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Mafia Movie List

Lucky Luciano




Meyer Lanksy


True Mafia Movies

We have all seen numerous Mafia movies while we were growing up and most of them were based on true stories. It's also mostly based on the Italian American, Sicilian and Jewish Mafias and all of these movies can be somehow historically connected. I have compiled a list of thirty plus that are based on real life Mafia stories and their proper family connection. Most Mafia movies are based during the prohibition era. Charles " Lucky " Luciano's character has been played more than any other gangster in films along with his partners Bugsy Seigel and Meyer Lansky. There's a reason for that. Before I begin my Mafia movie connection, let me briefly simplify Italian Mafia history.

The Italian Mafia was started at the start of the prohibition era in America. The Sicilian Mafia was already an establishment in the United States which is proven with arrest records that go back as far as 1896. The Sicilian Mafia had two big bosses in NY, one was Joe " The Boss " Massaria and the other one was Salvatore Maranzano. These two gained their power from the Sicilian based bosses and were at war with one another. These feuds were best known as the Castellamarese wars. Around these times Charles Luciano, who started of as a small time thief, was gaining power when the prohibition era was beginning. Gangsters like Bugsy Seigel, the Jew, Meyer Lansky and the Italian Charles Luciano had been good childhood friends in New York City. In his younger years, Lucky Luciano was a memeber of the five points gang in Hell's Kitchen. Once he was known for being a ruthless gangster, the Sicilian mob bosses yearned for Lucky Luciano's association in their family. Just before the Prohibition era Lucky Luciano was beefing with both Sicilian bosses because he would not join either one during the prohibition. He together with Bugsy and Lansky killed off both Sicilian bosses and took over NY's bootlegging operations and made hundreds of millions of dollars. They ran prostitution, gambling-(which was lead by Frank Costello) racketeering, bootlegging, extortion among the populous. Along with crime they established five crime families.

1. Profaci Crime family - later known as Colombo Crime Family

2. Bonnano Crime Family

3. Mangano Crime family - later known as the Gambino Crime Family

4. Gagliano Crime family - (formally The Luchese Crime Family)

5. Luciano Crime Family - later known as the Genovese Crime Family

Along with these families were other families across the nation, one of the most notable was the Chicago outfit led by Al Capone. When Lucky Luciano inducted the "La Cosa Nostra" he also included gangsters from the Sicilian Mafia already established in America that were loyal to him and his alliances.

All these families became other families as new gangsters kill old gangsters and take their place in the mafia rankings. For the Italian American Mafia it all started during the prohibition with Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello, Meyer Lansky and Bugsy Seigel. Many Mafia movies portray these gangsters and all Mafia movies are connected some how with history and time being the connector. So are you ready, here's the list. If you know of another one then let me know I missed one and I'll add it.

The Mafia Movie List

In no particular order:

1. Charles " Lucky " Luciano - (Luciano Movie)

2. Cotton Club - (prohibition based)

3. The Valachi papers - (Joe Valachi's book)

4. Mobsters - (Lucky Luciano story) 1991

5. Billy Bathgate - (prohibition era gangster)

6. Bugsy - (one of Lucky Luciano's hoods-Jewish) 1991

7. Hit the Dutchmen: The Arthur Flegenheimer Story (1992)

8. Hoodlum - (African American ties to Italian Lucky Luciano and Jew Dutch Shultz)

9. Lansky - (Meyer Lansky story-Lucky Luciano's friend)

10. Bonanno - A God father story

11. The Untouchables - (DA Dewey's side)

12. Youngest Godfather

13. The Gotti Story - (John Gotti story)

14. The Goodfellas - (Henry Hill story- Luchese Crime family)

15. Donnie Brasco - (Pistone story- Bonanno crime family)

16. American Gangster - (end of Hoodlum begins American Gangster)

17. The Enforcer - (police efforts to take out Chicago outfit)

18. Crazy Joe Gallo - (Profaci crime family)

19. Once upon a time in America

20. St Valentine Day massacre - (Chicago outfit) 1967

21. Sugartime - (love story based on Sam Giacana, Chicago outfit)

22. Casino - (The Frank Rosenthal story)

23. Boss of Bosses - (The Paul Castellano Story)

24. Find Me Guilty - Jack DiNorscio Story

25. Kill The Irishman - The Danny Greene Story

26. Ganster Squad - Mickey Cohen -

27. Iceman - Richard Kuklinski - Gambino Crime Family

28. Portrait of a Mobster - Dutch Shultz - German-Jewish Mobster

29. Find me Guilty - Jack DiNorscio - Luccheese Crime Family

30. Momo: The Sam Giancana Story - (2011)

31. Black Mass: James “Whitey” Bulger and the Winter Hill Gang (2015)

32. Mafia Princess: Salavatore 'Sam' Giancana's daughter's autobiography (1986)

33. Wonderland: The Eddie Nash and Wonderland Murders (2003)

34. Lanksy: The Meyer Lanksy Bio - 2021

Number 25 is not an Italian mafia movie it was rather one of their enemies who had some balls. Danny Greene was an Irishman from Cleveland who held down the docks in the seventies. He is well known for killing Italian Mobsters in Cleveland by placing explosives under their car.

Now some might say " Hey, what about Scarface or The GodFather? Well those are not true stories. Though based on actual events the characters are made up. Be sure to stay updated on this blog as I am still investigating a couple more movies for my list. If you like Mafia themed shows then you have to watch Boardwalk Empire. It's a great series and can be watch on most subscrition apps.

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The Mafia Today

There's so much speculation as to whether or not the Italian Mafia still exist in America and abroad but the signs are there if you know them. The mafia is stronger and better than they have ever been because they are in great secrecy and are not like the John Gotti era gangsters that proceeded them. At one point there was twenty six cities with Italian Mafia members. Unknowingly so, the Italian Mafia is thriving among us and their culture has spread across all the continents. Currently there are around one thousand Italian family members still strong in the United States Of America but are now more wiser and quieter about how they construct their business.

It is a fact that there are way less Italian Made Men now then ages or decades ago but as time as went on and Irish and Italians gained more rights then the need for crimes they once committed were no longer necessary.

Mafia History

La Cosa Nostra


joseph vega on November 20, 2015:

this was an awesome find, thanks to the Hubber.

Aunice Yvonne Reed from Southern California on August 25, 2014:

Thanks! I guess I've got some movies to watch. I thought I'd exhausted my list but after reading your list here, there's more!

Angela Brummer from Lincoln, Nebraska on June 13, 2012:

Great list I thought I had seen them all but, I guess I missed some.

feenix on May 28, 2011:

DRG, I really liked this hub because, for one thing, it prompted me to remember some real good movies I haven't watched in awhile. And I must say that my all-time favorite mob movie is "Goodfellas"

BobbiRant from New York on May 27, 2011:

Great hub. I love mafia movies. Maybe it's the New Yorker in me and the fact NY has had its good share of mafia families. Very interesting.

Felix J Hernandez (author) from All over the USA on March 28, 2011:

Ty Tone so much and I updated bc of you.

Tone on March 25, 2011:

Another movie that I didn't see on your list that's based on a true story is Boss of Bosses. How Paul Castellano came to be the Boss of the Gambino Family.

Felix J Hernandez (author) from All over the USA on March 05, 2011:

I will check that out and even extend my list because I never considered the black & white movie titles.

Baz on March 05, 2011:

Sorry mate but the 1932 original Scarface movie was based on the gangster Alphonse "Scarface" Capone (later nicknamed "Snorky" by his closest friends), the characters name was later changed after Capone heard of the movie and sent two men to the directors house to make sure there was nothing linking Capone to the events in the movie and Capone liking the movie so much he himself acquired a print of it .

Felix J Hernandez (author) from All over the USA on February 05, 2011:

John Dillinger was a robber and burglar and was not Italian nit he did run with some of them but they disowned him when he became infamous.

jason on February 04, 2011:

how about public enemies? with John Dillinger?

lindatymensky on January 31, 2011:

You made me think about how much I love mob movies, especially Goodfellas. Thanks. Linda

Dr. Cool on January 22, 2011:

Hey buddy u cool.. Much more cooler dan me. I'l look forward for you response..

Are you coolest?? Hunh???

amin bvbccvcvx on December 03, 2010:

Marta Baletbó-Coll made a film called "Sévigné". She not only wrote it but she directed and starred in it, if you can imagine!

Done originally in Catalán which is, I believe, a dialect of Spanish, you can also see it with an english language track or with english subtitles. Either way, the love story told is so full of real chemistry and passion it grips you and you don't even want to blink while watching because you don't want to miss a moment of it.

I first saw it on youtube and coincidentally started up a conversation with Marta herself there and she was generous enough to send me a copy of it and two other of her films on dvd free of charge. I HIGHLY recommend seeing this film. It will change the way you think about romance and love in the movies, for the better.


Dean Andreoli

Portland, Maine

JoeJoeLouie on November 29, 2010:

What a list! I've seen 90% of the movies on your list and some not for a very long time. Like, The Valachi Papers. I'll watch that one soon. Funny how this list matches most documentories. I was raised in NY back in the day and remember some of the newspaper headlines. Fagedahbadit!Thanks !

Me :) on November 01, 2010:

witness to the mob it's about Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano (gotti familly) Great Movie!!

michael ely from Scotland on October 21, 2010:

Hi DRG Da Real Grinc, This was a good read including the background of the families. I've not seen too many of these films, but those i have seen were good. It makes me want to see a few others on here. Michael.

mythbuster from Utopia, Oz, You Decide on October 19, 2010:

Nice work, DRG Da Real Grinc - it's nice to see all the names in one place... I've always been a bit confused about which personality goes with which "family." Thanks for sharing - will check back for updates in a little while. Take care!

ANANDAKUMAR on August 31, 2010:

what a wonderful collection,i saw the movie THE GODFATHER,i love the movie very much,nw i planned to watch all you listed above,i will try my best,whether this movies will there are not in internet,thank u ,very much

Felix J Hernandez (author) from All over the USA on August 20, 2010:

Tisha it was Sugartime.

Tisha on August 19, 2010:

I'm trying to remember this Mafia movie (I think) when I was very young. All that I can remember is that at the end there was a wedding and before it started someone left the bride a gun in a gift box and told her that the man she was about to marry was the man that killed her father. I do not remember the name of this movie and it's been bugging me for years to find this movie. I hope you can help. email me at if u find it. Thank You.

Selina on August 06, 2010:

Thanks so much for this list i've been looking for this film (mobsters) for years since watching it when i was younger couldn't for the life of me remember what it's called but knew the main character's name was charlie not a lot to go on right but i knew that once i saw the starting i'd know it's it going through you list and i found it thanks SO SO much and also for a little knowledge on the subject keep it up. :-)

DEAN on June 08, 2010:

ive got all these films and an expert on scilian/american mafia any questions please ask away and a greeat list of films to :)

Kenzie on May 07, 2010:

I also watched a move called Love, honor and Obey, the last mafia marriage. It was based on Bill Bonanno and his wife Rosalie. Good movie but more from the wifes perspective.

nygxl2 on February 15, 2010:

What a great list! That is exactly what i've been looking for. I'm an american mafia buff and I'm always curious to watch the movies based non-fiction. Thanks man!

Susan B Anna from New York on January 04, 2010:

Wonderful Hub, seen most but with this list I will be sure to view the others.

pddm67 from Queens, New York on December 11, 2009:

Nice hub and list. I've seen about 90% and will definitely have to check out the 10% I didn't.

LOL - For one second, I did say to myself - where's the Godfather Trilogy but caught myself at the last minute realizing the difference. Just like you predicted :-)

Michelle Cesare from New York on November 11, 2009:


What an interesting Hub. After the holidays when winter is in it fullest here in NY, I will come back to this Hub and choose a movie to rent. I've only seen a few of the movies you list. Thanks for listing them.


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