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  • Writer's pictureGarrett Brodey

Goodfellas: One Of My Favorite Films

Updated: Feb 27

“As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a gangster” is one of the most iconic opening lines in cinematic history. Goodfellas is a 1990 film directed by one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, Martin Scorsese. This has been one of my favorite films for a very long time. I’ll explain why, so if you haven’t seen this masterpiece then I’d highly recommend it. 

The film is about the true story of ex-gangster Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, and his life of being a gangster throughout the 60s-80s. We see what the mob is like through his eyes and iconic narration. It’s a very fascinating story full of memorable characters including Tommy DeVito, played by Joe Pesci, and Jimmy Conway, played by Robert De Niro. Henry Hill himself was a character and his story deserved to be a film. 

My dad is the one who showed me this film. In fact, he’s the reason I saw all the classic films growing up. Goodfellas is one of those. I don’t remember how old I was, but I remember being blown away. This was my second favorite film for a while. It’s not anymore, but it’s still in my top 20 favorites. Anyway, this is a favorite of my dad and I. We watch this film together at least once a year and it’s always a blast. We quote this film constantly. If there’s ever a film that reminds me of my dad, it’s this one and I will always cherish that. I’ll always think of the times of us watching this and laughing our asses off. My dad has taste in film.

Yes, this is a very funny film. That’s weird to say since the film is full of violence and awful things happening to people but I can’t lie, this is one of the funniest films I’ve ever seen. Tommy does and says awful things but the reaction of the other characters make it so hilarious. Hell, Tommy even says funny things throughout the film. My favorite funny moment is Jimmy’s reaction after Tommy kills Spider. It’s a serious scene but the way De Niro delivers the line “What is the fucking matter with you? What are you stupid or what? What are you some kind of sick maniac?” That will never fail to make me laugh. 

Joe Pesci as Tommy is one of the best performances of all time. Pesci plays such a great psycho hot head mobster it’s insane. So insane, he won a well deserved Oscar for his performance. Every scene Pesci is in, he steals the show. He is so damn funny in this film. Every line of dialogue is memorable. The funny how scene is so damn iconic and for a good reason. Pesci deserves all the praise. He is really that good in the film.

Robert De Niro as Jimmy is also very good in this film. That man has so many fantastic performances and this is one of them. Like Pesci, De Niro has so many funny moments but he also has great dramatic moments as well. 

Ray Liotta delivers his best performance as Henry Hill. His voiceover fits this film like a glove. It’s some of the best narration I’ve heard in a film. Liotta really gives it his all in this and I’m shocked he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. Liotta’s reactions to the shit he sees in this film is so damn funny. After Tommy kills Billy Batts, he looks at Henry and says “I didn’t want to get blood on your floor.” Liotta’s reaction is priceless. What a performance. R.I.P. Ray Liotta. 

Lorraine Bracco as Karen Hill is another fantastic performance in this film. I felt for her in every scene because Henry treated her terribly. My dad always said Henry never should’ve got married. Bracco has so many moments of brilliance. 

This is not only Martin Scorsese’s best film, it’s his magnum opus. It has his best direction by far. Scorsese has a style that fits this film so well. It’s truly a testament to the man’s skill as a filmmaker. How he lost Best Director to fucking Kevin Costner for Dances With Wolves is unbelievable. His script with Nicholas Pileggi is absolutely brilliant in every way. There are so many iconic lines in this film. Scorsese is one of the best filmmakers for a reason and this is one of those reasons.

Not only is this film beautifully directed, the editing is fucking incredible. Thelma Schoonmaker is one of the best editors of all time. The soundtrack is so damn good. Every scene has a song choice that fits the film like a glove. It’s incredible. 

I can go on but I’ll end this piece by saying not only is this one of the greatest mob films ever made, it’s one of the greatest films of all time. I cannot recommend it enough.

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