50 FURIOUS CRIME FILMS

The crime genre film has been one of the most popular forms of cinema since the early days of Hollywood. These kinds of heightened, dramatic, violent stories about outsiders in society who live on their own terms have always captivated filmgoers. In the 1930s and 40s gangster pictures were all the rage. Actors like James Cagney, Edward G. Robinson, Paul Muni and Humphrey Bogart gained popularity in roles as psychotic gangsters who would rather shoot you fulla lead than look at you. Through the 40s and 50s a new subgenre of crime cinema known as film noir (a term coined for movies that were both dark in their subject matter and visual aesthetic) took the genre down another path.

From the 1960s to the 90s crime films were being made in the UK, Europe and Asia taking inspiration from the earlier Hollywood movies while infusing them with their own unique cultural attributes. Another layer was added giving the films a new gritty realism and post-modern sensibility. These groundbreaking international gems would go on to influence a whole new wave of filmmakers from all over the world ultimately creating a cross-cultural connection that still impacts modern crime cinema in the 21st century.

For our latest furious list we’ve picked 50 of our favorite films that take us through all the exciting subgenres of crime cinema such as movies about gangsters & mobsters, heists, police procedurals, revenge and corruption. As you may know, this genre in particular contains thousands of titles, so we’ve tried to filter them down as much as we could into a customized compilation of “crown crime film jewels”.

White Heat

White Heat (1949, Dir: Raoul Walsh/gangsters)

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Scarface 1932

Scarface (1932, Dir: Howard Hawks/gangsters)

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Touch of Evil

Touch of Evil (1958, Dir: Orson Welles/police-corruption)

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Goodfellas

GoodFellas (1990, Dir: Martin Scorsese/mobsters)

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Heat

Heat (1995, Dir: Michael Mann/robbery)

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The Friends of Eddie Coyle

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973, Dir: Peter Yates/rat em out-police)

WATCH TRAILER

The French Connection

The French Connection (1971, Dir: William Friedkin/drug dealers-police)

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Gambit

Gambit (1966, Dir: Ronald Neame/heist)

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Hoodlum

Hoodlum (1997, Dir: Bill Duke/gangsters-true story)

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The Anderson Tapes

The Anderson Tapes (1971, Dir: Sidney Lumet/heist)

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The Hot Rock

The Hot Rock (1972, Dir: Peter Yates/heist)

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Scarface 1983

Scarface (1983, Dir: Brian DePalma/drug dealers-gangsters)

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At Close Range

At Close Range (1986, Dir: James Foley/robbery-true story)

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The Killers 1964

The Killers (1964, Dir: Don Siegel/hitmen-revenge)

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Point Blank

Point Blank (1967, Dir: John Boorman/revenge)

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Last Man Standing

Last Man Standing (1996, Dir: Walter Hill/mobsters)

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King of New York

King of New York (1990, Dir: Abel Ferrara/gangsters)

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New Jack City

New Jack City (1991, Dir: Mario Van Peebles/drug dealers-gangsters)

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Bonnie and Clyde

Bonnie & Clyde (1967, Dir: Arthur Penn/gangsters-robbery-true story)

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The Getaway

The Getaway (1972, Dir: Sam Peckinpah/heist-mobsters)

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The Killer

The Killer (1989, Dir: John Woo/assassin)

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Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs (1992, Dir: Quentin Tarantiono/heist)

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The Killing

The Killing (1956, Dir: Stanley Kubrick/heist)

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The Asphalt Jungle

The Asphalt Jungle (1950, Dir: John Huston/heist)

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The Outfit

The Outfit (1973, Dir: John Flynn/revenge-mobsters)

 

The Departed

The Departed (2006, Dir: Martin Scorsese/undercover cop-mobsters)

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Chinatown

Chinatown (1974, Dir: Roman Polanski/private eye-corruption)

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The Italian Job
The Italian Job (2003, Dir: F. Gary Gray/heist)

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Straight Time

Straight Time (1978, Dir: Ulu Grosbard/professional criminals)

LISTEN TO THE SCORE

Charley Varrick

Charley Varrick (1973, Dir: Don Siegel/robbery-mobsters)

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Death Wish

Death Wish (1974, Dir: Michael Winner/revenge-vigilante)

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Hard To Kill

Hard To Kill (1990, Dir: Bruce Malmuth/revenge-corruption)

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Kill Bill

Kill Bill (2003-04, Dir: Quentin Tarantino/revenge-assassins)

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Ichi the Killer

Ichi The Killer (2001, Dir: Takashi Miike/yakuza)

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To Live and Die and LA

To Live and Die in L.A. (1985, Dir: William Friedkin/counterfeiter-police)

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Donnie Brasco

Donnie Brasco (1997, Dir: Mike Newell/mafia-true story)

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The Godfather

The Godfather Trilogy (1972- 1974-1990 – Director: Francis Ford Coppola/mafia)

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The Don Is Dead

The Don is Dead (1973, Dir: Richard Fleischer/mobsters)

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The Pope of Greenwich Village

The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984, Dir: Stuart Rosenberg/mobsters-heist)

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Dirty Harry

Dirty Harry (1971, Dir: Don Siegel/police-serial killer)

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Point Break

Point Break (1991, Dir: Kathryn Bigelow/undercover FBI-robbery)

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Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction (1994, Dir: Quentin Tarantino/gangsters)

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Night Moves

Night Moves (1975, Dir: Arthur Penn/private eye)

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Mobsters

Mobsters (1991, Dir: Michael Karbelnikoff/mafia-true story)

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Casino

Casino (1995, Dir: Martin Scorsese/mobsters)

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Bullitt

Bullitt (1968, Dir: Peter Yates/police-corruption)

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Breathless

Breathless (1960, Jean Luc Godard/criminal on the lam)

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Blow

Blow (2001, Dir: Ted Demme/drugs-true story)

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Once Upon a Time in America

Once Upon a Time in America (1984, Dir: Sergio Leone/gangsters)

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The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects (1995, Dir: Bryan Singer/robbery-revenge)

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Check out our other furious film lists for:

FILMS OF THE 1970s / FILMS OF THE 1980s / WAR FILMS / FILM FIENDS / FEMALES / ESSENTIAL BLU RAYS  VOLUME 1VOLUME  2

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Peter

Editor-In-Chief of The Deuce: Grindhouse Cinema Database/Furious Cinema contributor. Pete is a rabid movie geek who enjoys everything from wild n' crazy exploitation/cult flix to big budget mainstream classics. His other interests include: graphic design, cartooning and music.

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8 Responses

  1. Scott C says:

    Really good list. Love the simplicity and style – same goes for the website. Looking forward to seeing it progress

    • Peter says:

      thanks scott, we appreciate it! FC is like our little side project from the QT Archives / SWDB / GCDB. An outlet to talk about other types of movies we love. We’ll be slowly expanding on it. Stay tuned for more reviews and articles. Cheers!

  2. Louis XIII says:

    Where’s “Kiss Me Deadly” ??

  3. Jack Deth says:

    Superb list!

    Great to see ‘The Friends of Eddie Coyle’, ‘The Killers’, ‘Night Moves’, ‘The Outfit’, ‘Charlie Varrick’, ‘Straight Time’ and ‘To Live and Die in L.A.’ make the cut!

  1. December 19, 2011

    […] • 50 Furious Crime Films […]

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