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The three classic gangster movies Little Caesar LeRoy 1930 Public Enemy Wellman 1931 and Scarface Hawks 1932 usually took place at night in speakeasies night clubs elaborate apartments of the gangsters and back rooms during the time of prohibition Prohibition is believed to be the lead cause of the development of gangsters throughout the United States and the beginning of inter gang conflict involving territory among enemies Each classic was said to have been based on a real life gangster of the 1930s and characters were created to depict the life of crime on the streets drawn from actual newspaper headlines Actors such as Edward G Robinson and James Cagney were cast to portray the life of infamous gang leaders Al Capone Bugsy Siegel and Hymie Weiss It has been stated that their screen portrayals bore little resemblance to the actual criminal In fact many critics have argued that just the reverse is true that real criminals tended to adjust th eir dress and demeanor so that they might resemble their depiction in the movies Shatz 84 Two of the three most popular films begin and end in the same manner Little Caesar opens with an off screen robbery and murder of a gas station attendant by a small time crook Rico who eventually makes his way to the top in the big city with the help of his right hand man Joe After he achieves his overly ambitious goal of becoming a crime lord Rico is machined gunned down in the final scene Dirks 2 The same holds true for Scarface Tony Camonte the former body guard of Big Louis Costillo- the last of the old fashioned leaders-sets the stage for what is to come when he viciously murders Costillo in his own night club This begins Tonys relentless pursuit in his quest for power and fortune Tony like Rico is killed by police sending him back to the gutter where they came
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