PROHIBITION in Film
Dozens of films have been inspired by the Prohibition Era, and many have been known to be modern classics. Many of these films have revolved around the uprising of mobs and the life of being a gangster in the 1920's. The 1931 film Little Caesar was one of the first films solely based on the life of a gangster surviving in the age of Prohibition. The story of Caesar Enrico "Rico" Bandello, played by Edward G. Robinson (pictured left), was known to be loosely based on the notorious life of Al Capone and his success and eventual demise from the gangster life Little Caesar, although thought as overly-violent at the time, truly opened the the mob scene to a society that has never experienced such activity. This film made such an impact, that it opened up a new world of cinematography and basically created a genre of film known as "gangster-crimes." To this day Little Caesar is considered of the greatest with receiving high praise from the American Film Institute and being honored into the National Film Registry in 2000.
In 1987, acclaimed director Brian De Palma released a film dramatizing the life of government agent Eliot Ness and his efforts to bring elite gangster Al Capone to justice during the Prohibition Era. The film garnered positive reviews from critics, and its cast, which included Kevin Costner as the pursuing Eliot Ness, and Robert De Niro as the sinister Al Capone, was lauded. Sean Connery's portrayal of one of Ness's "Untouchables" was admired and, despite being voted first place in a Empire magazine poll for worst film accent, Connery was awarded with the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance that year. Along with that, the film received three more nominations for Best Costume Design, Best Score, and Best Art Direction. The grossed a total of $76 million dollars and has been known as one of the best gangster-crime movies of all time, with honors coming from several top critics and the American Film Institute, including a nomination for "Top Ten Gangster Films."