In anticipation of Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, starring Johnny Depp as John Dillinger, I surveyed the gangster movies for the bad and beautiful of anti-heroes of the genre for MSN Movies.
From Robin Hood to Jesse James, we’ve always had a soft spot for outlaws, idealizing them as folk heroes and romanticizing them as rebels. But gangsters hold an allure all their own. When their exploits exploded across the media and burned up movies screens during the depths of the depression, the country became entranced by these rebels without a cause. That they were killers, sociopaths and ruthless opportunists with a gang and a gun was beside the point. They were rock stars with a tommy gun: sexy and savage, dapper and dangerous, seductive and explosive.
Read more about James Cagney, Warren Beatty as Clyde Barrow, Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone, Chow Yun-fat, Alain Delon (the most beautiful of the screen gangsters) and more on MSN here.