract killer - until he finds his next target is a woman.

Director: Irving Lerner | Stars: Vince Edwards, Phillip Pine, Herschel Bernardi, Caprice Toriel

Votes: 1,569

12. Al Capone (1959)

Approved | 104 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

This factual biography of gang lord Al Capone follows his rise and fall in Chicago gangdom during the Prohibition era.

Director: Richard Wilson | Stars: Rod Steiger, Martin Balsam, Fay Spain, James Gregory

Votes: 1,183

13. Le Doulos (1963)

Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Thriller

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A burglar betraying other criminals, prepares for a big heist with a trusted friend that might be as untrustworthy as he.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Serge Reggiani, Jean Desailly, René Lefèvre

Votes: 7,075 | Gross: $0.08M

14. Mafioso (1962)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
88 Metascore

When a good-natured factory supervisor living in Milan with his Northern wife returns to his native Sicily, a decades' old oath forces him to fulfill a nightmarish obligation.

Director: Alberto Lattuada | Stars: Alberto Sordi, Norma Bengell, Gabriella Conti, Ugo Attanasio

Votes: 1,855 | Gross: $0.40M

15. Point Blank (1967)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Thriller

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After being double-crossed and left for dead, a mysterious man named Walker single-mindedly tries to retrieve the rather inconsequential sum of money that was stolen from him.

Director: John Boorman | Stars: Lee Marvin, Angie Dickinson, Keenan Wynn, Carroll O'Connor

Votes: 15,196