Henry Hill might be a small time gangster, who may have taken part in a robbery with Jimmy Conway and Tommy De Vito, two other gangsters who might have set their sights a bit higher. His two partners could kill off everyone else involved in the robbery, and slowly start to think about climbing up through the hierarchy of the Mob. Henry, however, might be badly affected by his partners' success, but will he consider stooping low enough to bring about the downfall of Jimmy and Tommy? Written by
Colin Tinto <email@example.com>
Ray Liotta came into view for the main lead after Martin Scorsese saw him in Something Wild (1986) and Field of Dreams (1989), and especially loved his 'explosive energy' in the former film. However, according to Liotta, the casting process took over a year, in which he had to audition several times. The deal was finally sealed during the Venice Film Festival, which both Liotta and Scorsese were visiting. Scorsese was protected by bodyguards after receiving several threats from religious groups due to his controversial The Last Temptation of Christ (1988). When Liotta wanted to take the opportunity to talk to Scorsese about the role again, the bodyguards kept pushing him back. When Scorsese noticed that Liotta remained very calm under this, he knew he had found the right leading man, because the real Henry Hill was also better known for being a calm and silent observer than an aggressive responder. See more »
When Morrie says "Give them 8 to 5 on Cleveland," the phone is in his right hand and next to his ear. In the next shot, a split second later, the phone is in his left hand and down by his side. See more »
"As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster." -- Henry Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1955.
Gangsters are all around us. Everyone knows it, not everyone wants to accept it. "Goodfellas"--based on true events--explores the lives of gangsters, chronicling the events through the eyes of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), who gets involved with the Mafia at a young age and continues his "career" throughout the film.
As he gets older, he marries and has children, but still works for the organized crime family, under mob boss Paulie (Paul Sorvino); and he is friends with Jimmy (Robert De Niro), a calm, steady gangster; and Tommy (Joe Pesci), a wild man with serious mental problems.
Eventually Henry's life goes down the gutter, leading to drug abuse and paranoia, that leads to other unfortunate incidents that will be ruined if I type any more about them.
"Goodfellas" is one of the best films I have ever seen. It's a tour de force of breathtaking images, witty scriptwriting, superb acting and realistic violence.
Robert De Niro gives one of his best performances -- ever -- as Jimmy, even if he's not in the film as much as you might be lead to believe from the front cover.
Joe Pesci is in this movie about as much as De Niro, maybe a bit more or less. But when he's on screen there's no doubting he's on screen--he's very hard to miss. A short, deranged, loud-mouthed man with something wrong in his head. Someone makes an insult toward him and he shoots them, and then laughs. It's quite disturbing. I am a huge fan of Pesci, and I tend to love his characters, but he really makes you feel sick towards his character in "Goodfellas," while at the same time taking a strange liking to him. That just goes to show how good of an actor Pesci is.
Ray Liotta is perfect as Henry Hill. I can't think of a better actor to play him. He captures a sense of innocence yet at the same time a feeling of violence. I love the scene where he walks over to a man's house with a regular expression on his face. "What do you want, f&*^&?" the man asks. Liotta continues walking, takes out a gun, and starts to continually beat the man in the skull with the butt of his gun. As Henry walks back to his car, his face is disturbing and his expression stays with you for a long, long time.
Martin Scorsese is a brilliant director and his work here is fabulous; it's been recreated by other directors (namely Paul Thomas Anderson in "Boogie Nights") and there's a reason: it's great stuff. He totally deserved to receive Best Director in 1990, but of course he didn't. (Rumor has it the Academy frowns on Scorsese's use of racial slurs in his work. Oh boo hoo, get over it.)
The movie is based on the true-crime memoirs of the real-life Henry Hill, whose novel with Nicholas Pileggi -- "Wiseguys" -- was adapted into a screenplay by Pileggi and Scorsese. The book itself was fantastic and insightful; the screenplay is even better. The dialogue is incredible.
Anyway, "Goodfellas" has to be one of the best films I've ever seen--a true modern classic that will be remembered for what it is: One of the greatest tales told on screen. It's an offer you can't refuse!
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