The conventions of gangster movies have become well known: the gum-chewing moll, the kiss of death, incorruptible G-men and well-dressed gangsters toting machine guns. The genre was first popularized in the silent era and has continued with such contemporary releases as Billy Bathgate and Bugsy.
Films, actors, directors, producers, cinematographers, plot devices, themes and more are included in this encyclopedic reference work to gangster films. For people, there are biographical sketches that focus on their work in gangster films. The film entries include year of release, distributor, cast and production credits, and a brief synopsis. Terms are placed in context of the genre, with relevant examples form gangster films given.