Tomorrow, Gangster Squad hits theaters (click here for my review). The crime flick takes place in 1949 Los Angeles during mobster Mickey Cohen’s rise to power in the City of Angels. America has had a fascination with the gangster throughout cinema history. They’ve been seen as folk heroes and the scourge of society. In the era of the Production Code, Hollywood tried to have it both ways with mandated-warnings paired with exhilarating, charismatic characters. Gangsters may always fall, but it’s a thrilling, infamous ride.
I’ve compiled a list of five gangster movies worth checking out. To stay in line with Gangster Squad, all of these films were made before 1950, so they lived in the era of the glamorous underworld and all the seedy, ruthless behavior it entailed. Hit the jump to check out the list.
Criterion makes the best DVDs/Blu-rays on the market for art house films. This quality comes with a premium that most are willing to pay, but some cannot afford. Last month, Netflix added 35 Criterion movies to their “Watch Instantly” selection. It’s a smart move by Criterion since their movies can reach a wider audience and drive up demand for physical copies of Criterion films because they still contain fantastic special features. Netflix benefits because it will bring on more film-lovers who can’t afford to check out ever Criterion Collection movie, but still want to see these rare and essential films.
Today, 21 more Criterion Collection films debuted on Netflix’s Watch Instantly and there are some great ones. I’ll list all 21 after the jump, but here are some of my personal favorites that are now available to Netflix subscribers who have at least an $8.99/mo plan: M, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Rules of the Game; and those I’m ashamed I haven’t seen yet: Richard III, Smiles of a Summer Night, Tokyo Drifter, Umberto D., and The Wages of Fear. I have a busy weekend ahead of me.
Hit the jump for the full list of films.