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Mafia Movie List
True Mafia Movies
We have all seen numerous Mafia movies while we were growing up and most of them were based on true stories. It's also mostly based on the Italian American, Sicilian and Jewish Mafias and all of these movies can be somehow historically connected. I have compiled a list of thirty plus that are based on real life Mafia stories and their proper family connection. Most Mafia movies are based during the prohibition era. Charles " Lucky " Luciano's character has been played more than any other gangster in films along with his partners Bugsy Seigel and Meyer Lansky. There's a reason for that. Before I begin my Mafia movie connection, let me briefly simplify Italian Mafia history.
The Italian Mafia was started at the start of the prohibition era in America. The Sicilian Mafia was already an establishment in the United States which is proven with arrest records that go back as far as 1896. The Sicilian Mafia had two big bosses in NY, one was Joe " The Boss " Massaria and the other one was Salvatore Maranzano. These two gained their power from the Sicilian based bosses and were at war with one another. These feuds were best known as the Castellamarese wars. Around these times Charles Luciano, who started of as a small time thief, was gaining power when the prohibition era was beginning. Gangsters like Bugsy Seigel, the Jew, Meyer Lansky and the Italian Charles Luciano had been good childhood friends in New York City. In his younger years, Lucky Luciano was a memeber of the five points gang in Hell's Kitchen. Once he was known for being a ruthless gangster, the Sicilian mob bosses yearned for Lucky Luciano's association in their family. Just before the Prohibition era Lucky Luciano was beefing with both Sicilian bosses because he would not join either one during the prohibition. He together with Bugsy and Lansky killed off both Sicilian bosses and took over NY's bootlegging operations and made hundreds of millions of dollars. They ran prostitution, gambling-(which was lead by Frank Costello) racketeering, bootlegging, extortion among the populous. Along with crime they established five crime families.
1. Profaci Crime family - later known as Colombo Crime Family
2. Bonnano Crime Family
3. Mangano Crime family - later known as the Gambino Crime Family
4. Gagliano Crime family - (formally The Luchese Crime Family)
5. Luciano Crime Family - later known as the Genovese Crime Family
Along with these families were other families across the nation, one of the most notable was the Chicago outfit led by Al Capone. When Lucky Luciano inducted the "La Cosa Nostra" he also included gangsters from the Sicilian Mafia already established in America that were loyal to him and his alliances.
All these families became other families as new gangsters kill old gangsters and take their place in the mafia rankings. For the Italian American Mafia it all started during the prohibition with Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello, Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Seigel. Many Mafia movies portray these gangsters and all Mafia movies are connected some how with history and time being the connector. So are you ready, here's the list. If you know of another one then let me know I missed one and I'll add it.
The Mafia Movie List
In no particular order:
1. Charles " Lucky " Luciano - (Luciano Movie)
2. Cotton Club - (prohibition based)
3. The Valachi papers - (Joe Valachi's book)
4. Mobsters - (Lucky Luciano story) 1991
5. Billy Bathgate - (prohibition era gangster)
6. Bugsy - (one of Lucky Luciano's hoods-Jewish) 1991
7. Hit the Dutchmen: The Arthur Flegenheimer Story (1992)
8. Hoodlum - (African American ties to Italian Lucky Luciano and Jew Dutch Shultz)
9. Lansky - (Meyer Lansky story-Lucky Luciano's friend)
10. Bonanno - A God father story
11. The Untouchables - (DA Dewey's side)
12. Youngest Godfather
13. The Gotti Story - (John Gotti story)
14. The Goodfellas - (Henry Hill story- Luchese Crime family)
15. Donnie Brasco - (Pistone story- Bonanno crime family)
16. American Gangster - (end of Hoodlum begins American Gangster)
17. The Enforcer - (police efforts to take out Chicago outfit)
18. Crazy Joe Gallo - (Profaci crime family)
19. Once upon a time in America
20. St Valentine Day massacre - (Chicago outfit) 1967
21. Sugartime - (love story based on Sam Giacana, Chicago outfit)
22. Casino - (The Frank Rosenthal story)
23. Boss of Bosses - (The Paul Castellano Story)
24. Find Me Guilty - Jack DiNorscio Story
25. Kill The Irishman - The Danny Greene Story
26. Ganster Squad - Mickey Cohen -
27. Iceman - Richard Kuklinski - Gambino Crime Family
28. Portrait of a Mobster - Dutch Shultz - German-Jewish Mobster
29. Find me Guilty - Jack DiNorscio - Luccheese Crime Family
30. Momo: The Sam Giancana Story - (2011)
31. Black Mass: James “Whitey” Bulger and the Winter Hill Gang (2015)
32. Mafia Princess: Salavatore 'Sam' Giancana's daughter's autobiography (1986)
33. Wonderland: The Eddie Nash and Wonderland Murders (2003)
Number 25 is not an Italian mafia movie it was rather one of their enemies who had some balls. Danny Greene was an Irishman from Cleveland who held down the docks in the seventies. He is well known for killing Italian Mobsters in Cleveland by placing explosives under their car.
Now some might say " Hey, what about Scarface or The GodFather? Well those are not true stories. Though based on actual events the characters are made up. Be sure to stay updated on this blog as I am still investigating a couple more movies for my list.
The Mafia Today
There's so much speculation as to whether or not the Italian Mafia still exist in America and abroad but the signs are there if you know them. The mafia is stronger and better than they have ever been because they are in great secrecy and are not like the John Gotti era gangsters that proceeded them. At one point there was twenty six cities with Italian Mafia members. Unknowingly so, the Italian Mafia is thriving among us and their culture has spread across all the continents. Currently there are around one thousand Italian family members still strong in the United States Of America but are now more wiser and quieter about how they construct their business.
It is a fact that there are way less Italian Made Men now then ages or decades ago but as time as went on and Irish and Italians gained more rights then the need for crimes they once committed were no longer necessary.