"All my life, I've always wanted to be a gangster."
- Henry Hill (Ray Liotta)
"I gotta admit the truth--it turned me on."
- Karen Hill (Lorraine Bracco)
"Whaddaya mean I'm funny'...Funny how' I mean, funny like a clown' I amuse you'"
- Tommy (Joe Pesci) to Henry Hill
Academy Awards 1990 -
Best Supporting Actor: Joe Pesci
Total Film - 06/01/2000
"...Packed with solid-gold dialogue, tight performances and way too many classic scenes to list here..." -- 5 out of 5 Stars
Rolling Stone - 10/04/1990
"...GOODFELLAS makes poetic drama of warped ambitions. It's a prodigious achievement..."
USA Today - 09/19/1990
"...Awesome GOODFELLAS is a punk movie, both in subject matter and attitude..." -- 4 out of 4 stars
New York Times - 09/19/1990
"...Breathless and brilliant....GOODFELLAS is memorable for the ensemble nature of the performances..."
Film Comment - 11/01/1990
"...Filmed like a rainbow-hued thunderbolt and celebrating Mob lore in the fastest 2 1/2 hours in film history..."
Los Angeles Times - 09/20/1990
"...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..."
Premiere - 07/01/2004
"Martin Scorsese regained the explosive force of his '70s heyday with this true-life mafia memoir."
Widescreen Review - 07/01/2006
"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.."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Three decades of life in the Mafia...
Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) is a small time gangster, who takes part in a robbery with Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy De Vito (Joe Pesci), two other gangsters who have set their sights a bit higher. His two partners kill off everyone else involved in the robbery, and slowly start to climb up through the hierarchy of the Mob. Henry, however, is badly affected by his partners success, but will he stoop low enough to bring about the downfall of Jimmy and Tommy?
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.
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.
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.