GOODFELLAS (A Thank you to Marty)

GOODFELLAS-United States-1990

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill

Robert De Niro as James Conway

Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito

Lorraine Bracco as Karen Hill

Paul Sorvino as Paul Cicero

Directed by Martin Scorsese
Screenplay by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese
Based on the book “Wise Guy” by Nicholas Pileggi
“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster”-Henry Hill

This marks the third time that I’ve started writing this review. I begin, I trash it. I begin, I trash it. I just can’t think of what to say that would do this perfect film any justice. It is, in my humble opinion the greatest movie from the man who makes the world’s greatest movies. I tried to write down the basic synopsis of the film and I would just stop. What the hell was the point? This film was released in 1990 and if you haven’t seen it yet then you either don’t like movies or you’ve been living under a rock in Funk and Wagnall’s’ back yard. So, without a synopsis, there’s no review, right? Well, yes and no. If you’re a regular reader of my blog then you pretty much know that I don’t write the most descriptive of summaries or synopses. Why start with Goodfellas? So what could I do to make this review stand out? Then it dawned on me. I’m not going to write a review. I’m just going to say these simple words:

Thank you, Marty Scorsese, for making the world’s greatest movies. Without them I can honestly say that my life and the lives of millions of others just wouldn’t be the same.


The “You think I’m funny?” scene was based on a story that Joe Pesci acted out forMartin Scorsese. While working in a restaurant as a young man, Pesci once told a mobster that he was funny and the mobster became very angry. Scorsese allowed Pesci and Ray Liotta to improvise the scene. He did not tell the other actors in the scene what would happen because he wanted their genuine surprised reactions.

For the famous “Layla” montage, Martin Scorsese actually played the “piano coda” section of the song during the shooting of each scene so that certain bars of the piano piece would match up with certain shots.

According to the real Henry Hill, whose life was the basis for the book and film, Joe Pesci’s portrayal of Tommy DeVito was 90% to 99% accurate, with one notable exception; the real Tommy DeVito was a massively built, strapping man.

After the premiere, Henry Hill went around and revealed his true identity. In response, the government kicked him out of the Federal Witness Protection Program.