Picture a gangster. Are you thinking of Marlon Brando, smoking a cigar on the day of his daughter's wedding? Al Pacino mainlining cocaine in a Miami mansion? Hollywood has produced dozens of great gangster films, almost all starring men. But is this really art imitating life? Does the entire history of organised crime have a strong leading male, while the women sit in the background waiting for them to bring home the (stolen) bacon?
Unsurprisingly, the answer is no. Women have played a part in organised crime for centuries and, while many have been lost to history, some made such huge waves that we can't forget them. Across the world, women haven't just been gangsters, they've been leaders powerful enough to make you wonder: are Don Corleone and Tony Montana really the best Hollywood can come up with?