Marlon Brando’s portrayal of Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather has been voted the most memorable movie gangster of all time.
The late actor’s role as head of the Corleone family, battling to retain its position over Mafia rivals, has become the stuff of legend.
When Francis Ford Coppola’s film was first released in 1972 some criticised Brando’s performance, saying it sounded as though he was mumbling through mouthfuls of cotton wool – but the actor went on to win his second Oscar for the performance.
Robert De Niro’s portrayal of Vito Corleone in The Godfather II, comes in at second place in the poll for UCI Cinemas.
The American actor has two other mentions in the Top 10 – as Al Capone in The Untouchables, in fourth place, and Sam “Ace” Rothstein in Casino, which comes 10th.
Three British stars make it into the Top 10, Vinnie Jones, Bob Hoskins and Sir Ben Kingsley.
Ex-Wimbledon hardman footballer Jones makes it to seventh place as Big Chris in Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels – the film by Guy Ritchie.
Hoskins as Harold Shand in The Long Good Friday comes eighth, followed by Sir Ben as Don Logan in Sexy Beast.
Goodfellas’ Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, is third, Angels with Dirty Faces’ William “Rocky” Sullivan played by James Cagney is fifth, and Scarface with Al Pacino as Antonio “Tony” Montana comes sixth.
The poll was carried out to celebrate the release of the latest gangster movie Layer Cake, starring Daniel Craig and Sienna Miller.
UCI Cinemas spokeswoman Katy Harris said: “The gangster film genre is as popular with cinema-goers today as it was when James Cagney first swaggered across the screen in the 30’s.
“These 10 characters are some of the most memorable ever created for the silver screen – from Brando’s hugely charismatic family head to Ben Kingsley’s viciously foul mouthed criminal.
“It is great to see that British film makers like Matthew Vaughn and Guy Ritchie are continuing to create the kind of films and characters that carry on this great cinematic tradition.”
UCI surveyed 3,000 cinemagoers.
The top 10 film gangsters:
1. Don Vito Corleone – The Godfather (1972) Marlon Brando
2. Vito Corleone – The Godfather II (1974) Robert De Niro
3. Henry Hill – Goodfellas (1990) Ray Liotta
4. Al Capone – The Untouchables (1987) Robert De Niro
5. William “Rocky” Sullivan – Angels With Dirty Faces (1938) James Cagney
6. Antonio Tony Montana – Scarface (1983) Al Pacino
7. Big Chris – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998) Vinnie Jones
8. Harold Shand – The Long Good Friday (1980) Bob Hoskins
9. Don Logan – Sexy Beast (2000) Ben Kingsley
10. Sam “Ace” Rothstein – Casino (1995) Robert De Niro