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Moll Rats

10 Mob Movie Ladies You Don’t Want to Mess With

Catch Scarface this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Marriage is tough enough without adding murder and money-laundering to the mix. The wiseguys in our favorite mob movies would be nothing without the brawny wisegals by their side, so we compiled a list of our favorite tough-as-nails leading ladies who know their way around a gun AND a cannoli. Check them out below, and be sure to catch Michelle Pfeiffer in Scarface this month on IFC. It’s an offer you can’t refuse.

1. Diane Keaton, The Godfather trilogy

Diane Keaton

In her career-launching role as Kay, Michael Corleone’s (Al Pacino) blonde New England girlfriend turned second wife, Keaton goes from naive outsider to outspoken family matriarch. When Michael continues to refuse “going legitimate,” Kay retaliates by aborting their third child and filing for divorce after Michael banishes her from the family. We’re hoping she sent a bloody horse head with the divorce papers.


2. Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface

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In a knockout performance, Michelle Pfeiffer proved she was a force to be reckoned with. As slinky, iconic Elvira Hancock in Scarface, Pfeiffer rocked a chic bob and Tony Montana’s (Al Pacino) world, but eventually broke up with him during a drug-fueled fight that culminated in a wine throwing moment reality TV stars would envy.


3. Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year

Jessica Chastain

Speaking of tough broads with blonde bobbed haircuts, Chastain netted a Golden Globe nomination for her work as Anna Morales, the steely firecracker wife of a New York oil company owner (Oscar Isaac) who also happens to be the daughter of a Brooklyn mafioso. As the violence escalates between competing oil companies amidst investigations by the Assistant District Attorney (David Oyelowo), Chastain’s Anna encourages her husband to play even dirtier to get ahead, making mafia deals and “skimming” from their business to get the extra cash they need to rise to the top. Every wannabe gangster needs a Lady Macbeth in his corner, and Anna is a Shakespearean villain by way of the Brooklyn Bridge.


4. Anjelica Huston, Prizzi’s Honor

Angelica Huston

In her Academy Award-winning turn as scheming Maerose Prizzi, Anjelica Huston stole every scene opposite some serious acting heavy hitters. After being cast aside by former lover Charley (Jack Nicholson) in favor of sexy blonde hitwoman Irene (Kathleen Turner) and falling out of favor with her father, the jealous Maerose hatches a plan to get even by proving Irene is double-crossing the organization. Somehow, she also finds time to seduce Charley and wear a series of increasingly fabulous outfits. If looks could kill, Maerose would have quite the body count.


5. Marion Cotillard, Public Enemies

It takes a special kind of woman to agree to become the number one dame of “public enemy number one” John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), but tenacious singer and waitress Billie Frechette (Cotillard) is more than up for the challenge, falling in love with Dillinger hard and fast even after he reveals his true identity. Headstrong Billie is loyal to John to a fault, which unfortunately leads to her arrest, torture, and two years in federal prison. “Where somebody waits for me, sugar sweet so is she,” goes a lyric in Billie and Dillinger’s favorite song, but we’re not so sure we’d call Bille anything close to sweet.


6. Gena Rowlands, Gloria

Ever the lioness onscreen, Rowlands is nothing short of brutal and brilliant as the eponymous Gloria, her eighth collaboration with director/husband John Cassavetes. Faced with a crisis of conscience when her neighbors’ kid is suspected of harboring mob secrets, Gloria, a former mobster’s girlfriend herself, begrudgingly takes the kid on the run. Naturally, the acid-tongued, ass-kicking Gloria and precocious kid don’t exactly get along at first, but nothing brings people together quite like being chased by dangerous hitmen through the streets of New York City. “Family business” indeed.


7. Maria Bello, A History of Violence

Edie Stall may role-play as a helpless cheerleader in the bedroom, but she’s anything but when faced with the truth about her husband Tom’s (Viggo Mortensen) secret violent past life in the mob. As their marriage starts unraveling, Edie distances herself from Tom and becomes fiercely protective of their two children, both of whom are threatened by mobsters. When the violence escalates, we can’t say we blame Edie for seriously reconsidering the “’til death do us part” of her marriage vows. (Click here to see all airings of A History of Violence on IFC.)


8. Sharon Stone, Casino

Sharon Stone earned a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her fiery performance as Ginger McKenna, wife of Robert De Niro’s casino manager, Sam “Ace” Rothstein. A reckless hustler with a “mission in life” for money, the gorgeous Ginger easily attracts male attention whether from ex-boyfriend Lester Diamond (James Woods), or made man Nicky (Joe Pesci). Her independence and cocaine habits coupled with her philandering prove to be too much for jealous Sam to handle. Turns out marrying life-of-the-party Ginger was just too much of a gamble.


9. Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction

Thanks to Thurman’s cool girl performance and yet another great bobbed haircut, Mia Wallace has become a true pop culture icon in the 22 years since Quentin Tarantino’s stylized neo-noir burst onto the scene. Mia finds her own ways of rebelling against her overprotective kingpin husband, Marsellus (Ving Rhames), whether receiving questionable foot massages from his employees, snorting cocaine, or dancing the twist barefooted with hitman Vincent Vega (John Travolta) at Jack Rabbit Slim’s. Her $5 milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard.


10. Lorraine Bracco, Goodfellas

Goodfellas

For as far back as we can remember, we always wanted to be as ballsy as Karen Hill. When we first meet Karen, she’s just a nice Jewish girl from Long Island who is seduced by Henry Hill’s (Ray Liotta) seemingly glamorous life, revealing that she was turned on after being forced to hide Henry’s gun on their third date (which we’re pretty sure is first base in the mafia dating scene). As Henry dives deeper into the underworld, so does Karen, turning into a disillusioned, ruthless drug smuggler with a taste for fancy clothes and revenge against her husband’s many mistresses.

See what Scarface would look like as a sitcom.
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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.