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Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 30. Goodfellas (1990)

September 12, 2011

30. Goodfellas [DVD] (1990)

Plot: The New York Italian mafia is explored in this crime biopic of wiseguy Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) as he makes his way from young petty criminal, to big-time thief, to middle-aged cocaine addict and dealer.

Watching the rise and fall of Hill and his two counterparts, the slick criminal Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and the intimidating Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), this true story realistically explores the rules and traditions of the blue-collar part of the mob.

As far back as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a gangster.” — Henry Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1955. (tagline)

Also Starring: Lorraine BraccoPaul SorvinoMike StarrFrank SiveroTony DarrowFrank Vincent
Directed by: 
Martin Scorsese
Written by: Nicholas PileggiMartin Scorsese
Length: 146 min
Budget: $25,000,000
Gross Revenue: $46,836,394 (USA)

Favorite Quote:
Tommy DeVito
How am I funny?

Review: It’s hard to steal scenes when you act against Robert De Niro, but Joe Pesci manages to outshine him in every single one.

He is simply brilliant. The “how am I funny?” scene is just amazingly awkward!

Oscar Count:
1 Win: 
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Joe Pesci)
5 Nominations: Best Picture (Irwin Winkler) Best Director (Martin Scorsese) Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Lorraine Bracco) Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium (Nicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese) Best Film Editing (Thelma Schoonmaker)

I’m not ordinarily a fan of Ray Liotta, but I found him excellent in this one. Perhaps the reason I don’t usually like him is because he usually stars in crap movies that I never even come close to renting. But here he actually proves to be a great actor.

Maybe he need to change agent? Or whoever suggests projects for him..
Robert De Niro, as usual, is great. Or at least good. Or.. I don’t know anymore. He has positioned himself, like Nicholson and Pacino, on a level where he simply delivers his “De Niro” acting and we in the audience love him for it, not because he delivers something new, but because he delivers what we have become custom to, if you know what I mean..? And if you did, I applaude you…
Anyway, great acting, great movie. If you haven’t, watch it. If you have, re-watch it.

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: The later life of Henry Hill, after he enters the Witness Protection Program, was also adapted, more humorously, into My Blue Heaven the same year. Appropriately, that film was written by Nora Ephron, who is Nicholas Pileggi’s wife.

PREVIOUS ON THE LIST: 31. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)


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