Thursday Movie Picks: Crime Families

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is all in the family. And these families all commit crimes together. There's a lot of really obvious picks here like the Godfather that I haven't watched in ages so I avoided going that route. Here's three I like.

1) Eastern Promises

This is one of my all time favorite movies and is firmly in my top 5. Semyon's family deals in a lot of shady things, mainly forced prostitution. 

2) Animal Kingdom

These Aussies are, you guessed it, also doing shady things down under. And they're lead by the wonderful Jacki Weaver as the matriarch. 

3) Oliver & Company

And to go a little lighter - a family of stray dogs that steal things. But they're adorable and one of them is voiced by Billy Joel so of course we don't hold it against them. 

22 comments:

  1. Haven't seen any of these. I've been meaning to watch Eastern Promises, but can never seem to get to it. I know there's now a TV series about a crime family called Animal Kingdom. I had no idea it was based on a movie. Oliver & Company is an inspired pick.

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    1. Eastern Promises is one of my all time favs, you should definitely check it out!

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  2. I can't say that I "liked" Eastern Promises it was too downbeat and full of hopelessness for that but the acting was good and it kept me interested to the end.

    I felt pretty much the same towards Animal Kingdom though again the acting was very good.

    Oliver & Co. is an inventive choice. I think I've seen it from beginning to end but it's been a long time, my nieces loved it when they were little.

    I reached back a trifle further to a seminal film, a classic and a low budget exploitation flick that has a very fun central performance.

    Bonnie & Clyde (1967)-Seminal, trend-setting drama of the criminal pair who terrorized the heartland during the depression with Clyde’s brother and his wife. Stylish and ultra-violent this made Warren Beatty a major player in Hollywood, a star of Faye Dunaway, moved Gene Hackman considerably up the ladder as Buck Barrow and won Estelle Parsons a Best Supporting Actress Oscar as Buck’s screeching wife Blanche.

    White Heat (1949)-James Cagney stars as Cody Jarrett a psychotic gangster with a mother fixation in one of the best crime noirs of the 40’s. An utterly ruthless man who thinks nothing of gunning down an unarmed man he is prone to violent headaches, an incipient signal of total madness, that can only be soothed by sitting on Ma Jarrett’s (a chilling Margaret Wycherly) knee as she strokes his head. Sent to prison after being caught during their last job Cody is a targeted man both by the undercover agent (Edmund O’Brien) who has been planted to befriend him and one of his henchmen (Steven Cochran) and Cody’s grasping wife Verna (Virginia Mayo) who want to take over the gang. Breaking out he sets out to reassert his dominance during the robbery of a chemical plant payroll but things spiral out of control leading to a fiery climax. Classic Cagney.

    Ma Barker’s Killer Brood (1960)-Exploitation version of the Barker clan headed by the ruthlessly murderous Ma (Lurene Tuttle). Revisionist in the extreme showing the gang working with John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson though there’s no proof that they knew any of them in reality. Still it’s a trim little crime caper with Lurene Tuttle, who usually played sweet best friends and sensible mothers, having a grand old time tearing into the merciless and deranged mastermind. She rules her boys with an iron fist mocking any sign of weakness and not sparing the corporeal punishment to all if she thinks it necessary.

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    1. I've seen Bonnie and Clyde. I was okay with Eastern Promises being downbeat, it's one of my favorites.

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  3. I also picked Animal Kingdom. That movie is brilliant.

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    1. It is! I'm glad Weaver got an Oscar nom for that.

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  4. Ooh, we have a match in Animal Kingdom. And since somebody else mentioned Ma Barker above, I'm kicking myself for not picking Shelley Winters in Bloody Mama playing a matriarch based on Ma Barker.

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    1. I haven't seen Bloody Mama. I'm glad we matched on Animal Kingdom

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  5. Oliver & Company! I remember loving that when I was a kid. LOVE the Billy Joel songs!

    As you know from my own picks, I really love your other two as well!

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  6. Hey, we share two picks here. That is awesome. Oliver & Company is a film I saw as a kid and I'm not sure if I want to revisit the song. Plus, I really don't like the songs Billy Joel did. In fact, I'm not fond of Billy Joel's work in the 80s. That's right. 80s Billy Joel doo-wop sucks.

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    1. I never knew him any other way than this lol.

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  7. Animal Kingdom is everywhere and I just have no desire to see it. Love that you picked Oliver & Co even though I haven't seen it but this is an inventive choice. I love Eastern Promises...a great film even thou it is very heavy and depressing. It s a brilliant film.

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    1. Eastern Promises is an absolute fav. I love it so much.

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  8. Ohhh Animal Kingdom. What a perfect choice of this list. Weaver is so damn good in that movie.

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    1. She is! I'm glad it got a lot of love this week.

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  9. I really hope they never do Eastern Promises 2. The first one is such a terrific movie and Mortensen is amazing there

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    1. Yeah I don't want a sequel either. It's perfect as it is.

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  10. Ooh, Animal Kingdom, I forgot about that one. I was thinking about it but not the movie, the series, which is a shame because I do think the movie is a lot more thrilling. On the other side, I like how much more we get to know the characters in the series.

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  11. Ooh, Animal Kingdom, I forgot about that one. I was thinking about it but not the movie, the series, which is a shame because I do think the movie is a lot more thrilling. On the other side, I like how much more we get to know the characters in the series.

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    1. I never bothered with the series because I was afraid all I would do is compare it to the movie. lol

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    2. I like some of the changes they did with the characters for the series. The choice for the grandma is interesting which adds a lot of different dynamics to it.

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