TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT January 1991

BELIEVE IT OR NOT

Gangster Flicks

WHETHER OR NOT The Godfather Part III arrives as promised on December 25, America’s Christmas present to itself, the past few months brought a well-remarked-upon season of gangster flicks, with no less than seven examples of the genre opening in New York—Dick Tracy, The Freshman, Goodfellas, Miller’s Crossing, King of New York, State of Grace, and The Krays—as well as the promise of more, including a portrait of Bugsy Siegel and an adaptation of the E. L. Doctorow best-seller Billy Bathgate. Do we have to ponder the source of the appeal? Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas and Peter Medak’s The Krays, the current cycle’s two most factual (being based on real stories) and “naturalistic” examples, are careful to exploit the affinity between mobsters and film stars. In The Krays, a British film and hence only tangentially concerned with American mythology, the eponymous brothers are dismissed as “

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the January 1991 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.