Public Enemies, Screen Heroes: the gangster film

Course Dates: 21/04/21 - 23/06/21
Time: 19:30 - 21:30
Location: Online
Forever associated with American cinema, the gangster film is also a major genre in European and East Asian cinemas. Through a range of examples this course explores the gangster film in American, British, French and Japanese cinema, looking at themes such as the representation of the gangster, violence, masculinity and style, and the key features of the genre in each of these production contexts.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £189.00 Senior fee £189.00 Concession £115.00

Course Code: HF236

Wed, eve, 21 Apr - 23 Jun '21

Duration: 10 sessions (over 10 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

The gangster film in American, British, French and Japanese cinema.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

• The gangster film and genre in American, British, French and Japanese cinema
• Representations of the gangster
• Violence and the gangster film
• Masculinity and the gangster film
• Film style in gangster cinema - including the genre's 'intersection' with film noir
• Key features of the gangster film in American, British, French and Japanese cinema
• Critical accounts of the gangster film

We will be viewing extracts from many examples of the genre including The Public Enemy (1931), Pépé le Moko (1937), Brighton Rock (1947), They Made Me a Fugitive (1947), White Heat (1949), The Asphalt Jungle (1950), Rififi (1955), Bob le flambeur (1956), Classe tous risques (1960), Tokyo Drifter (1966), Branded to Kill (1967), Le Samouraï (1967), Le Cercle rouge (1970), Get Carter (1970), The Godfather (1972), The Long Good Friday (1980), Goodfellas (1990), Reservoir Dogs (1992), Sonatine (1993), Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), Sexy Beast (2000) Outrage (2010) and many others.

There will be reading/notes for each session.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Evaluate the gangster film and genre in American, British, French and Japanese cinema
• Describe and evaluate various representations of the gangster
• Evaluate the use of violence in the gangster film.
• Describe and evaluate the role of masculinity in the gangster film.
• Describe and evaluate film style in the gangster film, with particular reference to film noir
• Describe and evaluate the key features of the genre in each of the four production contexts
• Evaluate critical accounts of the gangster film.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

The course is suitable for all levels and you do not require any particular skills - just an enthusiasm for film and discussing film. The course will provide an introduction to the subject but will also be useful for those wishing to build on existing knowledge in the subject area.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Screenings of extracts from films, talks by the tutor, reading materials, small and large group discussions. You might also see what you can find out about the subject in advance of the class (see films above) but this is not essential.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

You will require a pen and paper; the tutor will provide all other materials such as handouts etc.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

Please look for other film studies courses on our website at, culture & humanities/film studies.

Jon Wisbey

Jon Wisbey teaches film at City Lit and Morley College. He was for many years a committee member and vice-chair of Chelmsford Film Club, screening contemporary and classic world cinema releases. He has an MA in Film Studies from the University of East Anglia. His teaching focuses on classical and post-classical Hollywood, European cinema, British cinema, film noir and horror cinema.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.