There’s no doubt that gangsters and mobsters are some of the most dangerous and cruel people out there and it’s a safe bet that not many decent people would look up to them in real life. Despite this fact, it’s really weird but also quite true that for some reason many TV and film gangsters, hit men, mobsters, and criminals have become some of the most iconic and admired characters in film history. Here are 25 such “heroes” who have become some of our favorite TV and movie characters for one reason or another. I guess we can’t help but like these mobsters in entertainment…guilty pleasure maybe?
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Frank Costello – The Departed
To be honest there is nothing that special about Frank Costello in The Departed except the “rats’’ scene of course, but the fact that Jack Nicholson finally portrays a gangster is enough for us to include Costello on our list. We just loved it.
Lucky Luciano – Hoodlum
Hoodlum is a fictional story that includes the names of many legendary gangsters. The story takes us back to 1930s Harlem where African-American gangsters struggle for dominion and power against Dutch Schultz who is trying to invade their territory. However, it’s another man who steals the show here, Lucky Luciano, and truth be told, being Italian gives you the clear edge to play in gangster films. What can we say? It’s a matter of being true to life.
Brick Top – Snatch
I think we all (or most of us, anyway) agree by now that Guy Richie has managed to take the whole crime and Mafia genre to another level in the past two decades with films such as Snatch, RocknRolla, and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. Brick Top is one of the many epic roles Guy Richie “invented” in his films to portray a powerful crime lord who controls and fixes illegal boxing bouts in London and loves to feed the victims of his violent crimes to pigs. How could someone be so cruel, sadistic, and at the same time hilarious? Only Guy Richie has the answer.
Pippi De Lena – The Last Don
Before The Sopranos and James Gandolfini there was The Last Don and Joe Mantegna. All right, all right, maybe the comparison is a bit off but still this superb TV miniseries from the ‘90s is classic material when it comes to Mafia-themed shows and Joe Mantegna as Pippi De Lena was pretty awesome.
Benjamin “Lefty” Ruggiero – Donnie Brasco
“Lefty,” as Benjamin Ruggiero was known to Mafia circles, was a real person and a soldier in the Bonanno crime family. The masses got introduced to him, however, in the film Donnie Brasco where the mighty Al Pacino portrays “Lefty” in a way that makes him look more like a victim when in reality Ruggiero was responsible for the death of twenty-six people.