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Hollywood and Gangsters

Published: August 20, 2012

In our Sep/Oct 2012 issue, Lewis Beale reveals why we love our movie gangsters. Read more about famous Hollywood stars portraying the real-life mobsters, then put your knowledge to the test and see where you rank in the trivia underworld with our Gangster Quiz!


Sean Penn stars as real-life gangster Mickey Cohen.

Mob Love

    (Lewis Beale, Sep/Oct 2012)

    The classic toughs of the silver screen are the ultimate individualists. These are guys who know no boundaries when it comes to fulfilling their ambitions. For Americans, it’s a formula impossible to resist.


George Raft in the movie Capone

George Raft (right) became a star after his performance in the movie Capone.

Out of My Past

    (George Raft, September 21, 1957)

    Hollywood’s mysterious tough guy reveals he was once a gun-toting consort of underworld big shots. Here, finally, Raft tells the truth about his life as a young gangster.


Al Capone

Al Capone smiled on his way to prison in 1932.

Big Shots or Pop Guns?

    (Post editors, August 15, 1931)

    Post editors wonder if the arrest of Al Capone would lead to the end of the gangster era in books and film.


James Cagney in The Public Enemy (Photo courtesy www.doctormacro.com)

Mae Clarke and James Cagney in Public Enemy.

How I Got This Way

    (James Cagney, January 14, 1956)

    James Cagney knew what it was to flop on Broadway, but won overnight movie fame as a gangster who mashed his moll in the face with a grapefruit.


Jerry Giesler with Bugsy Siegel

Giesler (left) with his client Bugsy Siegel.

I Defend a Mobster

(Jerry Giesler, December 12, 1959)

    Jerry Giesler, a celebrated Hollywood lawyer, discloses how he sprang Bugsy Siegel from a murder charge in 1959.

Read More:

  • Cassandra Orton

    Thanks for catching that mistake. We’ve updated the infographic with the correct photo, which will be posted online October 16!


    Cassandra Orton | Web Editor
    The Saturday Evening Post

  • Dave McGown

    Error: page 43 Murder Inc Abe Reles may have been played by Peter Falk, but that is not Falk’s famous face. I recognize the face there, but can’t remember his name. Nonetheless, he’s not Falk and I expect I am not the only one to point that out.