Before ‘Mob City’: A look back at the mobsters of L.A. on screen

The six-part “Mob City” takes viewers back to an era of Los Angeles history when the most sinister threat to the city wasn’t gridlock but mobsters. Postwar L.A. was a boom time that attracted a fair number of notorious criminal figures who left a distinct mark on the history of the city, including Bugsy Siegel and Mickey Cohen. Cohen and Siegel (played by Ed Burns, pictured) make appearances in Frank Darabont’s new drama about the mobsters and the cops dedicated to taking them down.

But “Mob City” isn’t the first time the mob’s influence on L.A. has been depicted on screen. While all fans of New York mafia can point to “The Godfather” or “Goodfellas” to perfectly evoke that world, L.A. mafia depictions are as multifaceted as the city itself.

Whether it’s the Russian mob lurking in the background of “Training Day,” the decades-long saga of a Mexican Mafia boss in “American Me” or Cohen and Siegel, appearing again and again in films such as “Gangster Squad” and “Bugsy,” the City of Angels is almost a melting pot of crime.

If nothing else, these mostly period gangster flicks are a chance for L.A. to show off its most historic locations, a real plus in a city that’s been disregarded as lacking in real history.



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