'Magic City' mobsters and the best movie gangsters of all time

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morgan-huston-caan-magic-city-best-gangsters.jpg Starz original series "Magic City" returns with a vengeance Friday, June 14, at 9 p.m. , as hotelier Ike Evans goes head to head with Mob Boss Ben "The Butcher" Diamond (Danny Huston) and the boss of all bosses, Chicago kingpin Sy Berman (James Caan).

In 1959, The Miramar Playa Hotel in Miami Beach is the place to be and be seen. Evans, in desperation, took a gamble on a not-so-silent and notorious partner when he borrowed Diamond's money to build his dream hotel.

Will the men be partners for life, or will the dream turn into Evans' worst nightmare? Tune in tonight (June 14) at 9 p.m. on Starz. Together, Diamond and Berman usher in a violent new era of gangsters onscreen that harkens back to Caan's classic role of Sonny Corleone in "The Godfather." These are some of the other great movie gangsters:

Don Vito Corleone and Michael Corleon ( Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, "The Godfather," 1972): Widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time, it's Vito Corleone, one of the greatest movie characters in history, who utters possibly one of the the best known film quotes of all time, "I'll make him an offer he can't refuse."

And how can a viewer not sympathize with youngest son Michael, who works in vain to maintain a "normal" life, reluctant to join the family business, but is drawn deep into the cycle of violence and betrayal.


Tony Montana ( Al Pacino, "Scarface," 1983): There can't be a "best of" list without including the proudly strutting, relentless power seeker whose ultimate moment came when he raised a machine gun about as big as he was and declared to his enemies, "Say hello to my little friend!"

Frank Costello ( Jack Nicholson, "The Departed,"  2006): Allegedly inspired by Boston's Whitey Bulger, this mob veteran unwittingly becomes the patron of an undercover policeman posing as a gangland wannabe.

Al Capone ( Robert De Niro, "The Untouchables," 1987): Arguably history's most notorious mobster has had numerous screen incarnations, but De Niro's mix of subtle style and immediate fury (think "baseball bat") is indelible.

Henry Hill ( Ray Liotta, "GoodFellas," 1990): Based on the life of mob informant Henry Hill, Liotta brings to the screen the highest highs and lowest lows of the young man who worked his way into the mafia only to commit the greatest crime against them: "ratting out" his friends.

Bill "The Butcher" Cutting  ( Daniel Day-Lewis, "The Gangs of New York," 2002): Dial back to the mid-19th century in the Five Points district of Lower Manhattan. Cutting, known for his knife skills, is the crime boss and political kingmaker leading The Natives who lives by the ancient laws of combat and killed "the last honorable man." 

Vincent Vega ( John Travolta, "Pulp Fiction," 1994): In his Academy Award-nominated performance, Travolta portrays ultra cool hitman Vega, able to explain away an accidental shooting in the back seat, deliver an injection of adrenaline to the heart or provide the French name for a Quarter Pounder (Royale with cheese).

Catch up on season 1 of "Magic City" with this recap video.