Gangster Wars

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Gangster Wars
Directed by Richard C. Sarafian
Produced by Stuart Cohen
Written by Richard DeKoker
Starring Michael Nouri
Joe Penny
Brian Benben
Kathleen Lloyd
Madeleine Stowe
Markie Post
Allan Arbus
Louis Giambalvo
James Andronica
Robert Davi
Joseph Mascolo
Kenneth Tigar
Richard S. Castellano
Jon Polito
Jonathan Banks
George DiCenzo
Robert F. Lyons
Richard Foronjy
Karen Kondazian
Music by John Cacavas
Distributed by CIC
Release dates
April 9, 1981
Running time
121 min.
Language English

Gangster Wars is a 1981 crime drama directed by Richard C. Sarafian.


The film tells the story of three teenagers, based on real life gangsters Charles "Lucky" Luciano (Michael Nouri), Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel (Joe Penny) and Michael Lasker (Brian Benben) (a fictional character who was most likely modeled after Meyer Lansky), growing up in New York's ghettos during the early 1900s to their rise though organized crime.


This movie is based on an original telecast from 1981 called The Gangster Chronicles. It was a three-hour opener for the subsequent miniseries. In addition to the characters above Brian Benben's character is a fictional composite of several mobsters (here named "Michael Lasker"). While the miniseries covered nearly four decades, the opener takes us from 1907 to the Prohibition era of the 1920s. After its initial run, the entire Gangster Chronicles saga was boiled down to 121 minutes and released to videocassette as Gangster Wars.

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