The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.
Henry Hill is a small time gangster, who takes part in a robbery with Jimmy Conway and Tommy De Vito, two other gangsters who have set their sights a bit higher. His two partners kill off everyone else involved in the robbery, and slowly start to climb up through the hierarchy of the Mob. Henry, however, is badly affected by his partners success, but will he stoop low enough to bring about the downfall of Jimmy and Tommy? Written by
Colin Tinto <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The film's soundtrack did not include many of the songs featured in the film, most of them being the tracks played during the lengthy scene where Henry rushes around trying to make his drug deal. The songs sampled during the scene are, in order, "Jump Into the Fire" by Nilsson, "Memo From Turner" by the Rolling Stones, "Magic Bus" by The Who (from the Live at Leeds album), "Monkey Man" by the Rolling Stones, "Mannish Boy" by Muddy Waters, "What is Life" by George Harrison, "Mannish Boy" again and "Toad" by Cream. See more »
When Karen visits Henry in prison, cheese and salami on the table change position between shots. See more »
Rightfully hailed as one of the greatest gangster epics of all time
STAR RATING: ***** The Works **** Just Misses the Mark *** That Little Bit In Between ** Lagging Behind * The Pits
A film (one I'm sure you're all familiar with) charting the rise of Henry Hill, a young man growing up in a neighbourhood in 1950s New Jersey, who is in awe of the wise guys who lurk in his neighbourhood and the respect and power they command. With low prospects and an abusive father, Henry can see no other way to go than to become one of them and we follow him on his journey as he becomes ingratiated in them, the crimes he carries out for them, his marriage that starts well before going disasterously off the rails, a spell in jail after a job gone wrong and finally where he goes wildly off the rails when he starts taking/dealing drugs and him finally ending up having to testify against his former friends when he becomes a liability to them and they put out a contract on his head, which is still in force today.
Robert De Niro. Ray Liotta. Joe Pesci. Three men with faces you wouldn't want to mess with and all perfectly cast in the leading roles in Martin Scorsese's legendary crime epic. All men are on fine form but, in ironically the lesser role, special mention to Pesci who steals the show as the wildly psychotic Tommy.
Scorsese's masterpiece was one of the first films to really make use of the camera in new ways, from the long, lingering shot to the still shot, used excellently at various points in the movie. These are usually complimented by a fine 50s soundtrack playing over them, with some real lingering melodies from that era.
The story works on two levels, both enlighteningly as an expose of how the gangster world and the gangsters themselves actually have very similar philosophies and worries as normal 9-5 people (with regards to families and staying on top of the competition) as well as showing just why the attraction to that life is so great (hitting home most forcefully at the end when Henry is forced to acknowledge that he'll have to lead the rest of his life like a 'shnuck!') and also engagingly as we watch a man rise from nothing to great heights only to lose it all again through his own bad choices and misguided loyalties. Indeed, as the film spans four decades, we do leave the film feeling as though we've known these characters for years.
Coppola's The Godfather will remain the most accomplished crime epic of all time, but Scorsese's effort can never be scoffed at and will rightly remain one of the most well remembered films of it's sort, if you've got the stomach to sit through it in certain parts. *****
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