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The Best '80s Gangster Movies 

Ranker Film
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812 votes 219 voters 12.7k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite gangster films that were released in the 1980s.

In the 1980s, the gangster film genre resurfaced, bringing with it top directors like Brian DePalma, John Huston, Francis Ford Coppola, and more. The best '80s gangster films also feature amazing actors, like Jack Nicholson, Richard Gere, and Kevin Costner. One of the top '80s gangster movies is Gloria, John Cassavettes's collaboration with his wife, Gena Rowlands, which tells the story of an aging gangster’s moll who goes up against the mob to save a young boy. Also featured on this 1980s gangster film list are an over-the-top Al Pacino in the remake of Scarface, Angelica Huston’s Oscar turn in Prizzi’s Honor and a British-take on the gangster flick, The Long Good Friday.
 

So which 80s gangsters movie do you like best? Leave a comment below and vote up the 80s gangster movies you enjoyed most.

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1
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Michelle Pfeiffer, Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio

Released: 1983

Directed by: Brian De Palma

Scarface is a 1983 American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone. A remake of the 1932 film of the same name, Scarface tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony ...more

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2
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Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

Released: 1987

Directed by: Brian De Palma

The Untouchables is a 1987 American drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Mamet. Based on the book The Untouchables, the film stars Kevin Costner as government agent Eliot ...more

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3
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Jennifer Connelly, Robert De Niro, James Woods

Released: 1984

Directed by: Sergio Leone

Once Upon a Time in America is a 1984 Italian epic drama film co-written and directed by Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. It chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths ...more

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4
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Danny DeVito, Dick Butkus, Michael Keaton

Released: 1984

Directed by: Amy Heckerling

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Johnny Dangerously is a 1984 American parody of 1930s' movies. It was directed by Amy Heckerling; its four screenwriters included Bernie Kukoff and Jeff Harris. The film stars Michael Keaton as ...more

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#367 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked #296 of 1,199 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time #77 of 113 The Best Mafia Films

5
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Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor, Arsenio Hall

Released: 1989

Directed by: Eddie Murphy

Harlem Nights is a 1989 comedy film starring Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor and directed by Murphy. The film featured Michael Lerner, Danny Aiello, Redd Foxx, Della Reese and Murphy's brother ...more

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6
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Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Luis Guzmán

Released: 1989

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Black Rain is a 1989 American action thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Michael Douglas, Andy García, Ken Takakura, Kate Capshaw and Yusaku Matsuda. The story centers on two ...more
7
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Chow Yun-Fat, Kenneth Tsang, Danny Lee

Released: 1989

Directed by: John Woo

This film is a 1989 Hong Kong action film written and directed by John Woo, and starring Chow Yun-fat, Danny Lee and Sally Yeh. Chow plays Ah Jong, who accidentally damages the eyes of the ...more

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8
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Nicolas Cage, Diane Lane, Richard Gere

Released: 1984

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

The Cotton Club is a 1984 drama music film written by William Kennedy, Francis Ford Coppola, Mario Puzo and Jim Haskins and directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
9
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Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Madeline Kahn

Released: 1984

Directed by: Blake Edwards, Richard Benjamin

City Heat is a 1984 American film starring Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds, and directed by Richard Benjamin. The film was released in North America on December 1984. The pairing of Eastwood ...more

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10
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Pierce Brosnan, Helen Mirren, Bob Hoskins

Released: 1980

Directed by: John Mackenzie

The Long Good Friday is a British film starring Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren. It was completed in 1979 but, because of release delays, it is generally credited as a 1980 film. It was voted at ...more
11
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Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Anjelica Huston

Released: 1985

Directed by: John Huston

Prizzi's Honor is a 1985 American film directed by John Huston. It stars Jack Nicholson, Kathleen Turner, Robert Loggia and, in an Academy Award-winning performance, the director's daughter ...more

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12
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Michelle Pfeiffer, Alec Baldwin, Lisa Kudrow

Released: 1988

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

Married to the Mob is a 1988 American comedy film directed by Jonathan Demme, starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Matthew Modine. Michelle Pfeiffer, in something of a departure from her previous ...more

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13
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Mickey Rourke, Daryl Hannah, Eric Roberts

Released: 1984

Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg

The Pope of Greenwich Village is a 1984 American black comedy film directed by Stuart Rosenberg and starring Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Geraldine Page, Kenneth McMillan and Burt ...more

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14
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Chow Yun-Fat, Stephen Chow, John Woo

Released: 1986

Directed by: John Woo

A Better Tomorrow is a cult 1986 Hong Kong crime film directed by John Woo and starring Ti Lung, Leslie Cheung and Chow Yun-fat. The film had a profound influence on the Hong Kong film-making ...more

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15
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Gena Rowlands, Buck Henry, Tom Noonan

Released: 1980

Directed by: John Cassavetes

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Gloria is a 1980 American crime thriller film written and directed by John Cassavetes. It tells the story of a gangster's girlfriend who goes on the run with a young boy who is being hunted by ...more
16
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Danny DeVito, Harvey Keitel, Patti LuPone

Released: 1986

Directed by: Brian De Palma

Wise Guys is a 1986 feature film directed by Brian De Palma and starring Danny DeVito and Joe Piscopo. A comedy revolving around two small-time mobsters from Newark, New Jersey, it also features ...more
17
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Chow Yun-Fat, Roy Cheung, Danny Lee

Released: 1987

Directed by: Ringo Lam

City on Fire is a 1987 Hong Kong crime film written, produced and directed by Ringo Lam, and starring Chow Yun-fat, Danny Lee and Sun Yueh. Following A Better Tomorrow, it helped establish ...more
18
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Jerry Lewis, Joy Behar, Dianne Wiest

Released: 1989

Directed by: Susan Seidelman

Cookie is a 1989 comedy film released on August 23, 1989 by Warner Brothers.
19
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Jackie Chan, Anita Mui, Jacky Cheung Hok-yau

Released: 1989

Directed by: Jackie Chan

Miracles is a 1989 Hong Kong action comedy film directed and written by Jackie Chan, who also starred in the lead role and worked as stunt co-ordinator. The film is set in 1930s Hong Kong and is ...more
20
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Gérard Depardieu

Released: 1981

Directed by: Alain Corneau

Choice of Arms is a 1981 crime drama film written and directed by Alain Corneau and co-written by Michel Grisolia.
21
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Kevin Costner, Ron Lea, Paul Soles
22
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Maggie Cheung, Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung Hok-yau

Released: 1988

Directed by: Wong Kar-wai

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23
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Akira Emoto, Hiroko Yakushimaru, Rentarō Mikuni

Released: 1981

Directed by: Shinji Sōmai

Sailor Suit and Machine Gun is a 1981 Japanese film written by Yozo Tanaka and Jiro Akagawa (novel), and directed by Shinji Somai.
24
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Jim Van Bebber

Released: 1988

Directed by: Jim Van Bebber

Deadbeat at Dawn is a low-budget film written and directed by Jim Van Bebber and starring Paul Harper, Megan Murphy, and Marc Pitman. The film depicts a street gang leader setting out for ...more
25
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Tatsuya Nakadai, Masako Natsume, Tetsurō Tamba

Released: 1982

Directed by: Hideo Gosha

Onimasa is a 1982 Japanese film directed by Hideo Gosha. It was Japan's submission to the 55th Academy Awards for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but was not accepted as a