10 Great American Gangster Movies

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As The Godfather turns 40, a look at what other gangster films deserve to be called legendary

Paul Muni in the original 'Scarface' United Artists


This month marks 40 years since The Godfather's theatrical opening. To honor the occasion, here's look at the picture's peers among the great canon of American gangster films.

We kept the list domestic for the sole purpose of keeping it to a manageable length; for the same reason, we've tried to focus on films that are primarily gangster films, as opposed to movies like Reservoir Dogs that are heist movies or other genres with organized crime in the background. Below, we'll take a look at The Godfather within that canon: the film itself, the films that inspired it, and the films it inspired in turn.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

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Jason Bailey is the film editor at Flavorwire, and has also written for Slate, Salon, and the Village Voice.

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