Thursday, July 23, 2015

GoodFellas - Movie Review

Got back to watching GoodFellas again. Nothing good about these fellows really. And guess what - it's made from a book called the 'Wiseguy' written by Nicholas Pilleggi. How many great films are made from books is what amazes me.

'Wiseguy' chronicles the real life story of gangster Henry Hill. Hill's initiation in the gangster life as an 11 year old ('As far as I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster') till the end when he has no option but to be a state witness who helps secure convictions of all his old associates and bosses (who now want him killed). The rapidly unfolding story is shown superbly in Martin Scorsese's film.

Ray Liotta as Henry Hill, Robert De Niro as Jimmy Burke, Joe Pesci as Tommy are gangsters connected to the Lucchesse family. Jimmy is known for his heists, robbing highway trucks and big tipping, Tommy is a psychopathic robber who is trigger happy and Henry is someone who loves being with the gangsters. It all builds up nicely until Jimmy pulls off the Air France heist, the largest till then. Then he starts bumping off his team mates one by one in his insecurity. Tommy is killed by the mafia in retaliation for an indiscriminate killing he does. Henry is stuck in a drug habit and a mistress. Henry finally ends up being a witness and gets his former pals arrested.

In real life Henry died of natural causes as a free man. Jimmy and Paul died in prison and Tommy was shot by the mafia. Made in 1990 by Martin Scorsese 'Goodfellas' is acknowledged as one of the greatest films of all time. It got Joe Pesci an Academy Award for best supporting actor.

There's a couple more gangster movies on the list to revisit. Fargo and the Godfather series.

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