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Based on Nicholas Pileggi's book WISEGUY, Martin Scorsese's GOODFELLAS is a wry, violent, and exhilarating film about the life of Henry Hill, an aspiring criminal who ends up in the FBI's witness protection program after testifying against his former partners. As a poor Irish-Italian growing up in 1950s New York City, Hill (Ray Liotta) rises through the ranks of his Brooklyn neighborhood's organized crime branch, and with money from the mob he begins living the good life, complete with a beautiful bride, Karen (Lorraine Bracco), a fancy house, and the best seats at the most exclusive restaurants. A botched robbery lands Henry in prison for a brief period of time, and when he gets released, his reckless infidelities and drug abuse damage his association with his adopted family.
Scorsese's film is a visual and sonic onslaught, featuring a brilliant pop-music soundtrack and stunning camera work--including the infamous Steadicam one-take that introduces the audience to the Copacabana's patrons. He uses the songs to infuse a breathtaking, invigorating rhythm into every scene. As the psychopathic Tommy DeVito, Joe Pesci delivers an unforgettable performance that is alarming in its cold-blooded callousness, helping to cement GOODFELLAS' place as a classic portrait of life in the mob.
1990 - Academy Awards - Best Supporting Actor Winner
Frank Di Leo
Paul Sorvino - American character actor, GOODFELLAS (1990)
Henny Youngman - Comedian
Henry Youngman - Comedian
Lorraine Bracco - Italian American Film and Television Actress, THE SOPRANOS
Martin Scorsese - American director/screenwriter/producer, GOODFELLAS (1990)
Irwin Winkler - American Producer
Joe Pesci - American actor, GOODFELLAS (1990)
Frank Vincent - Supporting actor, THE SOPRANOS
Frank Gattuso - Supporting actor, THE SOPRANOS
Tony Darrow - Supporting Actor
Nicholas Pileggi - Screenwriter, CASINO (1995)
Chuck Low - American Supporting Actor
Charles Low - American Supporting Actor
Frank Sivero - Supporting Actor
Kevin Corrigan - Actor/"Billy Bathgate"
Robert De Niro - Oscar Winning Actor/Director/Producer
Robert DeNiro - Oscar Winning Actor/Director/Producer
Kristi Zea - Production/Cost. Designer
Mike Starr - Supporting Actor
Thelma Schoonmaker - Editor, CASINO (1995)
Samuel L. Jackson - American actor, PULP FICTION
Jerry Vale - Singer/Lounge Lizard
Ray Liotta - American actor, GOODFELLAS
Michael Ballhaus - German Director Of Photography/In USA
Martin Scorsese's classic crime drama follows Henry Hill from his beginnings as a petty criminal to his inclusion into one of the world's most ruthless mobs. Featuring a nostalgic soundtrack and inventive camera work, GOODFELLAS throbs with an obscene amount of electricity. Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro bring Scorsese and Pileggi's script to life with great fervor, but it is Joe Pesci who steals the show with his portrayal of Tommy DeVito, a psychopathic gangster who is terrifyingly short-tempered. Simply put, GOODFELLAS is one of the most striking crime films ever made.
Theatrical release: September 12, 1990. Shot on location in Queens and Manhattan, New York; and Fort Lee, New Jersey. GOODFELLAS was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 2000. GOODFELLAS was in competition at the Venice Film Festival, where director Martin Scorsese won the Silver Lion. It was shown at the American Museum of the Moving Image during a Scorsese/De Niro film festival. It was voted best film by the New York Film Critics Circle, who also voted Scorsese Best Director. Robert De Niro was voted Best Actor by the same organization for his work in this film, and in AWAKENINGS. It won the Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Joe Pesci), Best Supporting Actress (Lorraine Bracco), and Best Cinematography (Michael Ballhaus) awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. Joe Pesci also won a Best Supporting Actor of 1990 award from the National Board of Review. Actress Debi Mazar, former makeup artist for Madonna, plays a small role here. She went on to become the wisecracking receptionist on the short-lived TV series CIVIL WARS and appeared in the the cast of L.A. LAW in the 1993-94 season before branching out into a series of film roles, including GIRL 6, TREES LOUNGE, and THE INSIDER. Chuck Low, who played Morris Kesssler, was actually Robert De Niro's real estate broker, who rented him the penthouse in what later became the TriBeCa Film Center. Scorsese has been known to use his parents in his films, as he does here, and he actually made a documentary about their lives, ITALIANAMERICAN. His mother, Catherine Scorsese, also had a bit part in THE GODFATHER PART II. Look for a young Michael Imperioli as Spider, who gets shot in the foot by Joe Pesci's crazy character. Imperioli went on to star in THE SOPRANOS, and in one episode his crazy character also shoots a helpless guy in the foot, mimicking the scene from GOODFELLAS.
"...Packed with solid-gold dialogue, tight performances and way too many classic scenes to list here..." -- 5 out of 5 Stars - 06/01/2000 Total Film, p.106
"...GOODFELLAS makes poetic drama of warped ambitions. It's a prodigious achievement..." - 10/04/1990 Rolling Stone, p.47
"...Awesome GOODFELLAS is a punk movie, both in subject matter and attitude..." -- 4 out of 4 stars - 09/19/1990 USA Today, p.1D
"...Breathless and brilliant....GOODFELLAS is memorable for the ensemble nature of the performances..." - 09/19/1990 New York Times, p.C11
"...Filmed like a rainbow-hued thunderbolt and celebrating Mob lore in the fastest 2 1/2 hours in film history..." - 11/01/1990 Film Comment, p.2-7
"...GOODFELLAS is RAGING BULL squared....[The film] flows with the exuberance of a filmmaker who has every detail nailed and a few new lovely moves he wants to show us..." - 09/20/1990 Los Angeles Times, p.F1
"Martin Scorsese regained the explosive force of his '70s heyday with this true-life mafia memoir." - 07/01/2004 Premiere, p.113
"GOODFELLAS is Martin Scorsese's violent and intense view...of organized criminal life, with powerful performances by De Niro, Oscar-winner Pesci, Bracco, and Sorvino.." - 07/01/2006 Widescreen Review, p.66
5 stars out of 5 -- "For its swaggering energy, the heart-in-your-throat pacing and for some of the most memorable, most imitated scenes in mafia movie history, this must rank as one of Scorseses finest films, if not the best." - 01/22/2017 The Guardian