Why Hollywood Glamorizes Organized Crime
America began its love affair with mafia movies in the 1920s and The Untouchables. This is about the time that Mussolini, determined to rid his country of the mafia, catalyzed a large-scale rush of its members to the United States where there was money to be made in such areas as prohibition-inspired black markets. Ever since, some of the best movies made have been those about organized crime, including The Godfather, which some say defines the mob movie genre. Others include the following mob movies:
- Donnie Brasco
- Carlito's Way
- Analyze This
Hollywood makes and glamorizes organized crime, and moviegoers eat it up. Why?
Alex Constantine and Dan Moldea present a body of research that is hard to ignore. The Music Corporation of America (MCA), which began in 1924 as a modest band-booking agency was mafia controlled. Today it is a powerful Hollywood TV, film, and recording conglomerate. MCA nurtured the rise of Ronald Reagan, according to Moldea's book, Dark Victory. Both books insinuate a continuing Reagan-mob relationship throughout Reagan's career, a relationship that dealt with things like raising money for Iran-Contra through drug deals.
With this kind of connection between high political office and powerful mafia-controlled film enterprise, one might easily conclude that Hollywood's glamorization of organized crime is a natural cultural bias. In fact, there is much documentation that the values, cultural perspectives and prejudices of the Hollywood control group consistently influence movie bias. These documents include the Motion Picture Industry Reform book's companion volumes, Patterns of Bias in Motion Picture Content, Motion Picture Biographies and A Study in Motion Picture Propaganda.
The prevailing belief has traditionally been that the more engrossed viewers are with a program, the more likely they are to tune into to commercials. Fast-paced, action-filled programs are often those dealing with violence because, according to child psychologist John Murray, it is easier to craft fast-paced action with violence than with non-violence. Stories about organized crime often fit this description Glamorizes Organized Crime.