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A first-rate gangster film that also tackles some major social issues, this 1938 movie revolves around two childhood friends from a New York slum whose lives take radically different paths: Rocky becomes a tough-guy mobster, Jerry a charismatic priest. When some local slum kids fall under the spell of Rocky's outlaw glamour, Jerry's cleric intervenes to try to keep them on the straight and narrow. With its vivid street-level atmosphere, pacey direction and terrific performances, notably from a crackling Cagney, this is an example of the Hollywood studio system of the 1930s at its best.
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Later remade with Al Pacino, this 1932 gangster drama charts the rise of a ruthless crime boss modelled on notorious US mobster Al Capone.
From the Coen brothers comes this '30s-set gangster film about the right-hand man of a mob boss caught in the middle of a bloody gang war.
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