5 movies that inspired GTA San Andreas

Some players enjoy the cinematic experience of GTA San Andreas (Image via Wallpaper Cave)
Some players enjoy the cinematic experience of GTA San Andreas (Image via Wallpaper Cave)

GTA San Andreas is a timeless classic that pays homage to several American films, which inspires the 90's setting of the story.

Rockstar continues to reference several crime-based movies in their work. One example is GTA 3, as the mafia-based Goodfellas and The Sopranos are massively influential in the game.

GTA San Andreas is no different in this regard. Several late 80's and early 90's films impact the atmospheric feel.

Everything from radio stations to storyline missions captures the essence of the 90's, where San Andreas is set. Rockstar did their research, as they make several references to notable films of this time period. Perceptive GTA players can recognize some of these particular references.

Five times GTA San Andreas was inspired by a famous movie

#5 - Menace to Society


The early 90's were a great time for hood dramas, with Menace II Society being a particular stand out. Beyond graphic depictions of violence and drugs, this film directly inspired several aspects of San Andreas. This includes the Los Angeles setting of Los Santos, which is rife with gang conflict.

Most notably, the final scene of Menace II Society features a fatal drive-by shooting. This is what influenced the events of the San Andreas introduction, where CJ's mother was killed in a similar fashion.

The green Sabre used in her death also bears a resemblance to the one from the film's climax.

One of the Grove Street pedestrian models looks just like O-Dog, one of the main characters in Menace II Society. He is recognizable by his green flannel shirt. There is also a Ballas gang member that looks similar to another character from the film; he wears a beanie and sunglasses.

#4 - Casino


Martin Scorcese definitely has his fingerprints on the GTA series, even if he isn't directly involved in any capacity. Along with the aforementioned Goodfellas, Scorcese had another film that influenced the events of a GTA entry - the 1995 crime-drama Casino, which features Robert de Niro and Joe Pesci.

The film showcases the various power struggles of mafia-owned casinos. Similarly, during the Las Venturas section of the storyline, GTA players will have to contend with rival mafia casinos.

Salvatore Leone also made an appearance as one of the major investors of Caligula's Palace, which CJ must rob later on.

There are also several holes filled with bodies out in the desert, which is another reference to the events of Casino. Given the wide-open space of these surroundings, it's rather easy to dispose corpses without much notice.

#3 - Boyz in the Hood


The impact of this 1991 gang drama cannot be understated. Not only was it preserved by the National Film Registry for cultural significance, several elements can be found in San Andreas.

Everything from gang wars to drive-by killings play an important role in the GTA story.

Boyz in the Hood deals with several themes relevant to the game (and GTA in general). One such example is the power of temptation, which Big Smoke and Ryder give into when they betray Grove Street.

Another major theme is trying to escape the gangster lifestyle, which CJ is unable to do.

Another notable reference is a random pedestrian that shares the same appearance as Tre Styles, the main character in Boyz in the Hood. Madd Dogg's manager, Alan Crawford, uses this particular model in the infamous Management Issues mission.

#2 - Colors


Colors is a 1988 film that serves as the major source of inspiration for the C.R.A.S.H. storyline; the other two are the real-life incidents of the Rampart Division scandal and Rodney King riots.

This action-based drama features police officers trying to deal with constant gang violence, similar to the San Andreas story. Bloods, Crips, and even the Hispanic gangs from the movie are direct counterparts to Grove Street, Ballas, and the Vagos gangs respectively.

C.R.A.S.H. member Eddie Pulaski is voiced by the late Chris Penn, brother of well-known actor Sean Penn. The latter starred as one of the main characters in Colors, which ties into the movie-game connection.

#1 - Con Air


Con Air is a comedy-based crime drama that mainly plays itself for laughs, given the ridiculous performances and hammy one-liners. San Andreas makes several direct references to the film in a series of action sequences.

Both the climaxes of Con Air and San Andreas feature a chase in a fire truck, where the main antagonist tries to escape. Con Air also has a scene where cops drop their donuts before they begin a chase, which also happens in San Andreas.

Another major influence can be found in a particular location in Bone County. When Mike Toreno gave CJ access to an abandoned airfield, it's appearance was remarkably similar to the one featured in Con Air.

GTA players who watched the movie will notice it as soon as they see it.

Note: This article reflects the writer's personal views.

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