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Comparing British and American gangster films

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Comparing British and American gangster films Empty Comparing British and American gangster films

Post by ONETWOFOREVER Tue 30 Jul 2013, 12:46 pm

Not a fan of the Godfather series although I enjoyed part 3. For the most part I found the Godfather series very pretentious and a little self loving of itself. I know its a classic but I always thought that it romanticised the underworld to a point where murders or gang hits are set to an operatic score wgich is unnessecary. Goodfellas however seemed to be very realistic and was a very good film well acted and a great story to follow. I know it was based on true events but it was made to cast a true light on orginized crime.

British gangster films for me are much better in that they pull no punches. The long good Friday and get Carter for instance are real to its core. No need for crazy gun fights or explosions or bullets spraying everywhere but the impact comes from its dialog between the characters.You don't have to end up in love with the characters like the mushy Godfather films. Violence is seldom used but when it is you will remember those scenes. Gangster number 1 is another great example of a typical British gangster movie. All that matters is the story and not who said what, when and how.

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Post by bhb001 Tue 30 Jul 2013, 1:01 pm

I think a good film is a good film regardless of the country of origin. I'd prefer to watch a Get Carter than a Godfather, but can see the craft in both of them.

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Post by Guest Tue 30 Jul 2013, 1:06 pm

"Eric's been carved up, I've got a bomb in me Casino and you say "NUFFIN' UNUSUAL!?!?!?!"

I love TLGF and Mona Lisa (not strictly a "Ganster" movie but brilliant nevertheless)

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Post by ONETWOFOREVER Tue 30 Jul 2013, 1:10 pm

Yeah Mona Lisa is a cracking film.

London in the 80's very nostalgic when I see it again.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 30 Jul 2013, 1:14 pm

You'll find when it comes to gangster movies most critics agree America is better

Goodfellas
Scarface
The Godfather
Donnie Brasco

Think mainly because the Mafia in America and gangsters as a whole are just more interesting..

The long good friday was good....Get Carter also..

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Post by Guest Tue 30 Jul 2013, 2:44 pm

Over the years I've come to view Scarface as an endurance exercise and doesn't bear repeated viewings. It's essentially now used by cheap clothing maufacturers to print posters with famous lines on or t-shirts and jackets emblazoned with Montana's image so young Asian lads can pretend they're arch criminals as opposed to losers-in-waiting who still live with their parents

Didn't love Donnie Brasco either. Again the idea of having Depp and Pacino seemed a good idea on paper but there wasn't enough of anything for me. Bit like "American Gangster"..Crowe? Washington? Sounds great....hmmmm, now I've seen it...meeehh!

Not downcrying the overall calibre of American gangster films but just pointing out that your short list doesn't stand up to scrutiny in my eyes...AND...for a bit of balance, I'll go so far as to say that I don't see the big deal about "Get Carter" either.

New thread ....Films your supposed to love but just don't 'get'

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 30 Jul 2013, 2:46 pm

I was talking about the Scarface with Paul Muni..but fair enough

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Post by ONETWOFOREVER Tue 30 Jul 2013, 2:49 pm

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:I was talking about the Scarface with Paul Muni..but fair enough

Well you should have been a little more specific then.

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Post by Adam D Tue 30 Jul 2013, 2:50 pm

I thought that Carlitos Way was sublime.

And DePalmas Untouchables still stands up today as an amazing achievement (if nothing else for getting good performances out of Connery and Costner)

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Post by Guest Tue 30 Jul 2013, 2:57 pm

Carlito's Way is perhaps my fav "gangster" film of all time...despite the fact I can never quite get over how the **** he ever got someone a gorgeous as Penelope Ann Miller

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 30 Jul 2013, 2:59 pm

Adam D wrote:I thought that Carlitos Way was sublime.

And DePalmas Untouchables still stands up today as an amazing achievement (if nothing else for getting good performances out of Connery and Costner)

The poor beat Irish cop with the Scottish accent.

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Post by ONETWOFOREVER Tue 30 Jul 2013, 3:04 pm

These films you mention glamourise the underworld my point is that the British take is closer to home which I prefer, no soppy bulls**t.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 30 Jul 2013, 3:04 pm

casino was soppy...

shut up..

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Post by ONETWOFOREVER Tue 30 Jul 2013, 3:08 pm

Martin Scorcese as I mentioned before makes very realistic gangster films I am talking about that 3 hour mushy bullcr*p the Godfather....although part 3 was quite good.

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Post by Guest Tue 30 Jul 2013, 3:25 pm

ONETWOFOREVER wrote:Martin Scorcese as I mentioned before makes very realistic gangster films I am talking about that 3 hour mushy bullcr*p the Godfather....although part 3 was quite good.
The very fact you think Godfather III is quite good should be enough to have you a/ banned from the boards, b/ sectioned and c/assassinated

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Post by ONETWOFOREVER Tue 30 Jul 2013, 3:29 pm

DAVE667 wrote:
ONETWOFOREVER wrote:Martin Scorcese as I mentioned before makes very realistic gangster films I am talking about that 3 hour mushy bullcr*p the Godfather....although part 3 was quite good.
The very fact you think Godfather III is quite good should be enough to have you a/ banned from the boards, b/ sectioned and c/assassinated

Eh?

I thought it was a good watch. It was'nt as meldramatic as 1 and 2. Much better acting if you ask me and very well made.

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Post by MIG Tue 30 Jul 2013, 3:38 pm

I really like most Gangster films I've watched. I've not really looked at it from the perspective you are, as in whether I prefer the more realistic and gritty ones to the most dramatised and romanticised. I just like them all in their different ways.
Goodfellas is probably my all time favourite. Donnie Brasco is another classic. I really like Gangs of New York but not many people seem to agree with me on that one.
I couldnt even get through Carlito's Way but I can't really remember why. I've seen lots of people talk it up since so I must give it another go one day. I really enjoyed the Godfathers but they are a bit of a mission to watch all the way through again. I think Goodfellas certainly has the re watchability factor.

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Post by ONETWOFOREVER Tue 30 Jul 2013, 3:43 pm

MIG wrote:I really like most Gangster films I've watched.  I've not really looked at it from the perspective you are, as in whether I prefer the more realistic and gritty ones to the most dramatised and romanticised.  I just like them all in their different ways.
Goodfellas is probably my all time favourite.  Donnie Brasco is another classic.  I really like Gangs of New York but not many people seem to agree with me on that one.
I couldnt even get through Carlito's Way but I can't really remember why.  I've seen lots of people talk it up since so I must give it another go one day.  I really enjoyed the Godfathers but they are a bit of a mission to watch all the way through again.  I think Goodfellas certainly has the re watchability factor.

Correct

I have seen it maybe 10 or 15 times never gets old. Great story and the acting is impecable.

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Post by bhb001 Tue 30 Jul 2013, 3:44 pm

DAVE667 wrote:
ONETWOFOREVER wrote:Martin Scorcese as I mentioned before makes very realistic gangster films I am talking about that 3 hour mushy bullcr*p the Godfather....although part 3 was quite good.
The very fact you think Godfather III is quite good should be enough to have you a/ banned from the boards, b/ sectioned and c/assassinated

In what order? Not disagreeing with any of the three actions, just asking for clarification.

The Pacino version of Scarface is form over substance for me, but Get Carter is the best British film of its time. A superb anti-hero with true presence and some of the most quotable lines ever. "Give me a beer ... in a thin glass" always tickles me!! It is a film that only the British could do.

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Post by ONETWOFOREVER Tue 30 Jul 2013, 4:00 pm

bhb001 wrote:
DAVE667 wrote:
ONETWOFOREVER wrote:Martin Scorcese as I mentioned before makes very realistic gangster films I am talking about that 3 hour mushy bullcr*p the Godfather....although part 3 was quite good.
The very fact you think Godfather III is quite good should be enough to have you a/ banned from the boards, b/ sectioned and c/assassinated

In what order? Not disagreeing with any of the three actions, just asking for clarification.

The Pacino version of Scarface is form over substance for me, but Get Carter is the best British film of its time. A superb anti-hero with true presence and some of the most quotable lines ever. "Give me a beer ... in a thin glass" always tickles me!! It is a film that only the British could do.

Very true

I think it portrayed British mobsters perfectly as Micheal Caine would know having grown up around those types in the East end. He was a scary guy and it showed well in that film no pulling punches just a vicious sod unlike Micheal Corolone who was a little plastic gangster wimp who only killed 2 people in the whole waste of time franchise or should I say francheese that is the Godfather.

Anyway I think Bob Hoskins immortal speech at the end of The Long Good Friday encapsulates my point in this thread...

''Mafia?....i'll sh*t em''

hahahaha

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 30 Jul 2013, 4:00 pm

How do you know what a British gangster is like ???

I take it you're not from Roxbury this week then !!

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Post by Guest Tue 30 Jul 2013, 4:03 pm

but Get Carter is the best British film of its time.
Perhaps therein lies the problem with this and pretty much everything else that follows. "Oh, it's new therefore can't be as good"

I'd watch "Long Good Friday" before "Get Carter" any day but also think "Sexy Beast" is equally as enjoyable even though they're markedly different films.

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Post by ONETWOFOREVER Tue 30 Jul 2013, 4:08 pm

DAVE667 wrote:
but Get Carter is the best British film of its time.
Perhaps therein lies the problem with this and pretty much everything else that follows. "Oh, it's new therefore can't be as good"

I'd watch "Long Good Friday" before "Get Carter" any day but also think "Sexy Beast" is equally as enjoyable even though they're markedly different films.

Great shout with Sexy Beast

Again no need for over the top action scenes or blood and guts everywhere to frighten people as the Americans rely on but well thought out dialog can do the trick backed up by a unpredictable story.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 30 Jul 2013, 4:27 pm

So the gangster movies of the thirties like Scarface had blood and guts galore..Cool 

what a wally..

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Post by Guest Tue 30 Jul 2013, 4:53 pm

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:So the gangster movies of the thirties like Scarface had blood and guts galore..Cool 

what a wally..
Didn't you see "Angels with Dirty Faces"? That 'dirt' was actually liquified entrails

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Post by TinRibs Tue 30 Jul 2013, 5:58 pm

Sexy Beast is a great film but I think most of it is down to Ben Kingsley. Without him, I can't imagine it would be half as good. He's one of the most intimidating characters you'll see; just having him in the room you can tell everyone else is on edge. Kingsley plays the part perfectly with his unpredictable nature.

Carlito's Way is miles ahead of Scarface (80's version) in my opinion.

Not seen enough British gangter films to make comparisons, unfortunately.

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Post by Galted Tue 30 Jul 2013, 6:07 pm

I suggest you all watch Miller's Crossing to see how it's done properly. You might need to watch it twice if you're a bit slow on the uptake like I can be.
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Post by TinRibs Tue 30 Jul 2013, 6:13 pm

Galted wrote:I suggest you all watch Miller's Crossing to see how it's done properly.  You might need to watch it twice if you're a bit slow on the uptake like I can be.

Added to my imdb watchlist
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Post by Galted Tue 30 Jul 2013, 6:20 pm

Good on you TinRibs, if you're disappointed I will embark on a drive-by shooting from the East End to Essex.
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Post by superflyweight Tue 30 Jul 2013, 6:28 pm

Millers Crossing is brilliant. Have to agree with the criticism of Scarface - and the criticism of onetwo.

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Post by Stella Tue 30 Jul 2013, 7:39 pm

British films do come across as more gritty, maybe thanks to having a meagre budget?
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Post by ONETWOFOREVER Tue 30 Jul 2013, 8:25 pm

Not fond of the onetwo are you superflyweight?

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Post by Guest Tue 30 Jul 2013, 8:27 pm

TinRibs wrote:Sexy Beast is a great film but I think most of it is down to Ben Kingsley. Without him, I can't imagine it would be half as good. He's one of the most intimidating characters you'll see; just having him in the room you can tell everyone else is on edge. Kingsley plays the part perfectly with his unpredictable nature.

Carlito's Way is miles ahead of Scarface (80's version) in my opinion.

Not seen enough British gangter films to make comparisons, unfortunately.

Sure the tension is made more real due to the talent of the other actors. No good being menacing if everyone else looks happy to see you. Kingsley's great but say the film stands purely because of him does a real dis-service to everyone else

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Post by Stella Tue 30 Jul 2013, 8:30 pm

Sexy Beast?


Another film I've never seen.
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Post by superflyweight Tue 30 Jul 2013, 9:23 pm

ONETWOFOREVER wrote:Not fond of the onetwo are you superflyweight?

Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But that's just me, Libra... the scales.

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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Tue 30 Jul 2013, 10:13 pm

Stella wrote:Sexy Beast?.

Did you call me ??

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Post by Rowley Wed 31 Jul 2013, 7:44 am

ONETWOFOREVER wrote:These films you mention glamourise the underworld my point is that the British take is closer to home which I prefer, no soppy bulls**t.

Yeah because no Guy Richie film could ever be accused of glamourising criminality. Seems you are picking and choosing your films to suit your arguments a little.

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Post by bhb001 Wed 31 Jul 2013, 7:55 am

Galted wrote:I suggest you all watch Miller's Crossing to see how it's done properly.  You might need to watch it twice if you're a bit slow on the uptake like I can be.

I needed to watch it twice. The first time I wasn't impressed at all. The second time I got what the film was about and thought it was superb. Definitely a film to appreciate.

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Post by The Saint Thu 01 Aug 2013, 9:49 pm

I've seen Goodfellas, Casino and Donnie Brasco over and over. I usually like to the end the day with a film in bed at night which might explain how. They're epic aren't they.

You might not consider them gangster films but I would have thought Lock Stock and Snatch might get a mention. I love those movie's. Never could get into Sexy Beast, way too boring.

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Post by TinRibs Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:03 pm

DAVE667 wrote:
TinRibs wrote:Sexy Beast is a great film but I think most of it is down to Ben Kingsley. Without him, I can't imagine it would be half as good. He's one of the most intimidating characters you'll see; just having him in the room you can tell everyone else is on edge. Kingsley plays the part perfectly with his unpredictable nature.

Carlito's Way is miles ahead of Scarface (80's version) in my opinion.

Not seen enough British gangter films to make comparisons, unfortunately.

Sure the tension is made more real due to the talent of the other actors. No good being menacing if everyone else looks happy to see you. Kingsley's great but say the film stands purely because of him does a real dis-service to everyone else

Of course, but then again I didn't find the others to be that good, apart from Winstone.
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Post by Champagne_Socialist Sun 11 Aug 2013, 3:41 am

we should not forget lock stock and two smoking barrels and of course shaft when debating British gangster films.

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Post by Il Gialloblu Sun 11 Aug 2013, 5:48 am

Champagne_Socialist wrote:we should not forget lock stock and two smoking barrels and of course shaft when debating British gangster films.
 
 
What?:
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Post by MetalMotty Sun 11 Aug 2013, 8:56 pm

when he said shaft did he mean 51st state? which i wouldn't class as a gangster film really

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Post by Il Gialloblu Mon 12 Aug 2013, 5:56 am

I think he meant Snatch.
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Post by jimmyinthewell68 Mon 12 Aug 2013, 7:56 am

anyone watched British film gangster No 1 . what did you think of it . i enjoyed it personally .

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Post by bhb001 Mon 12 Aug 2013, 9:22 am

This was mentioned earlier in the thread I believe. I did enjoy it; well acted throughout. And may have been the first film I saw Eddie Marsan in.

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Post by Guest Mon 12 Aug 2013, 11:24 am

jimmyinthewell68 wrote:anyone watched British film  gangster No 1  .  what did you think of it . i enjoyed it personally .
Preferred Paul Bettany as the younger "Gangster" Played it with real menace. MacDowell seems to have studied at the Terence Stamp School for Excessive Overacting and it spoils the film for me somewhat. I think I'd have preferred David Thewlis in MM's role to be honest.

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Post by STC Mon 12 Aug 2013, 3:36 pm

Sorry, wrong thread.

Didn't have anything interesting to say anyway.

Carlito's Way is fantastic though. So is Sexy Beast (yes, mainly due to Ben Kingsley).
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