The “Celebrity Mafia” in Popular Culture

By Al Capone and Vito Corleone into John Gotti And Tony Soprano, real life and literary mafiosos have seized the public imagination since the 1920s. Ruthless and violent, these guys are still often seen to keep their personal brand of honour and decency. This Way, they’re modern-day variations of those outlaw heroes of the Wild West, including Jesse and Frank James or Billy the Kid. Gangsters were just a very small proportion of the massive migration of Italians, largely in the south of Italy, to America from the early 20th century. However,”The celebrity mafia ” has come to be the key pop culture saying of this Italian American identity–much to the dismay of Italian Americans. This is due mostly to the enduring impact of Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 Oscar-winning smash hit movie”The Godfather” (according to Mario Puzo’s book ) and its own reinvention of the gangster movie genre.

Celebrity Mafia Historical Gangsters on Film & TV

Since the age of Prohibition gave way fashion designer salary to the Great Depression, the initial wave of gangster films reflected the rising anger and frustration of many Americans in their worsening economic problems. In films such as”Little Caesar” (1931) with Edward G. Robinson,”The Public Enemy” (1931) with Jimmy Cagney and”Scarface” (1932) with Paul Muni, the key characters–most Italian Americans, some based on real-life mobsters like Capone–endured the consequences of the law-breaking, but a lot of audiences identified using their willingness to move beyond the bounds of the standard system to create a living.

Did you know? In an interview filmed for the Documentary”Under the Influence” (2003), Francis Ford Coppola said he watched”The Godfather” as a classic Shakespearean narrative: the story of a king along with his three sons. In accordance with producer Robert Evans, Coppola also made his celebrity mafia story a metaphor for capitalism.

Following 1942, gangsters largely vanished from The display, as Nazis and creatures took the location of mobsters as Hollywood’s favorite villains. This started to change after 1950, when a Senate committee set up to investigate organized crime started holding public hearings. As a result of this brand new medium of television, millions of Americans watched the testimony of real life mobsters such as Frank Costello (or more correctly, they saw Costello’s shaky hands–that the only part of him exhibited from the camera). From the early 1960s, Joseph Valachi, a soldier at the Luciano”household” company, took a starring part in after televised hearings. It had been Valachi who introduced the now-famous Mafia euphemism”La Cosa Nostra” (Our Thing), along with his testimony revealed that the growth of Italian-American organized crime in the usa, particularly in New York. “The Valachi Papers,” a novel by Peter Maas, came out in 1969, the exact same year as the publication that could perform more than any other to set the mythology of the celebrity mafia in popular culture: Mario Puzo’s”The Godfather.”

“The Godfather” & Its Legacy

Puzo’s book tells the story of Sicilian Immigrant Vito Corleone and the loved ones and”company” he constructed in New York, such as the battles of his son Michael, who will succeed him as the new”Don.” Paramount Pictures purchased the movie rights to the book, and studio head Robert Evans turned into the youthful Italian-American director Francis Ford Coppola to lead. (Coppola also co-wrote the screenplay, together with Puzo.) Together with Marlon Brando (Don Corleone) and Al Pacino (Michael) resulting in a stellar cast,”The Godfather” gave a fuller, more real and more dominating glimpse to the Italian-American encounter than was seen on screen before, even since it styled that glance through the lens of organized crime.

Additionally, it painted an undeniably intimate portrait of this mafioso for a man of contradiction, that had been callous supporting his enemy but dedicated to his loved ones and friends above all else. Unlike previous planet fashion gangster movies,”The Godfather” appeared in the celebrity mafia from the interior, rather than taking the view of law enforcement or of”regular” society. This manner,”The Godfather” reinvented the gangster film, as it would affect those who came after it. “The Godfather, Part II” (1974) was darker and more violent than the first movie, but both have been box office breaks and several Oscar winners. (“The Godfather, Part III,” published 16 years later”Part II,” failed to impress audiences or critics.)

“The Sopranos”

In Tony Soprano, David Chase, the founder of this HBO series”The Sopranos” and a Italian American from New Jersey, was able to Make a new sort of gangster. Chase transferred the activity from the conventional Urban surroundings to the New Jersey suburbs, in which Tony (James Gandolfini) Visits a psychologist to manage the pressures of family and work (such as Wife Carmela, mom Livia and two teenaged kids).