2. Mise En Scene – Colours & Lighting
The colours used are often very dark. Greys and blacks are the most common.
Red is also used quite frequently, as it represents are variety of themes.
Low level lighting is commonly seen in gangster films.
3. Mise En Scene - Setting
The setting in gangster films is almost always an Urban/City
location. Rundown areas and industrial estates are commonly seen,
as well as some housing estates.
4. Mise En Scene – Costume & Make Up
Formal outfits like suits and ties are one of the most recognisable conventions in gangster films.
Dresses are also often seen when women are involved. The colour red often ties in with these
Make up in gangster films generally consists of blood and scars. Red lipstick is also seen quite
frequently on women.
5. Mise En Scene - Props
The most commonly seen props in gangster films are guns, cigarettes,
drugs and money. These often tie into the storyline and theme of
gangster films (especially money).
6. Evaluation – Lock, Stock and Two
Smoking Barrels (Opening)
The first scene in the opening of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels is of a man
selling stolen jewellery to a group of people. It starts with a mid shot, framing the
man, who we can assume is the main character in a coat. The other man working
with him is also wearing a very similar coat. This is not traditional for a gangster
film, as in most films suit and formal clothing is seen. This suggests that they are not
as associated with gangs and groups, but rather smaller, less serious offences.
The opening is set in a rundown estate, initially outside a garage. They then
proceed to run through a warehouse and down some graffitied stairs. This is
traditional with the gangster film genre, as they are often set in urban, occasionally
Non-diegetic music is used in the opening when they start running. This is also
followed by a non-diegetic voiceover by a narrator. This provides a bit of backstory
to the film.
7. Evaluation – Rocknrolla (Opening)
The opening to Rocknrolla begins with a man stood in a dimly lit room. Non-diegetic
music starts playing in the background along with a voiceover providing a
backstory to the film. The man has drugs and a gun, two of the most commonly seen
and traditional props in gangster films. This, along with the voiceover, gives us the
idea that the man is a gangster and, as the voiceover suggests, a ‘rocknrolla’. The
clip then briefly cuts to some other scenes representing gangster behaviour, before
the opening credits begin.
The opening credits consist of sketches depicting several things relating to the film
and the non-diegetic music, now much louder and faster.
When the credits end, a new scene begins. This time, there are multiple men, all in
suits. This very traditional costume suggests that they are part of an organisation or
‘family’ as often seen in gangster films. The man in the middle is most likely the
person in charge, suggested by the power triangle the characters are arranged in.
8. Evaluation – Layer Cake (Opening)
The opening to Layer Cake starts with a man walking down the street at
night, before turning into a house. The scene then skips to day and shows
the man leaving the house. He is wearing a suit, a very traditional outfit for
gangster films. He gets in a car with another man, wearing a shirt and
trousers. These formal outfits suggest that they are members of a gang of
During the first scene, there is also a voiceover, with non-diegetic music
playing in the background. The voiceover provides a brief summary of
what is happening in the film.
The clip then cuts to a scene of the car driving through what appears to be
a golf course and towards a large building. This is not a common setting for
gangster films, however it does suggest that the men and more specifically
the man they meet with, are quite rich.
9. Evaluation – Snatch (Opening)
Snatch starts with a group of men sat in the back of a van, removing
disguises. The non-diegetic music begins playing in the background.
The clip then moves from scene to scene with a variety of edits,
showing all of the main characters. Most of these are wearing suits,
a traditional costume in gangster films. This suggests that they are all
part of a gang.
The clip returns to the men in the van. This time they are all in suits. A
diamond (wealth) and a gun are both seen in this scene, two props
that are common in the gangster genre. The diamond, as well as the
disguises, suggest that they were possibly part of a robbery. This
gives the idea that it is a big gang operation, rather than a smaller
group. This is also supported by the scenes before this, with the
different characters having different roles.
10. Evaluation – 44 Inch Chest (Opening)
The opening to 44 Inch Chest starts with the camera focusing on a
piece of broken glass. It continues to show a variety of shots of what
appears to be a break in. It is set in what appears to be an
expensive, upper class house. Whilst this isn’t typically where a
gangster film would be set, it would probably be a target because
of the money. This suggests that the gangsters in the film are
interested in money and power, a very traditional aspect of
The clip goes on to show a man, led on the ground, who appears to
be dead. He is wearing a formal shirt and trousers. This is a
traditional outfit in gangster films and suggests that the man was/is
a member of a gang. This could be another reason why his house