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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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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

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

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.