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View Full Version : Who was the best old movie gangster?


footstepsfrom#27
07-13-2009, 08:47 PM
I'm watching an old James Cagney flick called "White Heat" and got to thinking about who was the best old black and white era gangster. I like these old flicks better than the modern stuff because they relied on plot over special effects....plus they same "dame" a lot...lol So who ya got? Cagney? Edward G. Robinson maybe?

Whose the best black 'n white era gangster?

Northman
07-13-2009, 08:49 PM
Honestly, i loved Bruce Willis's role in Last Man Standing. Great flick.

DenverBrit
07-13-2009, 08:50 PM
Cagney, Bogart, Edward G Robinson. They were all good.
And you're right about the movies often being better....they still wrote scripts. ;D

footstepsfrom#27
07-13-2009, 08:52 PM
Honestly, i loved Bruce Willis's role in Last Man Standing. Great flick.
Black 'n white era = Pre 1960 (approx)

Northman
07-13-2009, 08:54 PM
Yea, sorry about that. I missed the last sentence. I dont think i even know of any black and white era movies. At least i dont remember any that ive seen. lol

bronco_boi_5280
07-13-2009, 08:59 PM
The gangsters in "on the waterfront". Cool movie.

Spider
07-13-2009, 09:06 PM
The Little rascals ........... Those little bastards were pure evil .....

footstepsfrom#27
07-13-2009, 09:40 PM
Ha ha...nobody says "coppers" any more.

listopencil
07-13-2009, 11:26 PM
Edward G. Robinson.

watermock
07-13-2009, 11:43 PM
Cagney. Robinson,

Pacino in Scarface and godfather in color.

Or the classic:

"English, do you speak it"

Miss I.
07-14-2009, 12:14 AM
Cagney is my favorite..I will never look at a grapefruit quite the same...but my favorite film was the original Scarface from the 30s...I truly loathe the remake...freaking Pacino with his little gun....geezus, overact much..

Hogan11
07-14-2009, 12:17 AM
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For Miss I

summerdenver
07-14-2009, 12:28 AM
Edward G. Robinson.

Is he the same guy from Key largo? My vote is for him.

watermock
07-14-2009, 12:42 AM
Cagney is my favorite..I will never look at a grapefruit quite the same...but my favorite film was the original Scarface from the 30s...I truly loathe the remake...freaking Pacino with his little gun....geezus, overact much..

He had an 8-ball up his nose and an AK-49 on him.

Garcia Bronco
07-14-2009, 08:36 AM
Little Caesar is probably the best

Beantown Bronco
07-14-2009, 08:42 AM
99% of the movies made before 1960 are crap.

MagicHef
07-14-2009, 08:50 AM
Martin.

http://shillpages.com/movies/deadmendontwearplaid1982ld.gif

sisterhellfyre
07-14-2009, 09:18 AM
99% of the movies made before 1960 are crap.

[shrug] 99% of the movies made since 1960 are crap too. Your point is...?

:-)

Beantown Bronco
07-14-2009, 09:31 AM
[shrug] 99% of the movies made since 1960 are crap too. Your point is...?

:-)

Hey, I've leg-swept and throat-punched people for less.

oubronco
07-14-2009, 09:55 AM
who was in the movie that the kid on Home Alone was playing to scare off the robbers with

Miss I.
07-14-2009, 11:54 AM
who was in the movie that the kid on Home Alone was playing to scare off the robbers with

Joe Pesci - admittedly quite the gangster in Casino and Goodfellas, but that would be post 1960...and then there's my Cousin Vinnie...funny, but not really gangsta...

Little Caesar is also a good film, forgot about that one..

Umm as for the remake of Scarface...I suppose I just prefer Pacino in Godfathers 1 and 2...just a more developed performance I think. But I am a bit biased, alwasy been a DeNiro fan (especially as we have the same birthday). Plus the director of Scarface, Brian DePalma, while I have enjoyed a few films (Carrie, even Mission Impossible to some degree) I always disliked his tendancy to borrow a lot from Hitchcock and muck it up and may have biased my Scarface take...Michelle Pfeiffer is awesome as always, but I just though Pacino too over the top, too much of a charicature like in Scent of a Woman...

Inkana7
07-14-2009, 11:59 AM
Public Enemies and Scarface(the original) are awesome.

Garcia Bronco
07-14-2009, 12:00 PM
Joe Pesci - admittedly quite the gangster in Casino and Goodfellas, but that would be post 1960...and then there's my Cousin Vinnie...funny, but not really gangsta...

Little Caesar is also a good film, forgot about that one..

Umm as for the remake of Scarface...I suppose I just prefer Pacino in Godfathers 1 and 2...just a more developed performance I think. But I am a bit biased, alwasy been a DeNiro fan (especially as we have the same birthday). Plus the director of Scarface, Brian DePalma, while I have enjoyed a few films (Carrie, even Mission Impossible to some degree) I always disliked his tendancy to borrow a lot from Hitchcock and muck it up and may have biased my Scarface take...Michelle Pfeiffer is awesome as always, but I just though Pacino too over the top, too much of a charicature like in Scent of a Woman...

Little Caesar is the OG film.

broncosteven
07-14-2009, 12:02 PM
99% of the movies made before 1960 are crap.

You are incorrect sir.

They don't have all the great sets or simple special effects we have now. BTW I go on record as the only person who thinks CGI is lame.

Check out Jean Cocteau's films, his Orpheus series is kick assed, it uses WWII damage as sets!

Cocteau's version of Beauty and the beast shot right after the war has some of the best effects from that or any era.

I like the Cagney, Bogy, Robinson, Movies plus most anything Cary Grant was in.

You are missing a lot if you pass by these greats.

If you don't think they showed any skin in movies prior to 1960 check out Myrna Loy's dresses in the 20's and 30's, she was practially nekid.

footstepsfrom#27
07-14-2009, 12:03 PM
99% of the movies made before 1960 are crap.
Wow...that's just nuts.

Inkana7
07-14-2009, 12:05 PM
Wow...that's just nuts.

I hope that 1% is at least Casablanca for his sake, if not Citizen Kane.

broncosteven
07-14-2009, 12:08 PM
I hope that 1% is at least Casablanca for his sake, if not Citizen Kane.

Funny thing is that without Casablanca or the old hokey serials those that don't like movies before 1960 would not have Indy or even Star Wars.

My Brother in law won't watch anything in black and white. He don't know what he is missing.

Miss I.
07-14-2009, 12:09 PM
Little Caesar is the OG film.

figures I would trip myself up that way....having my moment I guess...it's been a few years, I remember the scene, forgot the whole movie, guess I need to head to TMC for remedial...dang it....how terrible...have to watch old movies which I love...though admittedly I am less informed on the crime films of the 30s and 40s then I should be...bad media major am I...

Miss I.
07-14-2009, 12:14 PM
Funny thing is that without Casablanca or the old hokey serials those that don't like movies before 1960 would not have Indy or even Star Wars.

My Brother in law won't watch anything in black and white. He don't know what he is missing.

Not even the original Psycho? What the heck? And Citizen Kane is such a great instrument for illustrating the power of black and white and utilizing shadows and light to really frame a story. And Casablanca has to be the most quoted movie ever...Ah, and some of the old school comedies, I love It Happened One Night, His Girl Friday, pretty much all Kate Hepburn (particularly Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby)....and they seemed so glamourous then...Oh Robert Mitchum you really had Cape Fear nailed my man and used to love watching him with Jane Russell....And To Kill a Mockingbird was black and white, fabulous film....oh well I ramble (as always).

DenverBrit
07-14-2009, 12:14 PM
Wow...that's just nuts.

No kidding.

Missing Spencer Tracy at his best (pre 1960) means he never saw one of the greatest actors of all time. Unbelievable.

A few years ago, I was told by a girl that she never listened to music pre 80's.

Not watching movies before 1960 is the equivalent ignorance. Ha!

broncosteven
07-14-2009, 12:14 PM
figures I would trip myself up that way....having my moment I guess...it's been a few years, I remember the scene, forgot the whole movie, guess I need to head to TMC for remedial...dang it....how terrible...have to watch old movies which I love...though admittedly I am less informed on the crime films of the 30s and 40s then I should be...bad media major am I...

The greatest Actor in crime films from the 40's on was Robert Mitchum.

Garcia Bronco
07-14-2009, 12:19 PM
figures I would trip myself up that way....having my moment I guess...it's been a few years, I remember the scene, forgot the whole movie, guess I need to head to TMC for remedial...dang it....how terrible...have to watch old movies which I love...though admittedly I am less informed on the crime films of the 30s and 40s then I should be...bad media major am I...

I had to study it for a film class.

Miss I.
07-14-2009, 12:19 PM
No kidding.

Missing Spencer Tracy at his best (pre 1960) means he never saw one of the greatest actors of all time. Unbelievable.

A few years ago, I was told by a girl that she never listened to music pre 80's.

Not watching movies before 1960 is the equivalent ignorance. Ha!

And missing out on some of Humphrey Bogart's amazing moments like The Treasure of Sierra Madre (and of course Casablanca), Maltese Falcon..was he in Key Largo, I want to say yes...To Have and Have Not...and his other movies with Lauren Bacall, now there was a couple that smouldered...ahhhh.

So short story long, I complete concur with you.

Garcia Bronco
07-14-2009, 12:20 PM
How about crime fighting duos? Gotta go with Cagney and Lacey. LOL

broncosteven
07-14-2009, 12:25 PM
How about crime fighting duos? Gotta go with Cagney and Lacey. LOL

Speaking of Lesbian crime fighters how about that chick from Murder she wrote, she was hot when she was in her early 20's.

Beantown Bronco
07-14-2009, 12:29 PM
You people do realize that 1% of all movies pre-1960 still means we're talking well over 100 movies, don't you? Unless you can name well over 100 great movies made pre-1960, then my statement is hardly "nuts".

Garcia Bronco
07-14-2009, 12:34 PM
You people do realize that 1% of all movies pre-1960 still means we're talking well over 100 movies, don't you? Unless you can name well over 100 great movies made pre-1960, then my statement is hardly "nuts".


I heard on the lightrail it was 2 percent. 2!

footstepsfrom#27
07-14-2009, 12:35 PM
You people do realize that 1% of all movies pre-1960 still means we're talking well over 100 movies, don't you? Unless you can name well over 100 great movies made pre-1960, then my statement is hardly "nuts".
The period between the mid-30's to the late 50's is the golden age of cinema...that would mean only 4 movies per year were better than "crap". I think it's safe to assume that there are far more than 100 good movies made in that 25 year period. Any list of the top 50 will be stocked with moves from that time period.

They didn't have the special effects, and the acting style was different, but if you look at things like plot lines and character development...the meat and potatos of story telling...you can make a good case for NOW being the era of crap, not the black and whites.

Beantown Bronco
07-14-2009, 12:37 PM
They didn't have the special effects, and the acting style was different, but if you look at things like plot lines and character development...the meat and potatos of story telling...you can make a good case for NOW being the era of crap, not the black and whites.

That part is the key for me. Every time I watch these old movies, I can't get past the acting. "Different" is certainly a kind way of saying awful/over-acting. It's just not my cup of tea.

footstepsfrom#27
07-14-2009, 12:46 PM
That part is the key for me. Every time I watch these old movies, I can't get past the acting. "Different" is certainly a kind way of saying awful/over-acting. It's just not my cup of tea.
It's very rare for me to see a movie today that I find truly exceptional. Most are just loaded with obvious or tired plot lines, shallow character development and mediocre acting patched together with lots of things blowing up or other ho-hum special effects. The best scripts and most of the qualilty screenplay was pre-Star Wars era stuff. I can count on two hands the truly great movies I've seen since then.

DenverBrit
07-14-2009, 12:49 PM
That part is the key for me. Every time I watch these old movies, I can't get past the acting. "Different" is certainly a kind way of saying awful/over-acting. It's just not my cup of tea.

That's a lot different from declaring 99% were crap.

You just don't appreciate great movies and actors.....that's all.

Beantown Bronco
07-14-2009, 12:52 PM
It's very rare for me to see a movie today that I find truly exceptional. Most are just loaded with obvious or tired plot lines, shallow character development and mediocre acting patched together with lots of things blowing up or other ho-hum special effects. The best scripts and most of the qualilty screenplay was pre-Star Wars era stuff. I can count on two hands the truly great movies I've seen since then.

Currently, approximately 2,500 movies are made per year in the world and 500 in the US alone. I wouldn't be so quick to judge everything based off of the relative few you've seen.

Beantown Bronco
07-14-2009, 12:53 PM
That's a lot different from declaring 99% were crap.

You just don't appreciate great movies and actors.....that's all.

I disagree. If there's one thing I can appreciate, it's great movies and actors.

Garcia Bronco
07-14-2009, 12:54 PM
Speaking of Lesbian crime fighters how about that chick from Murder she wrote, she was hot when she was in her early 20's.

She was. I just looked it up...Murder she wrote was on the air for 12 effing years....wow.

Garcia Bronco
07-14-2009, 12:55 PM
Most movies anymore are remakes or what I call reboots. There is hardly anything original anymore.

Pick Six
07-14-2009, 12:59 PM
Not even the original Psycho? What the heck? And Citizen Kane is such a great instrument for illustrating the power of black and white and utilizing shadows and light to really frame a story. And Casablanca has to be the most quoted movie ever...Ah, and some of the old school comedies, I love It Happened One Night, His Girl Friday, pretty much all Kate Hepburn (particularly Philadelphia Story and Bringing Up Baby)....and they seemed so glamourous then...Oh Robert Mitchum you really had Cape Fear nailed my man and used to love watching him with Jane Russell....And To Kill a Mockingbird was black and white, fabulous film....oh well I ramble (as always).

To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite films of all time. If I have a son, I'm going to name him Atticus (seriously).

broncosteven
07-14-2009, 01:10 PM
To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my favorite films of all time. If I have a son, I'm going to name him Atticus (seriously).

I still think the book was much more better, it is the one book I have read in my tens, teens, 20's, 30's, I need to crack it open again.

It never gets old.

footstepsfrom#27
07-14-2009, 01:12 PM
Currently, approximately 2,500 movies are made per year in the world and 500 in the US alone. I wouldn't be so quick to judge everything based off of the relative few you've seen.
Just by looking at what Hollywood holds up as their success stories...it's pretty sad. I've seen stuff from the Cannes Film Festival that beats the frontline films but because it didn't have the marketing budget or the big names associated with it the film never got much attention. Watch cable movies after the era of special effects came in and it's tough to find anything truly excellent.

I'm not impressed with special effects...so that leaves me thinking along different lines concerning what is great and what's not.

oubronco
07-14-2009, 01:13 PM
Joe Pesci - admittedly quite the gangster in Casino and Goodfellas, but that would be post 1960...and then there's my Cousin Vinnie...funny, but not really gangsta...

Little Caesar is also a good film, forgot about that one..

Umm as for the remake of Scarface...I suppose I just prefer Pacino in Godfathers 1 and 2...just a more developed performance I think. But I am a bit biased, alwasy been a DeNiro fan (especially as we have the same birthday). Plus the director of Scarface, Brian DePalma, while I have enjoyed a few films (Carrie, even Mission Impossible to some degree) I always disliked his tendancy to borrow a lot from Hitchcock and muck it up and may have biased my Scarface take...Michelle Pfeiffer is awesome as always, but I just though Pacino too over the top, too much of a charicature like in Scent of a Woman...

no the one thats on the tv thats shooting off the machine gun

Miss I.
07-14-2009, 01:17 PM
Currently, approximately 2,500 movies are made per year in the world and 500 in the US alone. I wouldn't be so quick to judge everything based off of the relative few you've seen.

But the same case could be made for the genre and age of films you are categorizing as primarily crap. Yes, absolutely there were also a lot of churned out B and C movies as well. Today those are either straight to video or tv movies generally. Now a days there is also the option of tv rather then shorts prior to features. However, what is as true then as it is now, is that films are still a great release for the masses. During the depression and during this recession films still generate money, still survive because they help us survive.

Yes, initially some talkies were overdone,largely due in part to the conversion from silent to talkies, silent films had a certain melodramatic quality due to trying to convey emotion without words and a move over from the theatric to film. Theater is and was the better medium for actors, film is a director's medium. Certain of the techniques today are copied over and over from those initial films, while stories and effects have improved, the basics are still the same. And if black and white is a problem, you might want to avoid some amazing foreign films like the Bicycle Thief, Nosferatu (pretty much all Murnau and early German works would be lost), Japanese films by Kirosowa (the 7 Samurai for goodness sakes was blatantly borrowed from for some very famous westerns).

And today's films suffer from laziness because the special effects allow for that sometimes. It's frustrating and why we get crap like the Star Wars Prequels, etc. But again, there were bad films in the Golden age too, but there are some truly classic timeless films (some comedies that will always, always surpass the rom com crap of today, etc).

broncosteven
07-14-2009, 02:47 PM
I disagree. If there's one thing I can appreciate, it's great movies and actors.

Do what I did:

Go here and make a list

http://www.criterion.com/library/dvd

Anything with the Criterion lable on it is very good if not the high art of movie making.

DenverBrit
07-14-2009, 03:34 PM
I disagree. If there's one thing I can appreciate, it's great movies and actors.

Then you might want to re-think your "99% are crap" statement.

Just a guess, but I'll bet that your statement would be more accurate of movies made since 1960, than before.

As others have pointed out, special effects play more of a role in modern movies, whereas scripts and acting were the foundation of the great movies.

But in the end, like all of the arts, it's subjective and we all have our opinions.

R8R H8R
07-14-2009, 05:38 PM
To get back on the thread topic:

Edward G Robinson gets my vote. For anyone who is not familiar with his work, see Key Largo. You get three treats in one. Robinson as a total creep of a gangster, the great Bogey, and Bogey & Bacall together.

I just never have gotten into Cagney movies at all. He just seems like a bully to me, not just to men, but to women as well, and that bothers me.

I like Bogey movies better, but the movies with him as a gangster are not my favorite.

gunns
07-14-2009, 06:31 PM
My all time favorite is the Godfather, but alas it's in color. Luca Brazzi was a pretty good gangster.

Cagney and Robinson are probably the best. I liked Bogart more as the rough around the edges ladies man. My favorite and the one that scared me the most though was Peter Lorre. He played some horror films but also gangster and bad guy films. He scared the hell out of me.

broncosteven
07-14-2009, 06:43 PM
My all time favorite is the Godfather, but alas it's in color. Luca Brazzi was a pretty good gangster.

Cagney and Robinson are probably the best. I liked Bogart more as the rough around the edges ladies man. My favorite and the one that scared me the most though was Peter Lorre. He played some horror films but also gangster and bad guy films. He scared the hell out of me.

Check him out in M.

Fritz Lang 1931, great flick from pre-Nazi Germany.

DenverBrit
07-14-2009, 06:45 PM
My all time favorite is the Godfather, but alas it's in color. Luca Brazzi was a pretty good gangster.

Cagney and Robinson are probably the best. I liked Bogart more as the rough around the edges ladies man. My favorite and the one that scared me the most though was Peter Lorre. He played some horror films but also gangster and bad guy films. He scared the hell out of me.

The Maltese Falcon. One of the all-time greats! :thumbs:

Miss I.
07-15-2009, 12:05 AM
To get back on the thread topic:

Edward G Robinson gets my vote. For anyone who is not familiar with his work, see Key Largo. You get three treats in one. Robinson as a total creep of a gangster, the great Bogey, and Bogey & Bacall together.

I just never have gotten into Cagney movies at all. He just seems like a bully to me, not just to men, but to women as well, and that bothers me.

I like Bogey movies better, but the movies with him as a gangster are not my favorite.

I agree with all except I would say about the Cagney stuff, yes he was a bully, but that's kind of the point. Gangsters are bullies. They are good people and movies tend to glamourize them (especially the latter Scarface). They should be scary, but not super human . At their core they are weak losers who bully others to make themselves better. I kind of liked that Cagney was unpleasant (why would he treat his women any better then anyone else...kind of see a bit of that in some Jack Nicholson stuff, like when he was the Joker, he wasn't exactly loving to his girlfriend...very gangster). Gangsters aren't good guys, it should leave the audience uncomfortable.

And yeah I prefer Bogey's non gangster stuff myself, but I like him a lot anyway. And someone else mentioned Peter Lorre. I love him too. M, not a gangster flick, but really great film.

kdissette
07-15-2009, 07:54 AM
what about the guy from the movie in Home Alone? "Im gonna give you to the count of 10...to get your ugly..yellow...no good keester off my property.....before i pump your guts full of lead....1....2....10"

Garcia Bronco
07-15-2009, 08:16 AM
To get back on the thread topic:

Edward G Robinson gets my vote. For anyone who is not familiar with his work, see Key Largo. You get three treats in one. Robinson as a total creep of a gangster, the great Bogey, and Bogey & Bacall together.

I just never have gotten into Cagney movies at all. He just seems like a bully to me, not just to men, but to women as well, and that bothers me.

I like Bogey movies better, but the movies with him as a gangster are not my favorite.


Robinson is the OG in the silver screen.. They even clown him in Bugs Bunny Cartoons.

Punisher
07-15-2009, 11:40 AM
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