The Roaring Twenties
Following the Roaring Twenties, Hollywood took advantage of the public's fascination with the underworld characters like Scarface Al Capone, Baby Face Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd, Bugs Moran, John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Siegel.
Scarface Al Capone
Baby Face Nelson
Machine Gun Kelly
Pretty Boy Floyd
Bonnie Parker & Clyde Barrow
To capitalize on the public interest, Hollywood began making films like Angels With Dirty Faces in 1931 starring James Cagney.
In the movie, a priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids. Co-starring in the film are Humphrey Bogart and Pat O'Brien.
They Drive by Night 1940 is one of my favorite film noir movies starring George Raft.
In this film, two brothers try to compete with the underworld as partners in a truck delivery service. It co-stars Ann Sheridan, Humphrey Bogart and Ida Lupino. These gals are two of my favorite.
Edward G. Robinson takes the movie goers by storm as Rico in Little Caesar in 1931.
In one of his legendary roles, gangster Rico lies in the street at the film's ending bullet ridden and says to the crowd hovering over him, "Mother of Mercy! Is this the end of Rico?"
Paul Muni in 1932's Scarface was one of several gangster roles for this brilliant performer.