13 Movies and TV Series That Inspired the Grand Theft Auto Saga

Tom Henry

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On rock star They are true movie lovers and serious series fans, and this is especially noticeable in Grand Theft Auto. In addition to the enormous influence of these in the cinematics of the saga from GTAIII It is possible to find an infinity of references and winks in their games through their dialogues, their missions and also tributes scattered throughout their enormous mapping. Sometimes subtly and sometimes with great impudence.

From some of the best police thrillers ever shot, to classic and modern gangster movies, to those movies where action and mayhem take precedence over everything else. Of course, these tributes were already present in the first installments of the saga. On GTA London 1969 it is even possible to find characters that remind us of a certain Secret Agent at the service of His Majesty and the character of The Nickmeister of GTA IV has been created to bring a smile to the fans of American Pie.Scarface

Tony Montana in Scarface. Rockstar will trace this scene in GTA Vice City

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Although, the number of tributes to the cinema and the small screen of the saga GTA It’s huge, there are some productions that have helped to carve out sequences and shape characters and even serve as the basis for entire games. Inspirations declared by their own creators or too obvious to ignore. And, ultimately, movies and series that will delight fans of Rockstar’s most raunchy saga.

On Extra Life we have brought you together in one place more than a dozen movies and series that inspired the series Grand Theft Auto. Movies that, logically, will fascinate you if you like the video game saga. Some you have seen, others you should have added to your list of movies to see and more than one may be an unexpected surprise.


Michael Mann It has given many joys to those who are passionate about action movies, but the case of Heat is exceptional in GTA: Both thematically and in terms of its tone, the 1995 film can be considered one of the unquestionable greatest influences on the saga. especially from gta III, where it would help to desEsports Extrasthe Hits system after the jump from the formula to 3D.

Many of the later missions, such as Three Leaf Clover on GTA IV or Job on GTA Vice City they have blatant parallels to the movie. Which, by the way, is a real joy.

Goodfellas (One of Our Kind)

Beyond the posters Badfellas spread over GTA III, Vice City and San Andreas, Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed film tells of the rise and fall from grace of a group of criminals. For many, the most important mafia movie since The Godfather. Big words.

Not only has it been sought to replicate its tone in the cinematics of GTAbut many of the missions of all the deliveries are authentic tributes to the film, to which we must add that both the film and the games share actors such as Frank Vincent, Ray Liotta or Joe Pesci.

Scarface (The Price of Power)

Released in 1983, the cult classic Scarface is the closest thing to seeing a big screen adaptation of Grand Theft Auto. Especially, in a GTA Vice City whose climax is traced to Brian De Palma’s film. That Tommy Vercetti has a lot in common with Tony Montana is obvious.

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Miami Vice (Miami Corruption)

Yes Scarface supposed the mold with which it was shaped GTA Vice City, the aesthetic and setting of the city of Vice City itself and the unabashed spirit of the 1980s were drawn from the iconic series Miami Vice starring Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas. Moreover, the latter practically takes up his role in the game as Lance Vance.

Although, the previous connections with the series Grand Theft Auto are more or less evident, inspirations with GTA IV they are somewhat more complicated. The theme of the game is “The American dream“Of course, but Rockstar was inspired by a very unique and not so well-known Russian production: brat, the story of an ex-war veteran who, after fighting abroad, ends up gradually entering the criminal world.

As an additional detail, the character of Niko Bellic is inspired by Tracker, from the movie behind enemy lines. And not only that: Rockstar contacted Vladimir Mashkovel, the actor who played him, to play Niko, although he ultimately declined the role.

The French Connection (Against the drug empire)

Ultimately, the ties that bind the GTA series with The French Connection are a reference that goes beyond the film, since it is still based on the novel. Contact in France by Robin Moore.

All in all, the most obvious tribute with this Oscar-winning film about drug trafficking and organized crime can be found in grand theft auto iv and the mission The Puerto Rican Connectionwhich reproduces almost by heart one of the stellar moments of the film.

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The Sopranos

The Sopranos is one of the best television series ever made. His portrait of organized crime in New Jersey and its members, as well as those close to them, is as fascinating as it is absorbing. And although it is unquestionable that many series wanted and continue to seek to follow in his footsteps on the small screen, GTAIII and everything that came later sought to replicate it in video games through its plots and cinematics.

Taxi driver

Many of the characters in the GTA saga are regular on the roof, but if there is someone capable of competing with Trevor, it is himself Travis Bickle, the protagonist of Taxi Driver. Beyond the missions in which we are proposed to play a taxi driver, it is more than evident that Rockstar borrows from Martin Scorsese’s film through its different installments.

What’s more, Travis, one of the possible protagonists of the first installment, is a cheeky tribute to the character played by Robert De Niro, with a hairstyle Mohawk included.

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Hell in Los Angeles (Menace II Society) and the neighborhood boys (Boyz n the Hood)

With GTA San Andreas the Rockstar saga left the themes of classic gangster cinema slightly aside and approached the same background from a more current point of view, just as interesting and set in the 90s. Logically, that meant finding new references and it didn’t take long for find them in two films with a very strong social component: Hell in Los Angeles and the neighborhood boys.

You could almost say that Hell in Los Angeles is the foundation on which the game itself stands. Rockstar’s vision of Los Santos is totally aligned with the city of Los Angeles from the movie and Los Grove Street itself is the most cheeky nod. On the other hand, it is undeniable that much of the development of the story, the themes and the conflicts of the characters have been extracted directly and without subtlety from the neighborhood boyswhich premiered two years earlier.

Elements that gave a unique identity to San Andreas and that, by the way, are still present and very visible in GTA V through characters like Franklin or Lamar.

Reservoir Dogs

Virtually all of Quentin Tarantino’s filmography is present and well distributed throughout the saga Grand Theft Auto. From cheeky winks to Kill Bill with themed missions in GTA Liberty City Stories and GTA Vice City Stories to pulp fiction and its most iconic moments. However, given the choice we have decided on Reservoir Dogs and the fascinating treatment that Rockstar gives to the characters in their games and their lines of dialogue. As our colleagues from Espinof said, that was the birth of a style, and GTA gave it continuity.

Logically, what was inherited from the first film by the Knoxville filmmaker goes beyond the cinematics and very recognizable situations: in addition to being able to find posters of Reservoir Dregs on gta san andreas, There are criminals who use a color code to refer to each other in various games. Simple coincidence? Well, their dialogues in Vice City and GTA IV they’re also suspiciously similar to the ones in the 1992 movie.

Carlito’s Way (Trapped by his past)

Scarface is one of the greatest influences on the GTA saga, and Carlito’s Way -which brings Brian De Palma and Al Pacino back together- is not far behind: as the name with which it arrived at the box office in USAterritory advances, trapped by his past is the story of an ex-convict reintegrating into society whose plans to redeem himself fall by the wayside.

After a twist of fate, Carlito ends up returning to criminal life, undertaking all kinds of criminal acts. Investing in nightlife venues, doing not-so-recommended jobs, dodging police pressure, and making his enemies aware that with Carlito Brigante you don’t play.

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A job in Italy (The Italian Job)

Although, we still have lots of movies in the inkwell in which chases and crime go hand in hand and which are very directly referenced in the GTA saga, including 60 seconds or The Fast & The Furious, we have left one of the most interesting and influential for Rockstar for last: A job in Italy in 1969.

Charlie Croker (played by Michael Cain) has just set foot out of prison, but he already has a new plan in hand: a heist in which there is four million dollars in gold at stake. He just needs a gang capable of keeping up with him, a couple of well-timed interventions to pull off the hit, and a handful of cars with which to execute his brilliant idea. Of course, a very specific model of car: three minis capable of doing impossible maneuvers.

A job in Italy It is one of the most iconic films in the United Kingdom and, logically, its influence is palpable throughout the Rockstar saga. Especially in a GTA London 1969 that takes many elements and much of its iconography indiscriminately and that, by the way, also places the action in the same year as the film’s premiere.

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