5 Best Gangster Actors

Ever wonder who the 5 best gangster actors are? Gangster films have popularised the seedy underworld of crooks, antiheroes, and broken souls searching for a lot more than just business prospects or money. While most of these movies deal externally with crimes and the glamour of criminals, there is something deeper usually going on beneath the surface. From marital troubles, family woes, and the pressures of everyday life, gangsters lead lives of emotional complexity. Their portrayal in the movies seeks to dissect them in an attempt to unearth these layers and performance is perhaps the most important element of such an endeavor. Portraying a gangster requires actors of great range, with the ability to sometimes be depraved and violent, while tapping something universally relevant to all human beings.

  1. Al Pacino. Mr. Pacino boasts a filmography of diverse film roles, but face it, his most memorable ones are of his portrayals of gangsters. From "Carlito's Way" to "Scarface" to  "The Godfather" pictures, Al Pacino has created characters who are not only innately criminal, but most profoundly vulnerable as well. And let's not forget that very colorful performance in "Dick Tracy."
  2. Warren Beatty. Two films that have emerged as modern classics are "Bonnie and Clyde" and the more recent "Bugsy." In both of them, Warren Beatty brings two vastly different characters to life. From opposite ends of the spectrum, we see two very different kinds of gangsters.
  3. Robert De Niro. Robert De Niro and Martin Scorcese have together created some of the most memorable films in cinema history. Films that will be treasured for all time as classics. Among their collaborations are the greatest of gangster pictures, including "Mean Streets," "Goodfellas," and "Casino." In these three films, Robert De Niro shows us why his name has become synonymous with the word legend.
  4. Marlon Brando. Mr. Brando is not known for his work in gangster films, but one performance has cemented him at the top among players in the genre. We are, of course, referring to his gut-wrenching portrayal of Don Corleone in "The Godfather." 
  5. James Cagney. We have reached the king. We know the image. The image of a wild Cagney shoving half a grapefruit into Mae Clark's face. James Cagney is the king of gangster actors.  From "The Public Enemy" to "Angels With Dirty Faces" to "White Heat," he is someone who will never be equalled.
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