Best Gypsy Movies

Thursday, February 4, 2010 at 9:59 am

The best gypsy movies deal with the people less commonly known as the Romani, Travellers or Pikeys (if they‘re of Irish origin). Never ones to stay in a single location, they move about the land (often Europe), and popular legends frequently associate them with thievery, cons and various forms of curses. Of course, not all gypsies fling black magic and steal from people, but their cinematic counterparts sure seem to be obsessed with that kind of behavior. Take a look at some of the best gypsy movies and see if you can separate fact from fiction.

If you find something that really catches your eye, head on over to Netflix and pick up the DVD or Blu-ray disc. We’ll get a little bit of money from the fine folks at Netflix, and that’ll help us keep the doors to OGM open. It’ll also keep me from getting my gypsy pals to place a curse on you.

The Wolf Man (1941) – The curse of lycanthropy is passed from a gypsy man (Bela Lugosi) to the unassuming Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney Jr.). From that point forward, all hell breaks loose (as much as it could in a 1941 film).

Snatch (2000) – A fight promoter (Jason Statham) must join forces with an Irish gypsy (aka “pikey”) in order to keep from being killed by a London crime lord named Brick Top (Alan Ford). There’s lots more going on in this Guy Ritchie crime film, including the search for a stolen 86 carat diamond.

Black Cat White Cat (1998) – This Yugoslavian romantic comedy deals with a Roma smuggler who plans to steal a train loaded with fuel. Certainly bizarre by American standards, the movie features a wedding ceremony with a midget, a booby-trapped toilet, and a guy who juggles hand grenades.

King of the Gypsies (1978) – Eric Robert stars as Dave, a modern-day gypsy living in New York City. When his grandfather, the current King of the Gypsies, passes away, he wants to leave the title in the hands of Dave. While the young man isn’t interested in this responsibility, that doesn’t stop jealous rivals from trying to kill him for the title. Also starring Sterling Hayden, Brooke Shields, Susan Sarandon and Judd Hirsch.

Into the West (1992) – Two young Irish Travellers set off on an adventure to retrieve their stolen mystical horse named Tir na nOg. Starring Gabriel Byrne and Ellen Barkin.

Thinner (1996) – An obese lawyer runs over a gypsy woman with his car and gets cursed by her 105-year-old father to start losing weight at a lethal pace. Based on the novel by Stephen King.

The Man Who Cried (2000) – The life and loves of a Jewish girl from Russia who grows up in England and later moves to France and then the United States (prior to the outbreak of WWII). Christina Ricci plays the lead role, and Johnny Depp co-stars as a soulful Romani who captures her heart.

From Russia with Love (1963) – While on a mission in Istanbul, James Bond watches two gypsy women fight over a lover. Needless to say, Bond ends up sleeping with both of them. Way to go, 007.

Drag Me to Hell (2009) – Alison Lohman plays a bank employee who refuses to grant an old gypsy woman another loan. In return, the humiliated senior citizen places a horrible curse on the girl, dooming her to be claimed by the demonic Lamia. Directed with a darkly comic touch by Sam Raimi.

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12 Responses to “Best Gypsy Movies”

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May 22, 2010


This is just silly. How about movies actually about the Roma.

May 23, 2010


Such as?

November 16, 2010

Christian Olteanu

I’m doing some research on gypsy culture, and came across your website through google. Your list of “best gypsy movies” leaves out one of the best gypsy movies! Gypsies Are Found Near Heaven (1976).
Best of luck,

November 17, 2010


Thanks for the recommendation, Christian. I advise everyone to check out Gypsies Are Found Near Heaven.

December 9, 2010


Latcho Drom (1993) directed by Tony Gatlif is my favorite. He focuses on the Roma in different countries with songs and dancing-but always with a story. There is a great scene with a small, shy boy at the train station.

December 10, 2010


How about movies actually about Romani people? Movies like “Latcho Drom,” “Time of the Gypsies,” and “Gadjo Dilo.”

December 11, 2010


Nah. Let’s stick with movies about tribal headhunters.

February 10, 2011


I was born in 1947, I saw a movie once when I was about 12 years old that has stayed in my spirit ever since I can not remember the title, but the script was about a little girl that could not make friends because her family moved too much.I think I saw it on a public television station. if any one can help with the title maybe I can go to the library. They were gypsies living with a caravan of other gypsies. the movie was in black and white,around 1957 or 1958.

July 28, 2011

mark venner

Sky West and Crooked (1966), Gone to Earth (1951), Jassy, The Gypsy and the Gentleman, Madonna of the Seventh Moon, Hot Blood (1956, Nicholas Ray)The Virgin and the Gypsy, Carmen (Carlos Saura), Fish Tank, Gypo, Pavee Lackeen, Vengo, Angelo my Love (directed by Robert Duvall) to name but a few. I can give you couple of hundred titles if you are interested.

October 5, 2011


im looking for a gypsy film where a young girls mother passes away and comes back as a horse,i cannot remember the name of it,please could somebody help.


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