Evolution of the Gangster Genre

Topics: Vito Corleone, The Godfather, Johnny Fontane Pages: 3 (1053 words) Published: October 10, 2012
The generally accepted idea of a classic gangster was generated by Hollywood. Before the Kafauver hearings, with the exception of Scarface (1932), the majority of gangster films featured mobsters that were removed from any Mafia and did not tend to contain Italian characters. After the hearings, the genra has become narrower; mainly associating with Italian Mafiosos. Hollywood represents gangsters a dressed in tailored suits, violent, and traditional Italian. Before the enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code in 1934, movies like Scarface were scrutinized for their excessive use of violence and the glamorization of organized crime. Still, audiences filled theaters to see the stars like Paul Muni, Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney depict Al Capone-like gangsters featured in headlines. Which made the gangster genre extremely popular, but short lived. Johnny Fontane in the 1972 blockbuster The Godfather sobbed “oh Godfather, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do.” On the day of his daughter’s wedding, Don Vito Corleone, head of one of five New York crime families, grants favors. He sits behind his desk, mostly in the shadows as many people ask for favors of justice and reaffirm alliances. Fontane knows he does not have a chance of starring in an upcoming film. Corleone agrees to secure the lead role for Johnny, in exchange for his undying friendship. Corleone reassures Johnny the producer will cast him, saying one of the most renowned lines, “I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.” These depictions set Don Corleone up to be a very revered and respected man. He is powerful and mysterious. He is a man of action. He has the power to serve justice when the cops will not. This scene may be similar to how the actual mafia behaves, but as in most gangster movies, could without doubt be an exaggerated. Francis Ford Copula transformed Mario Puzo's novel into a movie. He brought the gangster genre back from social disapproval. Copula transformed...
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