I like gangster movies. Maybe it’s because I spent my formative years in the Bronx, New York and West Long Branch, New Jersey. Gangster movies feed my dark, sardonic side. I like the look of that era, when waves of immigrant labor grappled for positions of power in the concrete jungles of a new country.
The classic gangster story acknowledges that humans are really just animals, too. Gangsters personify the age-old struggle to survive and prosper. Gangsters band together, adhere to a code and suffer the consequences when they break the rules of that code. Their relationships are tribal, raw, and brutal but capable of great loyalty.
Some of my favorites: Sexy Beast (starring Ben Kingsley,) Miller’s Crossing (directed by the Coen brothers,) Good Fellas (Robert DeNiro,) Married to the Mob (Michelle Pfeiffer,) Get Shorty (John Travolta,) and now Road to Perdition with Tom Hanks, Paul Newman and Jude Law and directed by the director of American Beauty.
In the Road to Perdition, the main character has to choose between loyalty and revenge, all the while clinging to the irrational hope for a normal life in the end. The cinematography in this movie rivals any I’ve seen. Great acting and sound score make it a must see for gangster movie buffs.