As far back as I could remember I always wanted to be a gangster.
With these immortal words we are catapulted head first in to Martin Scorsese’s vibrant and volatile mobster classic, Goodfellas.
In the three decades since it’s release in 1990 not many gangster films have come close to matching this one. There are many imitations out there.
The movie rattles along at a relentless, breathless pace. The true life tale of New York mob foot soldier, Henry Hill is one of Scorsese’s best.
We open on Hill driving through Pennsylvania with what should be a dead body in the trunk of his Pontiac. It turns out that said dead body is very much alive and after a few flashes from a guns muzzle and a frantic stabbing, Hill and his companions can get on with their journey.
Hill is played with devastating aplomb by Ray Liotta. Henry’s introduction to mob life starts early. His envious eyes spy the cabstand across the road with wonder as the neighborhood wise guys hold court. It is not long before the young Hill is running errands and fetching drinks for his idols.
The first half of the film is all fun & games. The second part however charts Hill’s descent into a cocaine-fueled hell. Manic and wide-eyed, Henry starts to come apart in ways you would not think possible.
Scorsese’s heavyweight crew aptly support, Liotta’s career best turn.
Joe Pesci, won a deserved Oscar for his portrayal of the barbaric, Tommy DeVito.
Jimmy Conway (Robert DeNiro) & Paul Vario (Paul Sorvino), Hill’s two closet associates are equally charismatic and menacing.
Lorraine Bracco. With eyes just like Liz Taylor’s almost steals the show as Hill’s long suffering wife, Karen.
Long time Scorsese collaborator, Thelma Schoonmaker gives a master class in kinetic energy editing.
Goodfellas is the type of film you will remember where & when you first saw it. I was at my uncle’s girlfriend’s house hiding out from his Rottweiler behind a locked door.
If you have not seen it before do yourself a favour and get down to Bem Mozi tonight.
This mafia epic will soon become one of your all-time favorites.
Goodfellas will be screened this evening at 19.30pm.
Tickets are 1k.
At one point in the film DeVito shoots an unsuspecting underling in the foot. That underling is portrayed by Michael Imperoli. Imperoli went on to play Chrissy in The Sopranos.
During The Sopranos episode, The Legend of Tennesse Moltisanti, Chrissy puts two slugs in a bakery clerks foot after being forced to wait for his bread.
The Sopranos is full of Goodfellas alumni including Bracco who is Tony’s shrink.