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More thoughts on Gangsters Galore

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More thoughts on Gangsters Galore

A couple of winters ago I wrote for Turner Classic Movies' Community Forum a set of three blogs on "Gangsters Galore," a highly informal survey of films and TV shows about movies dealing with the bad old days of 1920s and '30s criminals that developed into a multi-year fad with audiences. This period extended from late 1957 with the release of the independently-made BABY FACE NELSON to the last episode of THE UNTOUCHABLES in the spring of 1963. Its popularity was based in part on exposes of organized crime throughout the '50s that probed the historical roots of racketeering that came to form the back stories of AL CAPONE (1959) and MURDER INC. (1960), and a fascination with the outlaw element of the Dillinger-type crime sprees that terrorized the nation's southwest and mid-section during 1933-1934.

The latter inspired a series of biopics, such as Roger Corman's MACHINE GUN KELLY (1958) and PORTRAIT OF A MOBSTER (1961), th…