Texas Guinan

 

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She wasn’t a gangster, a gambler or a bootlegger, but as Prohibition Era New York’s Queen of the Nightclubs she rubbed elbows with all three on a nightly basis.

Long before she was delighting Broadway with catch phrases like “Hello, sucker!” “Butter and egg man,” and “Give the little lady a great big hand,” Los Angeles had known her as a musical comedy chorine, and a rough-and-tumble star of western movies. The city never quite forgot her. 

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The Gangster on Film

me, gangster

Gangster movies have been around almost as long as the motion picture industry itself, but it was not until the advent of sound pictures that the genre really took off. Ordinary moviegoers went to theaters to see dramatized the kinds of events they been horrified to read about everyday in the headlines. Real gangsters by all accounts liked seeing themselves glorified on screen. It became a question of life imitating art, or the other way around. 

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Scarface Al visits Los Angeles

Al-CaponeIn the struggle to keep eastern gangsters out of Los Angeles 1918-1951, amid many headline-making lapses, one oft-repeated success story stood out: the time Al Capone came to town and promptly took a powder back to Chicago with some encouragement from the LAPD. While it had the makings of a myth and the details became blurred over time, this story happened to be true. Continue reading