Those people who make movies (and most who review them nationally) love the "bad guys" a lot more than "the good guys." That's no revelation, but it's brought up again in this DVD bonus feature on "Bullets Or Ballots," as historians, directions, writers and actors all discuss "the gangster era" on film: the 1930s.
Specifically, this "behind-the-scenes" feature deals with gangsters and why they were particularly popular on film with the immigrant population of the United States. More than anything in here, however, you can see the love affair Hollywood has with gangsters, more than the public.
I'm not sure I agree with everyone said in here as these people - from actors Talia Shire and Michael Madsen to Producers Robert Evans, Lili Zanuck and Irwin Allen to Director Martin Scorcese and a bunch of others, all seem to speak as if they were U.S. historians.
Shire and Zanuck make some particularly strong and disturbing remarks.. "Power - the ability to dominate - is always attractive," says Zanuck. Wow, sounds like someone I know running for President! Shire said gangsters "were just disillusioned people," as if to say their murderous are excusable. You should hear the remarks in here, actually defending gangsters. It's pathetic.
Nonetheless, all of it was interesting and we see some profiles of Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, George Raft and Paul Muni: all big stars in gangster films of the '30s decade. The claim was that Hollywood was a product itself of mostly immigrants which is why they were portrayed so much in films. They said (I didn't say) that the early gangsters in the U.S. came from three groups: the Irish, the Jews and the Italians, which is why the audiences - many of them immigrants, according to this - liked them and rooted for them.
The "historians" in here also claim those famous actors were all little guys (in height) and that people "like to root for the little guys."
As I said, there are a lot of strange comments in this "documentary," but film people are strange.
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