Thursday, August 20, 2009

Entertainment Thursday: Gangster Movie Challenge Update

I bet you've been wondering what was going on with my Gangster Movie Challenge? I know curious minds want to know. Well, Jon and I have watched 7 out of the 10 movies in the AFI's Gangster Top 10. My review of Scarface is already up and here are the next couple of movies in order.

#9 - Little Caesar is a 1930 movie that tells the story of a man who works his way up the chain of command to be the top dog (isn't that they way with all gangster movies!) Edward G. Robinson plays Little Caesar. Our opinions differed on this movie. Jon liked it more than I did. He loved that the actors talked like old time gangsters (what you might expect from a movie from the 1930's). I do remember that I was surprised by how short it was. It was like 80 minutes or something crazy like that. I just find some of those older movies to go slower because they're not as action packed or the action is not as high-tech as I'm used to seeing (which is a sad statement to make). I did definitely enjoy this movie more than Scarface! Jon rates it 4 stars and I rate it 3 stars.
#8 - The Public Enemy is the movie that launched James Cagney to stardom. It is the story of a young man's rise through Chicago's underworld during Prohibition-era America. Essentially it's the story of a gangster becoming the head gangster and having to fend off rival gangs from their lucrative business. I definitely liked this movie better than Little Caesar but Jon preferred Little Caesar. Jon rates it 3 stars, I rate it 3 1/2 stars.

#7 - White Heat once again starred James Cagney. Although Cagney took a hiatus from gangster movies and came back to the genre when he was approached with this script. It was the perfect role for him. His character was really deep and totally maniacal! He played the part beautifully! White Heat is the story of Cody Jarrett the deranged leader of a criminal gang that robs banks, trains, etc. Cody Jarrett has to step aside for a bit and his colleague "Big Ed" takes his place in the gang and in his marriage. When Cody gets back he's all for revenge, will the bad guy win this one? You'll have to watch to find out. We both enjoyed this movie the best so far - 5 stars!!!

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Have you seen any of these old time movies? If so, which was your favorite?

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