Mafia Movies: A Reader

Front Cover
Dana Renga
University of Toronto Press, Apr 16, 2011 - Performing Arts - 368 pages

Rico 'Little Caesar' Bandello, Michael Corleone, and Tony Soprano are just some of the onscreen mafia figures that have fascinated audiences since cinema's inception. Portrayals of the Italian and Italian-American mafia, though, have differed markedly over time and across multiple cultures from the Godfather trilogy to contemporary Italian films, and in works both by established producers like Martin Scorsese and emerging directors like Matteo Garrone.

Mafia Movies encourages mafia aficionados to explore the rich variety of classics and rarities within the genre with provocative analyses of over forty films. The essays in this volume provide a comprehensive exploration of the myth of the mafia onscreen, identifying key features and connections to styles such as film noir, thrillers, and even westerns. Mafia Movies also questions whether there are uniquely American or Italian ways of depicting the mafia, exploring how filmmakers from both countries have approached the subject in divergent ways.


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PART ONESetting the Scene
The Corleones at Home and Abroad
Four Themes in the Everyday World of Mafia Wives
The Corleones at Home and Abroad
A Different Version of a Biograph Kidnapping
DW Griffith and the Biograph Revenge Films
Mervyn LeRoys Little Caesar and Howard Hawks Scarface
Francesco Rosis Salvatore Giuliano
Alberto Lattuadas Il mafioso
A Contemporary Perspective on the Camorra
Luchino Viscontis The Leopard
Elio Petris Filming of Leonardo Sciascias To Each His Own
A Western Flirtation
Lina Wertmüllers The Seduction of Mimi
Logical Investigations in Francesco Rosis Lucky Luciano

4 Playing Good ItalianBad Italian in ABCs The Untouchables
Martin Ritts The Brotherhood
Francis Ford Coppolas The Godfather
7 Nihilism and Mafiositį in Martin Scorseses Mean Streets
Part II
9 The Sexual Politics of Loyalty in John Hustons Prizzis Honor
The Gangsters of Brian De Palmas The Untouchables
Michael Ciminos The Sicilian
Hybrid Storytelling between Realism and Formalism
Part III
Gender and the Legacy of Crimein Abel Ferraras The Funeral
Mike Newells Donnie Brasco
16 Martin Scorseses The Departed Or the Quest for a Departed Ethnic Identity
David Chases The Sopranos
DeStructuring Expectations in the Final Season of The Sopranos
Myth and Resistance
19 Which Law Is the Fathers? Gender and Generic Oscillation in Pietro Germis In the Name of the Law
The Idea of the Mafia in Francesco Rosis Illustrious Corpses
Desperate Lives Converge in Sicilia Non Bedda
Giorgio Ambrosolis Murder in Michele Placidos A Bourgeois Hero
31 Sacrifice Sacrament and the Body in Ricky Tognazzis La scorta
A Different View of Corleone
The Biopic as Political Cinema
The Mafia and the Womans Film
35 Organized Crime and Unfulfilled Promises in Gabriele Salvatores Im Not Scared
Antonio and Andrea Frazzis Certi bambini
Paolo Sorrentinos The Consequences of Love
38 The Indivisibility of the Mafia Politics and Ethics in Bianchi and Nerazzinis The Mafia Is White
An Italian Tragedy
Matteo Garrones Gomorrah
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2011)

Dana Renga is an assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian at the Ohio State University, and editor of Mafia Movies: A Reader.

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