10 Best Gangster Movie Deaths

Gear up for Gangster Squad with clips of people getting whacked!

Gear up for Gangster Squad with awesome clips of people getting whacked!

Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

“Ever since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a gangster.” Sure, a young Henry Hill is the one who said it, but certainly every man out there has considered what it would be like to actually live the lifestyle of a connected guy. In honor of the new movie Gangster Squad, which hits theaters this weekend, we’ve rounded up clips of the top 10 most memorable gangster movie deaths in the last 25 years. Now…go get your fuckin’ shinebox!

Movie: Donnie Brasco

Scene: Donnie Brasco, Lefty Ruggiero, Sonny Black, and crew whack Sonny Red

DonnieBrasco continually explored the idea of undercover agent Joe Pistone being pushed further and further into the criminal underbelly – unsure if his willingness was due in part to his dedication to his police work or his enjoyment of being on the other side. This classic basement exchange proved that he would never “fuhgettaboutit.”

Movie: A Bronx Tale

Scene: Calogero can’t save Sonny LoSpecchio from his past


If the saddest thing in life is indeed wasted talent, consider Sonny’s death in A Bronx Tale to be a close second. Despite instilling important life lessons to Calogero that his father couldn’t – as well as saving him from a fiery death – C ultimately couldn’t return the favor.

Movie: True Romance

Scene: Vincenzo Coccotti gets a lesson in being Sicilian before killing Clifford Worley

Quentin Tarantino’s first writing credit served up a scene tattooed with signature dialogue and pacing that would later become commonplace in films of his like Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. Hollywood legends Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper discuss the history of Sicilians in this tense showdown, a scene that also created a new framework of opposites: eggplants and cantaloupes.

Movie: The Departed

Scene: Officer Barrigan gets rid of William Costigan Jr.


Very rarely do “main characters” get clipped – even in a genre where bloodshed and body counts are a must. When Costigan met his end at the hands of a minor character, the excellent choice showed that Sullivan (Matt Damon) was merely a pawn in Frank Costello’s tangled web of corrupt pigs.

Movie: Scarface

Scene: Tony Montana backstabs Manny Ribera

It’s the close relationship between Tony and Manny that makes their bloody exchange that much more memorable – considering a poor sap meets his end by chainsaw earlier in the film. It’s always a slippery slope to bang your best friend’s sister – especially if that friend toots cocaine and considers murder a respite from partaking in the booger sugar.

Movie: The Godfather

Scene: Sonny Corleone doesn’t pass go, doesn’t collect $200

Looking to give his wife-beating brother-in-law Carlo a lesson in Fisticuffs 101, Sonny Corleone was unknowingly lured into one of the most cinematic shootouts in film history. Peppered with countless machine gun bullets before finally being put out of his misery at that fateful tollbooth, Sonny’s murder serves as one of many critical deaths that set the stage for the killings of the other New York dons and Moe Greene.

Movie: Casino

Scene: “Charlie M! Charlie M! You make me pop your fucking eye out of your head to protect that piece of shit! Charlie M! You dumb motherfucker!”

With a name like Tony Dogs, it’s no wonder that a certain type of torture would be required in order to make him crack. Vise? Check. Murderous hot-head, played by Joe Pesci, barking out orders? Discount double-check. That scenario could end only one way: with an eyeball popped out of its socket.

Movie: The Godfather

Scene: Michael Corleone Kills Virgil Sollozzo and Captain McCluskey

What made the death of Virgil Sollozzo and Captain McCluskey so memorable is that unlike other perpetrators, Michael Corleone wasn’t groomed for murder and mayhem. Yet, when tasked with eliminating men responsible for the hit on his father, the war vet took an assist from Clemenza and shot to kill.

Movie: Casino

Nicky and Dominick Santoro are beaten and buried alive in a cornfield

Joe Pesci’s death in Casino saw the small-statured tough guy witness his brother savagely beaten with baseball bats and buried alive before ultimately meeting the same fate (twinsies!). Apparently the “three strikes and you’re out” rule applies to both La Cosa Nostra and America’s favorite pastime. 

Movie: Goodfellas

Scene: Billy Bats learns you shouldn’t tell a grown man to “get your fuckin’ shinebox.”


Fresh out of the clink, Billy Bats found out that in the time between being incarcerated and getting out, Tommy (Joe Pesci) had graduated from shoeshines to shallow graves and shanks. Poor Billy; he avoided having things stuck in him while in jail, only to be penetrated by something far worse on the outside.

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