Whatever Scorsese touches becomes gold. When he decides to do a film about New York and gangsters you know it will be gold. This time his film is like a mirror image of Francis Ford Coppola's Godfather series. "Goodfellas", originally released in 1990, is violent, funny, and twisted. The film is a favourite of many and is the type that should be bought for your collection as you can watch it over and over again.
It is the 1950s and like many boys in his area of New York Henry wants to be in the mafia. As they get older, Henry Hill (Ray Liotta – Wild Hogs, Blow) and his buddies begin working their way up through the ranks of the mob. Doing a robbery with Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro – Meet the Fockers, Analyze This) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci – My Cousin Vinny, Casino) things get out of hand when Tommy and Jimmy kill everyone in sight. Henry ends up in jail for an extended period.
When he gets out of jail Henry has to sneak around town behind the back of the local mob boss, Paul Cicero (Paul Sorvino – Mambo Italiano, Romeo + Juliet). Soon the three friends find themselves in a jam and have to do something to save each other.
The film has a surreal but fascinating feel to it. Martin Scorsese keeps the film moving at a realistic pace and never really allows the viewer to get comfortable or able to figure out what is coming next. Even the film's soundtrack is bang on. I defy you not to be affected by the song "Layla" when it comes on. It certainly is one of the classic films of the 1990s – if not of all film history.
Based on true events, this Scorsese film does a better job than most shedding some light on the day-to-day lives of gangsters. A deep down and dirty look at the 30 year "career" of a mafia gangster. We really for the first time truly begin to understand all the supposed loyalty that is preached about in the mafia is really just a sham. When push comes to shove it is every man for himself within that organization like it is in most. It is a complete film with amazing cinematography, a witty script, gripping violence, and great acting.
-The Workaday Gangster"
-"The Goodfellas Legacy"
-"Paper Is Cheaper Than Film"
-"Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film" Feature-length documentary
-Looney Tunes Gangster-themed Cartoons