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World Cinema Saturdays

This Saturday: Original Gangstas

Gangster films of the 1930s and 1940s used the rebellious figure of the criminal and the rigid structure of the criminal organization to challenge both capitalism and the business ethic.  Having made a career of illegality, the gangster functions as the dark double of “respectable” society, undermining its claims to legitimacy and parodying the American drive to succeed.  Cinema audiences experienced the dual satisfactions of vicarious participation in gangster violence and of seeing violence turned against the gangster himself, enabling them to identify with criminal rebellion against a corrupt, hypocritical society while enjoying fantasies of revenge against criminals who embodied “the root of evil.”


This Saturday's Movies - 1/24/2015
4:00 PM
Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connolly were tough kids who grew up together in the toughest part of New York --- Hell's Kitchen. Classic ganster film.

(USA, 1938, B&W, 78 mins, dir. Michael Curtiz, with James Cagney & Humphrey Bogart)

5:40 PM
Mobster Rico (Edward G. Robinson), rises through the ranks of the 1920's mob, and becomes leader of group of gansters. Danger and corruption mark this early gangster film.

(USA, 1931, B&W, 78 mins, dir. Mervyn LeRoy, with Edward G. Robinson & Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.)

7:00 PM
A waitress (Bette Davis), a hobo (Leslie Howard) and a bank robber (Humfrey Bogart) get mixed up at a lonely diner in the desert.

(USA, 1936, B&W, 82 mins, dir. Archie L. Mayo, with Humphrey Bogart & Bette Davis)

8:30 PM
Classic Jimmy Cagney Ganster film. A young hoodlum Tom Powers (Cagney) rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war. (Warning: Ends with Graphic Image)

(USA, 1931, B&W, 84 mins, dir. William A. Wellman, with James Cagney & Jean Harlow)

10:00 PM
A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

(USA, 1949, B&W, 113 mins, dir. Raoul Walsh, with James Cagney & Virginia Mayo)



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