Ronnie Kray Wants a Proper Shoot Out (Legend, 2015)
In this standout scene from The Krays biopic Legend, the Richardson’s are otherwise engaged and send a firm of heavies to meet with Ronnie and Reggie in an East End pub. When one of the men presents what Ronnie describes as a rolling pin he can’t hide his disappointment. “I came here for a shootout, a proper shootout with some men” he rants before storming out of the pub only to return moments later with two hammers.
Tony Montana “Say Hello to My Little Friend” (Scarface, 1983)
It may be one of the most over-quoted catchphrases in movie history but when it comes out of Tony Montana’s mouth it is forever cool. When Scarface comes to its bloody climax, a drug fuelled Tony Montana (Al Pacino) grabs his rifle and repeatedly shoots at his enemy shouting at the top of his voice “say hello to my little friend.”
Frank White’s You’re Welcome (King of New York, 1990)
Christopher Walken proves why Frank White is the King of New York in this iconic scene. Frank rocks up to a rival mobster’s poker game ready to lay down the law. When his rival doesn’t take too kindly to Frank’s demands, Frank whips out a gun and shoots him dead. “You’re welcome” he shouts at the unsuspecting players “You’re all welcome.”
Mr Blonde likes that (Reservoir Dogs, 1992)
In this classic Tarentino scene from Reservoir Dogs, Officer Nash witnesses first-hand how truly psychotic Mr Blonde can be. Nash foolishly says, “You can torture me all you want” to which Blonde replies, “Torture you. I like that.” The ear cutting scene that follows is one of the film’s most graphic moments and was full on enough for the BBFC to deny the film a video release until 1995, three years after its theatrical release.
Vincent and Jules preach Ezekiel (Pulp Fiction, 1994)
In true badass form, Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta give Brett (Frank Whaley) what-for in this iconic scene from Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Before now Jules and Vincent have been portrayed as shady characters but this is our first glimpse at them as violent gangsters. In true gangster style Jules recites Ezekiel 25:17 while pumping Brett full of lead: “And you will know my name is the Lord and I lay my vengeance upon thee.”
Vito Corleone makes an offer you can’t refuse (The Godfather, 1972)
Francis Ford Coppola’s classic includes so many memorable moments it’s hard to pick a favourite, but up there with the best is Vito Corleone’s power of persuasion. When Vito takes a moment out of his daughter’s wedding to talk shop with his godson, Johnny Fontane tells him of a movie role he is desperate to bag. With a confidence that makes him one of the greatest gangsters of all time, Don Vito tells Johnny he will get that role in Mr. Waltz’s picture. How you might ask? By making him an offer he can’t refuse of course.
Johnny Boy makes his grand entrance (Mean Streets, 1973)
While Charlie pleads with God in Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets, we first meet Johnny Boy (Robert Di Nero) in perhaps one of the coolest character introductions of all time. As the lighting turns the nightclub a demonic shade of red, Johnny Boy enters, wearing a bowler hat with a woman on each arm to the strains of The Rolling Stones’ Jumping Jack Flash. Now that’s how you make an entrance.
Nicky Santoro loses it over a pen (Casino, 1995)
If there was ever a definition of ‘loose cannon’ it’s Nick Santoro. Nicky and Sam are enjoying a quiet drink in a bar when an argument breaks out with a punter over a pen. Irritated by the disrespect, Nicky, cool as a cucumber, grabs the pen and stabs it in the guy’s neck, over and over again.
Michael Corleone renounces Satan (The Godfather, 1972)
No movie is complete without a montage and they don’t come greater than in The Godfather. As Michael Corleone publicly renounces Satan at his sons baptism Coppola expertly cuts to show the various hits the new Don has ordered on his family’s rivals. Bada-bong, bada-boom.
Henry Hill always wanted to be a gangster (Goodfellas, 1990)
In the opening scene of the Academy Award winning film Goodfellas we are introduced to Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci). With his face lit up by a cars brake lights, Henry opens a car trunk to reveal a bloody body within, while Tommy frantically and repeatedly stabs the body Henry begins his voiceover, “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.”
Legend is available now on Virgin Movies, and on DVD and blu-ray from 25th January.