Key Changes of the Genre Over Time

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  • 1920 Brief Information: Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (26th May 1922). Certification is a PG. Runtime is 242 minutes. Plot Summary: Dr. Mabuse, who is the archcriminal (and the main character), and his mob of criminals set out to make a fortune and run the city of Berlin. Detective Wenk tries to stop him in the process. Disguise, madness and depravity would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: There is no such thing as love, only passion! No luck, only the will to gain power! Dr. Mabuse Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBXB_wk7T5I
  • This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in black and white. This was the only option back in the 1920s. It makes the scene/film look aged and shows a depiction of the conventional Chicago gangster. The gangsters are positioned around a poker table watching two gamblers play the game. Here we get to see the worried and apprehensive facial expressions and body actions of these individuals. In conjunction with this long-range shot showing the mise-en-scene, there is an increasingly rapid melody in the background which builds up the suspense. Each person is dressed classy with the typical gangster blacksuit and bowtie appearance. Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922)
  • 1930 Brief Information: Scarface (9th April 1932). Certification is an A. Runtime is 93 minutes. Plot Summary: An ambitious and violent gangster climbs the ranks within the mob, but it later comes out that his weaknesses prove to be his breakdown. Murder, police and mob would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: Listen, Little Boy, in this business theres only one law you gotta follow to keep out of trouble: Do it first, do it yourself and keep on doing it Tony Camonte Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9OmTSM0i9s
  • This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in black and white. This was the only option back in the 1930s too. It makes the scene/film look aged and shows a depiction of the conventional Chicago gangster. The gangster (wearing the typical black-suit clothing) is holding a machine gun which portrays how the life of a gangster has already developed from the 1920s as being a chaotic adventure. This scene commences with two people sitting serenely in a cafe which soon gets disrupted as there are gunshots and grenades being thrown, using Todorovs Equilibrium theory. The type of camera shot which is frequently used in the film was a mid-shot. Scarface (1932)
  • 1940 Brief Information: The Woman in the Window (3rd November 1944). Certification is a PG. Runtime is 107 minutes. Plot Summary: A middle-aged conservative professor gets involved with trouble, and he is then plunged into a nightmarish spiral consisting of blackmail and crime. Murder, professor and blackmail would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: [Talking about sex] The flesh is still strong but the spirit grows weaker by the hour Richard Wanley Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cx_AiyI3zcw
  • This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in black and white. It makes the scene/film look aged and shows a depiction of the conventional Chicago gangster. Gangster movies hadnt changed much since the 1920s. The selection of clothing still has not changed since the 1920s, and this gives the symbolic stereotype of a gangster that most people view as today. This scene portrays a protagonist against the antagonist whereby the gangster comes into the room unexpectedly Binary Opposition (Good vs. Bad) helps to hype up the narrative. Shows the gangster from a low down angle, which also portrays his supremacy in this situation. The Woman in the Window (1944)
  • 1950 Brief Information: The Killing (6th June 1956). Certification is a PG. Runtime is 85 minutes. Plot Summary: After spending time in prison, Johnny Clay and friends mastermind a plan and execute a daring racetrack robbery. But, there are obstacles in their way. Airport, ex convict and robbery would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: You like money. Youve got a great big dollar sign there where most women have a heart Johnny Clay Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Rzh8XjzHI
  • This scene (as well as the whole film) is shot in black and white. It makes the scene/film look aged and shows a depiction of the conventional Chicago gangster. Gangster movies hadnt changed much since the 1920s. The gangsters here are still kitted out quite smartly and they are situated in a social club. This is one of the many places where mobsters hang out as their life orbits around amusement and hideouts. This scene is represented by an overthe-shoulder shot which alternates between the two characters during conversation. This is significant to see each individuals reaction. This line suggests that this gangster film will live up to its expectations with this disturbance. (Todorovs Equilibrium) The Killing (1956)
  • 1960 Brief Information: Point Blank (30th August 1967). Certification is an X. Runtime is 92 minutes. Plot Summary: After being forgotten and left for dead, a mysterious man called Walker tries to retrieve the huge sum of money which was primarily stolen from him in the first place. Mafia, money and serial killers would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: I want my money. I want my $93,000. Clyde Barrow Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yzpKedWubmc
  • This scene is set in an administrative centre whereby the two mobsters are talking. The use of the muted colours/lighting in the office may connote a negative disposition or possibly danger later in the film. This characters body expression may represent that he is in control of the situation. An eminent gangster film convention is how they present themselves to others, with body language and facial expressions being pivotal. The characters choice of clothing in this film are still neat and tidy, showing that this is one of the main genre aspects that have remained throughout the eras. Using the Barthes Enigma Code, the narrative here is delivered to the audience with an increase in suspense and closure. Point Blank (1967)
  • 1970 Brief Information: The Godfather (24th March 1972). Certification is an 18. Runtime is 175 minutes. Plot Summary: The aging patriarch (known as Don Vito Corleone) of an organised mob transfers the full control of his empire to his son. Drugs, drug dealers and crime would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: It makes no difference, it dont make any difference to me what a man does for a living, you understand. But your business is a little dangerous. Don Corleone Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eu3DWJjYP0
  • This scene (as well as a few others in the film) uses montage editing. It cuts between the passive, calm and religious ceremony to the violent murders going on at the same time. This is a multi-stranded narrative. The editing montage separates the holy and unholy traits of this character. It shows that he is good and evil which are two opposites (Binary Opposition). This is to show that there can be many sides to a gangster and not just the stereotypical hard chap. The background music is lurid and jumpy, and the priests voice adds suspense and exhilaration to the scene as well. The setting of the church also gives off a blue and cold feeling. The lighting inside of the church is dim, which gives off a gothic feel to the church. The music and the voice seems to get louder as each man is murdered as the scene goes on. This film features a lot of close up shots in order to see the reaction and anxiety of the character. The Godfather (1972)
  • 1980 Brief Information: Rumble Fish (21st October 1983). Certification is an 18. Runtime is 94 minutes. Plot Summary: Rusty James, a thug who struggles to live up to the reputation of his well-known, legendary brother, and longs for the days when gang warfare was going on. Motorcycles, thugs and alcoholics would be the words to best describe the plot of the film. Memorable Quote: Biff Wilcox is looking for you, Rusty James. Hes gonna kill you, Rusty James. Midget Scene Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fPIzvjiwqY
  • In this screenshot, the gangsters are dressed in a more casual manner than they have been conveyed in previous years. This may connote that gangsters are now more carefree. Also, this shows that the gangster genre has allowed experimentation since the 1920s. This scene portrays the stereotypical social life of a gangster; as a mob of them are at a snooker club. Also, they are drinking alcohol and smoking illegal drugs. The entire film is filmed in black and white. One would think that this film is an older film, for most modern films are filmed in colour, but this film chose to film in black and white on purpose. The black and white in this film helps to convey the primitive and chaotic world that the characters live in. This film features a lot of high speed shots by reversing to other angles in order t