Best Italian Mob Movies Of All Time

When it comes to iconic movies about the Italian mob, there is no shortage of films to choose from. From classic dramas to gritty thrillers, these movies have captured the imagination of audiences around the world with their tales of power, betrayal, and honor. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best Italian mob movies of all time, along with 13 song examples that perfectly complement the themes and emotions of each film.

1. The Godfather (1972)

No list of Italian mob movies would be complete without mentioning “The Godfather.” Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this epic crime drama follows the Corleone family as they navigate the treacherous world of organized crime. One of the most iconic scenes in the movie is the baptism sequence, set to the haunting strains of “The Immigrant” by Nino Rota.

Song Example: “The Immigrant” by Nino Rota

2. Goodfellas (1990)

Directed by Martin Scorsese, “Goodfellas” is a gritty and realistic portrayal of the rise and fall of mobster Henry Hill. The film is known for its fast-paced editing and intense performances, particularly by Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci. The use of the song “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos in the film’s iconic montage sequence perfectly captures the chaos and violence of the mob lifestyle.

Song Example: “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos

3. Casino (1995)

Another collaboration between Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, “Casino” tells the story of the mob’s control over the Las Vegas casino industry. The film is a gripping look at the corruption and violence that underpins the glamorous world of gambling, and the use of the song “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals adds a sense of foreboding to the proceedings.

Song Example: “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals

4. A Bronx Tale (1993)

Directed by and starring Robert De Niro, “A Bronx Tale” is a coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of the Italian-American mob in the Bronx. The film explores themes of loyalty, family, and the allure of a life of crime, all set to a soundtrack that includes the classic doo-wop song “I Only Have Eyes for You” by The Flamingos.

Song Example: “I Only Have Eyes for You” by The Flamingos

5. Donnie Brasco (1997)

Based on a true story, “Donnie Brasco” follows FBI agent Joe Pistone as he infiltrates the mob under the alias of Donnie Brasco. The film is a tense and gripping look at the dangers of undercover work, and the use of the song “Don’t Bring Me Down” by The Animals adds a sense of urgency to the proceedings.

Song Example: “Don’t Bring Me Down” by The Animals

6. The Untouchables (1987)

Directed by Brian De Palma, “The Untouchables” tells the story of Eliot Ness and his team of agents as they try to bring down Al Capone during Prohibition. The film is a thrilling and action-packed look at the battle between law enforcement and organized crime, and the use of the song “The Strength of the Righteous” by Ennio Morricone adds a sense of drama to the proceedings.

Song Example: “The Strength of the Righteous” by Ennio Morricone

7. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Directed by Sergio Leone, “Once Upon a Time in America” is an epic crime drama that spans several decades in the lives of a group of Jewish gangsters in New York City. The film is a sprawling and ambitious look at friendship, betrayal, and the passage of time, and the use of the song “Deborah’s Theme” by Ennio Morricone adds a sense of melancholy to the proceedings.

Song Example: “Deborah’s Theme” by Ennio Morricone

8. Gomorrah (2008)

Based on the book by Roberto Saviano, “Gomorrah” is a gritty and realistic look at the Camorra crime syndicate in Naples. The film is a brutal and unflinching portrayal of the violence and corruption that pervades the organization, and the use of the song “Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu” by Ennio Morricone adds a sense of tension to the proceedings.

Song Example: “Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu” by Ennio Morricone

9. The Departed (2006)

Directed by Martin Scorsese, “The Departed” is a tense and gripping thriller about the Irish mob in Boston. The film follows an undercover cop as he tries to bring down a powerful crime boss, and the use of the song “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd adds a sense of unease to the proceedings.

Song Example: “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd

10. Mean Streets (1973)

One of Martin Scorsese’s earliest films, “Mean Streets” is a raw and gritty look at the lives of small-time mobsters in New York City. The film is a visceral and intense portrayal of loyalty, betrayal, and redemption, and the use of the song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones adds a sense of energy to the proceedings.

Song Example: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” by The Rolling Stones

11. Scarface (1983)

Directed by Brian De Palma, “Scarface” tells the story of Cuban immigrant Tony Montana as he rises to power in the Miami drug trade. The film is a violent and operatic look at the pursuit of the American Dream, and the use of the song “Push It to the Limit” by Paul Engemann adds a sense of urgency to the proceedings.

Song Example: “Push It to the Limit” by Paul Engemann

12. The Sopranos (1999-2007)

While technically a TV series, “The Sopranos” deserves a mention on this list for its groundbreaking portrayal of the Italian-American mob in modern-day New Jersey. The show follows mob boss Tony Soprano as he juggles the demands of his criminal empire with the challenges of family life, and the use of the song “Woke Up This Morning” by Alabama 3 perfectly captures the show’s dark and brooding atmosphere.

Song Example: “Woke Up This Morning” by Alabama 3

13. The Irishman (2019)

Directed by Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman” is a sprawling epic that follows the life of hitman Frank Sheeran as he becomes involved with the Bufalino crime family. The film is a meditation on loyalty, betrayal, and the passage of time, and the use of the song “In the Still of the Night” by The Five Satins adds a sense of nostalgia to the proceedings.

Song Example: “In the Still of the Night” by The Five Satins

Common Questions:

1. What is the most iconic Italian mob movie of all time?

– “The Godfather” is widely considered to be the most iconic Italian mob movie of all time, with its unforgettable performances and sweeping narrative.

2. Who is the director of “Goodfellas”?

– “Goodfellas” was directed by Martin Scorsese, known for his gritty and realistic portrayals of organized crime.

3. What is the theme song of “The Godfather”?

– The theme song of “The Godfather” is “The Immigrant” by Nino Rota, which has become synonymous with the film’s legacy.

4. What is the true story behind “Donnie Brasco”?

– “Donnie Brasco” is based on the true story of FBI agent Joe Pistone, who infiltrated the mob under the alias of Donnie Brasco.

5. Who stars in “Mean Streets”?

– “Mean Streets” stars Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro in early roles that helped launch their careers.

6. What is the setting of “Scarface”?

– “Scarface” is set in Miami and follows the rise of Cuban immigrant Tony Montana in the drug trade.

7. Who created “The Sopranos” TV series?

– “The Sopranos” was created by David Chase and aired from 1999 to 2007, winning critical acclaim for its portrayal of mob life.

8. What is the running time of “The Irishman”?

– “The Irishman” has a running time of 3 hours and 29 minutes, making it one of Scorsese’s longest films.

9. Who composed the score for “Once Upon a Time in America”?

– The score for “Once Upon a Time in America” was composed by the legendary Ennio Morricone, adding to the film’s epic feel.

10. What is the central theme of “Gomorrah”?

– “Gomorrah” explores the brutal and violent world of the Camorra crime syndicate in Naples, shedding light on the organization’s corruption.

11. Who plays Tony Soprano in “The Sopranos”?

– James Gandolfini portrays the iconic mob boss Tony Soprano in the acclaimed TV series.

12. What is the significance of the song “Layla” in “Goodfellas”?

– The song “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos is used in a pivotal montage sequence in “Goodfellas” to underscore the chaos and violence of the mob lifestyle.

13. How does “The Departed” differ from other mob movies?

– “The Departed” stands out for its focus on the Irish mob in Boston and its tense, twist-filled plot that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

Final Thoughts:

The Italian mob genre has produced some of the most memorable and iconic films in cinematic history, from the operatic grandeur of “The Godfather” to the gritty realism of “Goodfellas.” Each movie on this list offers a unique perspective on the world of organized crime, exploring themes of loyalty, betrayal, and power with unparalleled intensity. Whether set in New York City, Las Vegas, or Miami, these films capture the essence of the Italian-American mafia in all its complexity and contradiction. And with their unforgettable soundtracks featuring songs like “Layla,” “House of the Rising Sun,” and “Woke Up This Morning,” these movies have left an indelible mark on popular culture, inspiring countless imitators and admirers. As the genre continues to evolve and diversify, one thing remains constant: the enduring appeal of the Italian mob movie, with its potent blend of drama, action, and emotion.

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