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They Might Be Giants … Movie Review

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Warner Bros. seemed to hold the rights to the gangster film in the 1930s, in part through the great work of their set designer Anton Grot, who was able to suggest a gritty urban feel in an era of movie escapism. The films that can lay claim to reaching an epic stature probably do so through a defining, indelible performance, such as those of James Cagney in Public Enemy (1930), Edward G. Robinson in Little Caesar (1930), and perhaps Paul Muni in the original Scar-face: The Shame of a Nation (1932). Years later, the enormous popularity of Bonnie and Clyde (1967) reflected the way its story of anti-establishment outlaws in the 1930s resonated with sympathetic moviegoing audiences in the 1960s. More recently, Martin Scorsese has shown an interest in large-scale gangland films with GoodFellas (1990) and Casino (1995), both of which span a number of years to chart the various corrupting effects of the mob—the first on the character played by Ray Liotta and the second on the city of Las Vegas itself.

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