The 1920's: A Brief Film Analysis

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The earliest film images of gangsters emerged in the 1900s as a result of concerns over industrialisation and urbanisation in American life. The late 1920’s brought in a new vision of the gangster as a social climber who was now part of the emerging urban middle-class. Characterised by capitalism, consumerism, and a common work ethic, the modern gangster became a symbol of consumption culture of the 1920’s. No longer a social outcast, the gangster became a central figure of the new urbanism and modernity itself. The depiction of the city in the modern gangster films of the late 1920s epitomises the modern consumer culture of the ‘Roaring Twenties’. The modern city becomes the central location in the gangster film and is no longer associated …show more content…
The cultural effects of Coppola’s chronicle of the Corleone family rendered Italianness as a global phenomenon through its depiction of a criminal family. The idea of a proud ethnicity is an important part of The Godfather’s success, as it indicates a respect for the characters and the narrative, as well as the cultural heritage that frames the story itself. The Godfather was distinguished by the cultural centrality on family and business – the one reflecting Sicilian values and the American dream of individual success. The importance of The Godfather trilogy to the American gangster film lies in its ability to resurrect the genre through its historical scope, its retrieval of the sympathetic gangster as the central character and its complete immersion into a cultural heritage that values traditions. The Godfather films present a romanticised version of the Mafia and the gangster film. Similarly, Italian-American director Martin Scorsese brought the gangster genre back to its social environmental roots of the urban mean streets and its wise guy