Film Chronicling the Jewish Mafia in the Works

Warner Bros green lights The Gangster Squad, a factual drama about the Jewish Mafia in the 1940s.

Published: April 2nd 2011
in Culture » Movies

Mickey Cohen, a boxer who rose through the ranks of the Jewish mafia.

Warner Bros has given the green light to The Gangster Squad, a factual drama chronicling the Jewish Mafia in Los Angeles in the 1940’s and the elite squad of officers charged with hunting them down.


Principally, the film will follow the sordid exploits of Mickey Cohen, a quondam boxer who rose through the ranks of the Jewish Mafia, to become associates with the likes of Meyer Lansky and Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel. Cohen was a charismatic figure and one of the most popular playboys in Hollywood at the time. However, he had a predilection towards violence, ran a sexual extortion ring, and was considered by many to be a sociopath. In a classic piece of Hollywood pulp history, Cohen employed Johnny Stompanato as his personal bodyguard. Stompanato would later have a tumultuous relationship with screen siren Lana Turner. In 1958, Turner’s teenage daughter stabbed the abusive Stompanato in the actress’ Beverly Hills home. Somehow, Cohen managed to acquire Lana Turner’s love letters to Stompanato, and cashing in on the scandal, subsequently sold them to the press.


Warner Bros has officially offered the role of Cohen to Sean Penn, with Ryan Gosling signing on as one of the squad officers. Zombieland director, Ruben Fleischer, is slated to direct the project.


The Gangster Squad is based upon a series of articles from Los Angeles Times reporter Paul Lieberman. It is scheduled for release sometime in 2013.

Related articles: (The Gangster Squad, Ryan Gosling, Sean Penn, Mickey Cohen, Warner Bros., )

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