Al Capone in popular culture

Al Capone is one of the most notorious American gangsters of the 20th century and has been the major subject of numerous articles, books, and films. Particularly, from 1925 to 1929, shortly after Capone relocated to Chicago, he enjoyed status as the most notorious mobster in the country. Capone cultivated a certain image of himself in the media, that made him a subject of fascination.[1][2] His personality and character have been used in fiction as a model for crime lords and criminal masterminds ever since his death. The stereotypical image of a mobster wearing a pinstriped suit and tilted fedora are based on photos of Capone. His accent, mannerisms, facial construction, physical stature, and parodies of his name have been used for numerous gangsters in comics, movies, music, and literature.


  • Capone is featured in a segment of Mario Puzo's The Godfather as an ally of New York mob boss Salvatore Maranzano in which he sends two "button men" at the mob boss' request to kill Don Vito Corleone; arriving in New York, the two men are intercepted and brutally killed by Luca Brasi, after which Don Corleone sends a message to Capone warning him not to interfere again, and Capone apparently capitulates.[3]
  • Capone appears in Hergé's comic book Tintin in America, one of only two real-life characters in the entire The Adventures of Tintin series.[4]
  • A reincarnated Capone is a major character in science fiction author Peter F. Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy.
  • Capone's grandniece Deirdre Marie Capone wrote a book titled Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside His Family.[5]
  • Al Capone is the inspiration for the central character of Tony Camonte in Armitage Trail's novel Scarface (1929),[6] which was adapted into the 1932 film. The novel was later adapted again in 1983 with the central character of Tony Montana.
  • Jack Bilbo claimed to have been a bodyguard for Capone in his book Carrying a Gun for Al Capone (1932).[7]
  • Al Capone is mentioned and met by the main character Moose in the book Al Capone Does My Shirts.

Film and televisionEdit

Capone has been portrayed on screen by:

Actors playing characters based on Capone include:


  • Prince Buster, Jamaican ska and rocksteady musician, had his first hit in the UK with the single "Al Capone" in 1967.[13]
  • The British pop group Paper Lace's 1974 hit song "The Night Chicago Died" mentions that "a man named Al Capone, tried to make that town his own, and he called his gang to war, with the forces of the law".[14]
  • British rock band Queen referenced Al Capone in the opening of their 1974 song "Stone Cold Crazy", which was covered in 1990 by the American rock band Metallica.[15]
  • In 1979, The Specials, a UK ska revival group, reworked Prince Buster's track into their first single, "Gangsters", which featured the line "Don't call me Scarface!"
Sketch of Capone made by Partizan fans in Belgrade, Serbia.
  • Al Capone is referenced heavily in Prodigy's track "Al Capone Zone", produced by The Alchemist and featuring Keak Da Sneak.[16]
  • "Al Capone" is a song by Michael Jackson. Jackson recorded the song during the Bad era (circa 1987), but it wasn't included on the album. The song was released in September 2012 in celebration of the album's 25th anniversary.
  • Brazilian musician Raul Seixas has a song entitled "Al Capone", included in his 1973 debut album Krig-ha, Bandolo!.
  • Multiple hip hop artists have adopted the name "Capone" for their stage names including: Capone, Mr. Capone-E and Al Kapone.
  • The R&B Vocal Group The Fantastic Four recorded a song entitled "Alvin Stone:(the Birth & Death Of A Gangster)" in 1975 from their album of the same name. The main protagonist was a gangster with a name very similar to Al Capone [17]


  • Fans of Serbian football club Partizan are using Al Capone's character as a mascot for one of their subgroups called "Alcatraz", named after a prison in which Al Capone served his sentence. Also, in honour of Capone, a graffiti representation of him exists in the center of Belgrade.
  • Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight Nikita Krylov is nicknamed "Al Capone". Coincidentally, he had his first UFC win in Chicago.[18]


  1. ^ "Al Capone: The story behind his rise and fall | The Mob Museum". The Mob Museum. 2016-07-06. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  2. ^ "The 17 most notorious mobsters from Chicago". Time Out Chicago. Archived from the original on 2018-06-12. Retrieved 2018-06-01.
  3. ^ Puzo, Mario (1969). The Godfather. pp. 214–217. ISBN 0-7493-2468-6.
  4. ^ Ruas, Pierre Assouline ; translated by Charles (2009). Hergé : the man who created Tintin. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-539759-8.
  5. ^ Capone, Deirdre Marie (27 October 2010). Uncle Al Capone – The Untold Story from Inside His Family. ISBN 978-0-9828451-0-3.
  6. ^ Trail, Armitage (1930). Scarface (1ST ed.). D.J. Clode. ASIN B00085TELI.
  7. ^ Bilbo, Jack (1932). Carrying a Gun for Al Capone. London & New York: Putnam.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Newman, Kim (1997). Hardy, Phil (ed.). The BFI companion to crime. Cassell. pp. 72–73. ISBN 0-304-33215-1. OCLC 247004388.
  9. ^ "Video Beat: 'Perdition' exudes a hellish beauty". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2003-03-01. Archived from the original on 2021-01-04. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
  10. ^ Loewenstein, Lael (2009-05-20). "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian". Variety. Archived from the original on 2009-05-25. Retrieved 2009-09-12.
  11. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (December 8, 2016). "DC's Legends of Tomorrow: "The Chicago Way" Review". IGN. J2 Global. Archived from the original on December 9, 2016. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  12. ^ "B.S. Pully, Comedian, 61, Dies; Was Big Jule in 'Guys and Dolls'" Archived 2018-06-24 at the Wayback Machine. The New York Times. 1972-01-08. p. 32.
  13. ^ "Prince Buster, Al Capone". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on August 10, 2016. Retrieved July 22, 2011.
  14. ^ John D. McKinnon And Corey Boles (September 16, 2012). "Susan Rice: Libya Protests 'Hijacked' by Extremists". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on August 16, 2018. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  15. ^ "Stone Cold Crazy – Queen". All Music. Archived from the original on 2016-05-01. Retrieved 2016-07-18.
  16. ^ "Al Capone Zone | Alchemist Song". Archived from the original on March 22, 2012. Retrieved 2011-01-27.
  17. ^ "YouTube". Archived from the original on 6 December 2019. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
  18. ^ "Nikita "Al Capone" Krylov's profile". 1992-03-07. Archived from the original on 2014-08-26. Retrieved 2014-08-16.