Writer: Nicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese (Screenplay) Nicholas Pileggi (Book)
Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorrain Bracco, Paul Sorvino, Frank Sivero, Tony Darrow
Plot: The story of Henry Hill and his life through the teen years into the years of mafia, covering his relationship with wife Karen Hill and his Mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVitto in the Italian-American crime syndicate.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Classic but Not for Me
Story: Goodfellas starts as Henry Hill tells us all about why he wants to be a gangster from a young age, we learn how he got a chance in his early teenage ages, where he made more money that his father and after spending his time in jail he is all grown up. Henry (Liotta) works with Tommy DeVito (Pesci) under the James Conway (De Niro) who all answer to Paul Cicero (Sorvino).
Henry rising up the ranks has built himself a reputation and once he starts dating Karen (Bracco) who becomes his wife. When Tommy murders a high-ranking member of the Mafia James and Henry help him cover it up as they continue to build their reputation. This is the rise and fall of Henry Hill as the truth about his identity comes outs.
Thoughts on Goodfellas
Characters/Performance – Henry Hill is telling us the story, he is quiet man who wants to be a gangster, we follow his story as he rose the ranks in the Mafia, we see how far he goes and what he needs to do to clean up the mess he finds him in. James or Jimmy is the top ranked of the three, he makes the deals and makes sure everyone stays in line. Tommy is the hot head that shots first always leaving the others in danger.
Performance wise, De Niro is great in what is a supporting role in a genre he is brilliant in. Liotta is the star of the show and is fantastic through the whole film. Joe Pesci gives one of the most iconic gangster performances of all time here.
Story – The story of one man’s life inside the Mafia is always interesting but the reality is it can only be seen a number of times before we know how it will all unfold. Yes, this is one of the most popular of all time but I do feel it is just fine for a non-gangster film fan.
Crime – The crime world we enter into is everything we would have come to expect and it is easily the strong point of the film.
Final Thoughts – This is a classic and I can see all the good points about the film but it just isn’t a film I will want to watch again.
Overall: This is a classic of the genre.