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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

Scarface

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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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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