1920

Brief Information: Dr. Mabuse: The
Gambler (26th May 1922). Certification is a
PG. Runtime is 242 minutes.
Plot Summ...
This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in
black and white. This was the only option back in
the 1920’s. It makes t...
1930

Brief Information: Scarface (9th April 1932).
Certification is an A. Runtime is 93 minutes.
Plot Summary: An ambitio...
This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in
black and white. This was the only option back in
the 1930’s too. It mak...
1940

Brief Information: The Woman in the
Window (3rd November 1944). Certification
is a PG. Runtime is 107 minutes.
Plot ...
This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in
black and white. It makes the scene/film look
aged and shows a depiction...
1950

Brief Information: The Killing (6th June
1956). Certification is a PG. Runtime is 85
minutes.
Plot Summary: After sp...
This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in
black and white. It makes the scene/film look
aged and shows a depiction...
1960

Brief Information: Point Blank (30th August
1967). Certification is an X. Runtime is 92
minutes.
Plot Summary: After...
This scene is set in an administrative centre
whereby the two mobsters are talking. The use
of the muted colours/lighting ...
1970

Brief Information: The Godfather (24th
March 1972). Certification is an 18. Runtime
is 175 minutes.
Plot Summary: Th...
This scene (as well as a few others in the film)
uses montage editing. It cuts between the
passive, calm and religious cer...
1980

Brief Information: Rumble Fish (21st
October 1983). Certification is an 18.
Runtime is 94 minutes.
Plot Summary: Rus...
In this screenshot, the gangsters are dressed in a
more casual manner than they have been conveyed
in previous years. This...
1990

Brief Information: Lock, Stock and Two
Smoking Barrels (28th August 1998).
Certification is an 18. Runtime is 107 mi...
In this scene, the camera performs an ultra slowmotion, low-angle shot with narration in the
background giving more inform...
2000

Brief Information: Snatch (19th January
2001). Certification is an R. Runtime is 102
minutes.
Plot Summary: Deceitfu...
In this scene, the camera performs a medium shot
to facilitate the characters and the mise-en-scene.
Here it shows four me...
Evaluation
Ever since their arrival during The Great Depression of the 1930s, gangster movies provided an
escape into the ...
Black and Red in the
Gangster Genre
I have also noted how Black and Red are present in almost every
gangster and crime fil...
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in …5
×

Key Changes of the Genre Over Time

620 views

Published on

0 Comments
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
620
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
36
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
4
Comments
0
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Key Changes of the Genre Over Time

  1. 1. 1920 Brief Information: Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (26th May 1922). Certification is a PG. Runtime is 242 minutes. Plot Summary: Dr. Mabuse, who is the archcriminal (and the main character), and his mob of criminals set out to make a fortune and run the city of Berlin. Detective Wenk tries to stop him in the process. Disguise, madness and depravity would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: “There is no such thing as love, only passion! No luck, only the will to gain power!” – Dr. Mabuse Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBXB_wk7T5I
  2. 2. This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in black and white. This was the only option back in the 1920’s. It makes the scene/film look aged and shows a depiction of the conventional Chicago gangster. The gangsters are positioned around a poker table watching two gamblers play the game. Here we get to see the worried and apprehensive facial expressions and body actions of these individuals. In conjunction with this long-range shot showing the mise-en-scene, there is an increasingly rapid melody in the background which builds up the suspense. Each person is dressed classy with the typical gangster blacksuit and bowtie appearance. Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922)
  3. 3. 1930 Brief Information: Scarface (9th April 1932). Certification is an A. Runtime is 93 minutes. Plot Summary: An ambitious and violent gangster climbs the ranks within the mob, but it later comes out that his weaknesses prove to be his breakdown. Murder, police and mob would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: “Listen, Little Boy, in this business there’s only one law you gotta follow to keep out of trouble: Do it first, do it yourself and keep on doing it” – Tony Camonte Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9OmTSM0i9s
  4. 4. This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in black and white. This was the only option back in the 1930’s too. It makes the scene/film look aged and shows a depiction of the conventional Chicago gangster. The gangster (wearing the typical black-suit clothing) is holding a machine gun which portrays how the life of a gangster has already developed from the 1920s – as being a chaotic adventure. This scene commences with two people sitting serenely in a cafe which soon gets disrupted as there are gunshots and grenades being thrown, using Todorov’s Equilibrium theory. The type of camera shot which is frequently used in the film was a mid-shot. Scarface (1932)
  5. 5. 1940 Brief Information: The Woman in the Window (3rd November 1944). Certification is a PG. Runtime is 107 minutes. Plot Summary: A middle-aged conservative professor gets involved with trouble, and he is then plunged into a nightmarish spiral consisting of blackmail and crime. Murder, professor and blackmail would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: “[Talking about sex] The flesh is still strong but the spirit grows weaker by the hour” – Richard Wanley Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx_AiyI3zcw
  6. 6. This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in black and white. It makes the scene/film look aged and shows a depiction of the conventional Chicago gangster. Gangster movies hadn’t changed much since the 1920s. The selection of clothing still has not changed since the 1920s, and this gives the symbolic stereotype of a gangster that most people view as today. This scene portrays a protagonist against the antagonist whereby the gangster comes into the room unexpectedly – Binary Opposition (Good vs. Bad) helps to hype up the narrative. Shows the gangster from a low down angle, which also portrays his supremacy in this situation. The Woman in the Window (1944)
  7. 7. 1950 Brief Information: The Killing (6th June 1956). Certification is a PG. Runtime is 85 minutes. Plot Summary: After spending time in prison, Johnny Clay and friends mastermind a plan and execute a daring racetrack robbery. But, there are obstacles in their way. Airport, ex convict and robbery would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: “You like money. You’ve got a great big dollar sign there where most women have a heart” – Johnny Clay Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Rzh8XjzHI
  8. 8. This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in black and white. It makes the scene/film look aged and shows a depiction of the conventional Chicago gangster. Gangster movies hadn’t changed much since the 1920s. The gangsters here are still kitted out quite smartly and they are situated in a social club. This is one of the many places where mobsters hang out as their life orbits around amusement and hideouts. This scene is represented by an overthe-shoulder shot which alternates between the two characters during conversation. This is significant to see each individual’s reaction. This line suggests that this gangster film will live up to it’s expectations with this disturbance. (Todorov’s Equilibrium) The Killing (1956)
  9. 9. 1960 Brief Information: Point Blank (30th August 1967). Certification is an X. Runtime is 92 minutes. Plot Summary: After being forgotten and left for dead, a mysterious man called Walker tries to retrieve the huge sum of money which was primarily stolen from him in the first place. Mafia, money and serial killers would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: “I want my money. I want my $93,000.” – Clyde Barrow Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzpKedWubmc
  10. 10. This scene is set in an administrative centre whereby the two mobsters are talking. The use of the muted colours/lighting in the office may connote a negative disposition or possibly danger later in the film. This character’s body expression may represent that he is in control of the situation. An eminent gangster film convention is how they present themselves to others, with body language and facial expressions being pivotal. The characters’ choice of clothing in this film are still neat and tidy, showing that this is one of the main genre aspects that have remained throughout the eras. Using the Barthes – Enigma Code, the narrative here is delivered to the audience with an increase in suspense and closure. Point Blank (1967)
  11. 11. 1970 Brief Information: The Godfather (24th March 1972). Certification is an 18. Runtime is 175 minutes. Plot Summary: The aging patriarch (known as “Don” Vito Corleone) of an organised mob transfers the full control of his empire to his son. Drugs, drug dealers and crime would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: “It makes no difference, it don’t make any difference to me what a man does for a living, you understand. But your business is a little dangerous.” – Don Corleone Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eu3DWJjYP0
  12. 12. This scene (as well as a few others in the film) uses montage editing. It cuts between the passive, calm and religious ceremony to the violent murders going on at the same time. This is a multi-stranded narrative. The editing montage separates the holy and unholy traits of this character. It shows that he is good and evil which are two opposites (Binary Opposition). This is to show that there can be many sides to a gangster and not just the stereotypical hard chap. The background music is lurid and jumpy, and the priest’s voice adds suspense and exhilaration to the scene as well. The setting of the church also gives off a blue and cold feeling. The lighting inside of the church is dim, which gives off a gothic feel to the church. The music and the voice seems to get louder as each man is murdered as the scene goes on. This film features a lot of close up shots in order to see the reaction and anxiety of the character. The Godfather (1972)
  13. 13. 1980 Brief Information: Rumble Fish (21st October 1983). Certification is an 18. Runtime is 94 minutes. Plot Summary: Rusty James, a thug who struggles to live up to the reputation of his well-known, legendary brother, and longs for the days when gang warfare was going on. Motorcycles, thugs and alcoholics would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: “Biff Wilcox is looking for you, Rusty James. He’s gonna kill you, Rusty James.” – Midget Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fPIzvjiwqY
  14. 14. In this screenshot, the gangsters are dressed in a more casual manner than they have been conveyed in previous years. This may connote that gangsters are now more carefree. Also, this shows that the gangster genre has allowed experimentation since the 1920s. This scene portrays the stereotypical social life of a gangster; as a mob of them are at a snooker club. Also, they are drinking alcohol and smoking illegal drugs. The entire film is filmed in black and white. One would think that this film is an older film, for most modern films are filmed in colour, but this film chose to film in black and white on purpose. The black and white in this film helps to convey the primitive and chaotic world that the characters live in. This film features a lot of high speed shots by reversing to other angles in order to enhance the fanatical lifestyle. Rumble Fish (1983)
  15. 15. 1990 Brief Information: Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (28th August 1998). Certification is an 18. Runtime is 107 minutes. Plot Summary: A simple card game in London triggers four friends plus thugs, weed-growers, hard gangsters, loan sharks and debt collectors to collide all for the sake of marijuana, cash and two antique shotguns. Antiques, debt and gang would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: “If you hold back anything, I’ll kill ya. If you bend the truth...I’ll kill ya. In fact, you’re gonna have to work very hard to stay alive, Nick.” – Rory Breaker Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rKX32WqDNDU
  16. 16. In this scene, the camera performs an ultra slowmotion, low-angle shot with narration in the background giving more information about each character. His voice is tremendously distinguishable and is a technique which has been adopted by Guy Ritchie over the past few years. It shows them running down a flight of stairs and throwing a suitcase (with goods), in the air. The slowing down of the editing is to show the panic and how little time they have to think about their actions which is ironic as this scene is in slowmotion. This scene (part of the opening sequence) shows the theory of Todorov’s Equilibrium, which brings a thrill for the audience early on which stimulated from a calm tenor. The editors have de-saturated the picture by darkening it ever so slightly. This is typical of the gangster genre, and the significance of this is to give the whole film an ominous and sinister Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) atmosphere.
  17. 17. 2000 Brief Information: Snatch (19th January 2001). Certification is an R. Runtime is 102 minutes. Plot Summary: Deceitful boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, ineffectual amateur robbers, and a gang of jewellers battle to track down a priceless stolen diamond. Diamond, fight and gang would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: “You should never underestimate the predictability of stupidity.” – Bullet Tooth Tony Scene Link: http://youtu.be/MpGTn-Z6WbA
  18. 18. In this scene, the camera performs a medium shot to facilitate the characters and the mise-en-scene. Here it shows four men holding a diamond (which is very symbolic in the film) and this gives us an indication to a robbery. Once again, the characters are wearing suits, but with the top button undone. Even though they like to present themselves courteously, they also like to send across the menacing look to others. The soundtrack is very jazzy and upbeat and it grips the audience for the ride ahead. The editing is smooth and cuts from one clip to another causing an incessant and fluid transition. Editing methods such as cross dissolving helps make the process much smoother. The editors intentionally use dark lighting/colours in this scene to emphasise the danger in which is about to appear in the upcoming situation (robbery) . Snatch (2001)
  19. 19. Evaluation Ever since their arrival during The Great Depression of the 1930s, gangster movies provided an escape into the complexities of the gangster, with a life of luxury, adventure and criminality (Escapism as part of the Uses and Gratification Theory). These are constructed from the sensational exploits of real-life gangsters such as Al Capone, John Dillinger and Henry Hill who, as well as the directors, have made a vast influence on the genre over time. Conceivably, the most noteworthy moment in history that would give gangster films their traditional stereotype, is the prohibition era of the 1920s. Gangsters like Al Capone created real life stories fit for the narratives of the movies. One of the more acknowledged cases is the St. Valentines Day Massacre; where men employed by Capone, dressed as police officers and violently murdered a rival gang with Thompson sub-machine guns. Thus, the gangster film was born, and it was 1930’s Hollywood where classic films like Scarface and Shame of a Nation made their introduction in the history of the genre. Iconography is probably one of the key elements of defining the gangster genre, covering many elements such as the vehicle. It is the means whereby the protagonist carries out his work and it becomes like his clothes, the visible token of his success (connotation). One of the more influential gangster genre convention is the gangster working his way up to a high priced luxury vehicle. This can be seen not only in the gangster films of the 1920s and 1930s, but in almost every film that can be classified a gangster film as these eras prompted this trend. Similarly, my piece (Konvicted) will include a lot of these aspects which have been adapted and sustained throughout the years. From the 1920s all the way to the 20th century, the genre has conducted research and applied the key changes over time which has made the genre such the success it is today.
  20. 20. Black and Red in the Gangster Genre I have also noted how Black and Red are present in almost every gangster and crime film, whether it’s part of the marketing campaign or the film itself. For example, the colour black connotes the dimness and underworld of structured crime that the Mafia epitomise. The ‘underworld’ is where the gangster have to make their living. It is a world that the audience is most often not familiar with, however, it is a world that exists all the same. Furthermore, the colour red connotes the violence of the Mafia culture, representing antagonism and blood. 
These colours are used in costumes, sets, cars and even lighting, and the viewers subliminally acknowledge and understand this as being a vital facet of gangster-orientated films. These include Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Mean Streets (1973) which shows how there have been similarities as well as differences throughout time. Other films which skilfully use the colours black and red include: Carlito’s Way (1993), Donnie Brasco (1997), Eastern Promises (2007), Little Caesar (1931) and many more.

×