Goodfellas (1990)

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Tagline:  “As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a gangster.” — Henry Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1955.

Genres: Biography, Crime, Drama  8.8/10

Top 250: #16

Runtime: 2h26m

Release Date: 09/19/90

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writers: Nicholas Pileggi, Nicholas Pileggi

Cast: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Frank Sivero, Tony Darrow, Mike Starr, Frank Vincent, Chuck Low

 

Henry Hill and his friends work their way up through the mob hierarchy.

Summaries

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?

Goodfellas (stylized GoodFellas) is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is an adaptation of the 1985 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. The film narrates the rise and fall of mob associate Henry Hill and his friends and family from 1955 to 1980.

Scorsese initially titled the film Wise Guy and postponed making it; later, he and Pileggi changed the title to Goodfellas. To prepare for their roles in the film, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta often spoke with Pileggi, who shared research material left over from writing the book. According to Pesci, improvisation and ad-libbing came out of rehearsals wherein Scorsese gave the actors freedom to do whatever they wanted. The director made transcripts of these sessions, took the lines he liked best and put them into a revised script, which the cast worked from during principal photography.

Made on a budget of $25 million, Goodfellas grossed $46.8 million. It received positive reviews from critics and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, with Pesci winning for Best Supporting Actor. The film won five awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, including Best Film and Best Director. Additionally, Goodfellas was named the year’s best film by various critics’ groups.

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