The Gangster contrast

Gangster films focus on the rise to power of cold-blooded criminals such as Al Capone and Tony Soprano. The conventions of the genre usually require a contrast between two men, either related through friendship or kinship, with one of them getting an honest job while the other resorts to crime. In an abstract way, an example in the sopranos could be the relationship between Tony and Carmela. Whilst Tony leads an immoral life, Carmela trys to balance the family, turning a blind eye to his immoral behaviour. Carmella therefore seems to lead a far more subdued life in comparison to Tony’s, who lives on the edge day and night. The contrast is usually set in urban enviroment at night. The criminal is always the one gaining status, and this rise on the social ladder makes him, in schatz definiton,”the perverse alter-ego of the ambitious, profit-minded American male”. The criminals growing status in wealth as well as power is signalled by the expensive clothes, flashy cars, and attractive women he acquires.


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