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06/20/2013

RIP Tony Soprano & where he ranks among the great mob figures

TonySopranoObviously sad news to hear that actor James Gandolfini died in Italy after suffering a heart attack. He was 51.

He was made famous by playing one of pop culture's great mob bosses on the massively popular TV show, The Sopranos. But where does Tony Soprano rank among the all-time great mobsters? Here is a very official top ten:

10. James Cagney as Tom Harlow in The Public Enemy.
Cagney in this or White Heat are both good picks. This guy did several gangster flicks and this is arguably the best.

9. Robert De Niro as Al Capone in The Untouchables
This performance is easily forgotten but this was classic De Niro - intense, menacing, scary and intimidating as the Chicago mob boss. 

8. Ray Liotta as Henry Hill in Goodfellas
Liotta was at his fast-talking best as the scumbag wise guy who eventually turned into a major informant against the family.

7. Jack Nicholson as Frank Costello in The Departed
Jack has been better but he was awfully good playing the mob boss loosely based on the real Boston Irish mob boss Whitey Bulger. He is a absolute scum bag murderer. 

55356. Joseph Mascolo as Stefano DiMera in Days of Our Lives
Hear me out - the dude never gets caught but has been running organized crime in Salem for decades. 

5. Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas
Impossibe not to watch as the cold blooded Tommy who loves his mother but will murder a kid who makes a joke. "What am I a clown, here to amuse you?" 

4. Johnny Depp as Donnie Brasco in Donnie Brasco
Depp is outstanding as the FBI undercover agent who infilitrates the mob and eventually becomes one of them. 

3. James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in The Sopranos
He was such a bully and selfish jerk, but he had this heart that made him an enduring figure. He was a guy's guy all the way, but he put a believable spin to a genre that is often unbelievable. 

2. Al Pacino as Michael Corleone in The Godfather II
How the naive war veteran returns home to become a total paranoid psychopath who will kill his own brother is maybe Pacino's best performance. 

Brando-'Don-Corleone'200[2]1. Marlon Brando as Don Corleone in The Godfather
The best and such an enduring character that all other aging mob bosses are compared to The Don of Don's.

(** It should be noted that this list does not include Robert Duvall or James Caan from The Godfather; in fairness, this list could be taken straight from The Godfather or Goodfellas.)

 

Comments

chuck brunzzi

You forgot Joe Pesci as Nicky Santoro in "Vegas". He was vicious. I'll never forget him bludgeoning a guy in the throat to death with a pen for bumping into a buddy of his. "Vegas" Nicky Santoro don't get all the attention it deserves. Great flick. Great mob killer.

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