Hollywood Gangland: The Movies' Love Affair with the Mob

Overview

Film scholar John McCarty, the author of Splatter Movies, Psychos,and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, has written the most entertaining and informed guide to gangster movies ever written. Incorporating original research and revealing accounts of long-lost silent classics, he traces the genre back to its early days, when real-life gangsters were hired on as extras; covering three quarters of a century, he takes in everything from the masterpieces (Little Caesar, Scarface) to the spoofs (Some Like It Hot, Bugsy Malone) ...
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Overview

Film scholar John McCarty, the author of Splatter Movies, Psychos,and Alfred Hitchcock Presents, has written the most entertaining and informed guide to gangster movies ever written. Incorporating original research and revealing accounts of long-lost silent classics, he traces the genre back to its early days, when real-life gangsters were hired on as extras; covering three quarters of a century, he takes in everything from the masterpieces (Little Caesar, Scarface) to the spoofs (Some Like It Hot, Bugsy Malone) to modern-day gang movies like Boyz N the Hood. Including more than one hundred of the most memorable stills in mob-movie history, Hollywood Gangland is a connoisseur's account of our most darkly enduring cinematic fascination.
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Editorial Reviews

Gordon Flagg
McCarty broke new critical ground 10 years ago with his book-length treatment of "Splatter Movies", but here he's turned to already well-explored territory--gangster movies. Mob movies are heirs to the Westerns, he says, using the same elements but transferring them to a modern, usually urban setting and switching the focus from the hero to the bad guy. Although it dates back to a 1912 D. W. Griffith silent film on New York mob wars, the gangster genre flourished during the Depression, reflecting the country's fascination with real-life gangsters (McCarty points out that the genre's periodic resurgences coincide with other times of national turmoil). McCarty pays particular attention to the biggest gangster stars--Robinson, Cagney, and Bogart (he observes that every subsequent movie mobster is a variant of the types they created); to the fictionalizations of such real-life figures as Capone, Dillinger, and Bonnie and Clyde; to the genre's comeback as part of the postwar "film noir" movement; and to its pinnacle, Coppola's "Godfather" saga. McCarty doesn't tackle the genre with quite the verve he brought to gore flicks, but his is nonetheless a useful overview, illustrated with some 100 black-and-white stills.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780840079220
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 2/29/2000
  • Edition description: 1st Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 269

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Gunslingers to Gangsters: America's Changing Landscape
Ch. 1 Musketeers of America's Alleys 1
Ch. 2 The Roaring Twenties 31
Ch. 3 Al Capone: Scarface 61
Ch. 4 Kings of the Underworld: Robinson, Cagney, and Bogart 83
Ch. 5 Public Enemies 113
Ch. 6 Organized Crimes 137
Ch. 7 The Godfather Sagas 175
Ch. 8 The Hoods of the New Hollywood 209
Selected Filmography 232
Selected Bibliography 253
Index 257
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