Friday, Sep. 17, 2010

Vito Corleone

You can't have a list about gangsters without the Godfather. In the 1972 film of the same name, Marlon Brando (in an Oscar-winning role) famously portrays the man who keeps his family close and his enemies closer. As head of the Corleone crime family, Don Vito is the most powerful mobster in post–World War II New York City. He's a family man ("A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man," he says) and looks out for the ladies in his life ("Women and children can be careless, but not men") and a successful, ahem, businessman ("I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse"). As Empire Online writes in its list of the 100 greatest movie characters, Don Vito is the man everyone loves most. He's "so honorable and dedicated that somehow nobody cares that he's the head of a massive criminal empire."