the godfather

Why Italian Cinema Is Starting to Glamorize the Mafia

Dana Renga

It’s long been common practice in Hollywood to cast conventionally attractive actors as sympathetic criminal antiheroes. Humphrey Bogart in King of the Underworld,  Al Pacino in The Godfather trilogy and Denzel Washington in American Gangster are just a few examples. However, this practice is a relatively new phenomenon in Italy. In Italian films from the 1960s and 1970s, Italian gangsters were depicted as shady and charmless.

Welcome to the World of Crime and Punishment

Adam Gravano

Although of an earlier vintage, the scene is reminiscent of one of the final scenes in Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street, in which the FBI agent sits alone on a sad subway ride home. A shallow read of this type of scene describes it as a glorification of the life of the criminal: as if to say you'll find real family there, not in the hollow accolades and awards that come alongside a life of privation. Of course, a more fictional portrayal of an undercover operation, The Departed, makes no effort to be ambivalent on the nature of membership in a criminal organization.

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