“Make him an offer he can’t refuse,” mumbles Don Corleone in the film The Godfather.
This was the world of organised crime. And here was a film which so superbly recreated the Mafia gangs and their jealousies and wars.
The Francis Ford Coppola movie, along with its sequel, The Godfather II, is considered among the finest in the crime genre. The ‘crime never pays’ theme has been a favourite among movie makers since motion pictures started.
Slick killers, smart detectives, beautiful blondes, seedy gun molls, snarling bosses and machine gun-wielding henchmen kept the fires burning under the crime cauldron.These dramas kept cinemagoers glued to their seats and added huge wealth to the box office.
So here is an offer which must not be refused by crime film enthusiasts. It’s a list of the top films which may, or may not, come to the mind easily. But they are worth a watch and yes, anytime.
Blow Up (1966)
Cast: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles.
Director: Michelangelo Antonioni
It deals with the story of a famous photographer who lives the high life – sex, drugs and rock n roll. While photographing in a park, he chances to get a grainy picture of a body lying in the bushes. But next day the body is gone.
This is a great film which captures the Bohemian lifestyle of London in the swinging sixties. The master Antonioni weaves the web around it and leaves you pondering in the end.
The Big Sleep (1946)
Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall
Director: Howard Hawks
Adapted from a book by Raymond Chandler, the film is fast paced and full of racy dialogues. Detective Philip Marlowe gets mixed up with two sisters of a rich family. His investigations lead him to murder, blackmail and pornography.
The chemistry between Bogart and Bacall lends charm to the film.
The Third Man (1949)
Cast: Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard
Director: Carol Reed
Written by Graham Greene, this British crime drama is full of suspense with a neat twist in the end. The atmosphere of post war Vienna is created beautifully and the black and white frames are interspersed with harsh lighting.
The superb acting by the cast enhances the film with Orson Welles stealing the show.
Double Indemnity (1944)
Cast : Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Edward G Robinson
Director: Billy Wilder
A smart insurance agent falls to charm of a beautiful woman who leads him to commit a murder. Once confident, the agent is sucked deeper into trap of the woman ends up as a wreck.
The whole murder is planned cleverly but the end is disturbing as remorse steps in.
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
Cast: Warren Oates, Kris Kristofferson, Robert Webber
Director: Sam Peckinpah
The film was a box office disaster and was lampooned by the critics. Yet years down the line, the film won cult status.
Peckinpah films are violent and expect a blood-fest. The plot revolves around a bounty hunter who is on a road trip in Mexico along with his girlfriend to collect a reward for the head of a gigolo who made the daughter of a rich rancher pregnant.
The violent ending is typical Peckinpah. See it before a meal.