Movies about Prohibition, Speakeasies, Moonshine, & Bootleggers

Movies show us how we see ourselves, our society and our past. Movies about Prohibition reflect how we see that period, with its speakeasies, moonshine and bootleggers. But they also influence how we view that past. Was it exciting? Glamorous? Corrupt? A noble experiment? Or a foolish fiasco destined for disaster? Discover movies about Prohibition and explore your reactions and feelings.

Chronological List.

Before 1950





movies of prohibition

Prohibition: Gory




The decade of the 1970s was clearly the heyday of movies about Prohibition. The apex was 1970 through 1977. Then interest quickly died. Attention shifted to other genres.

Viewers who like movies about Prohibition may find some of the following books and articles interesting.

Cornes, J. Alcohol in the Movies: 1898-1962. A critical History. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2006.

Herd, D., and Room, R. Alcohol images in American film 1909-1960. Drink Drug Pract Survey, 1982, 18, 24-35.

Room, R. The movies and the wettening of America: the media as amplifiers of cultural change. Brit J Addict, 1988, 83(1), 11-18.

Silverman, J. The Birth of a Nation: Prohibition propaganda. South Q, 1981, 19(3), 23-38.

Sklar, R. Movie-Made America: A Cultural History of American Movies. NY: Vintage, 2012.