GoodFellas (1990)

GoodFellas (1990)
  • Genre: Crime, Drama
  • Director: Martin Scorsese
  • Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino

GoodFellas, directed by Martin Scorsese, is a gripping crime drama based on the true story of Henry Hill and his life as a mobster in New York City. The film takes viewers on a thrilling and intense journey into the dark underbelly of organized crime, showcasing the rise and fall of the characters involved.

The story revolves around Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), a young Irish-Italian man who becomes associated with the Lucchese crime family at a young age. As the narrative unfolds, we witness Henry’s gradual descent into the world of crime, guided by his mentors Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci).

One of the standout aspects of GoodFellas is its masterful direction by Martin Scorsese. Known for his ability to depict gritty and realistic portrayals of crime, Scorsese’s direction in this film is nothing short of exceptional. He skillfully blends fast-paced editing, a vibrant soundtrack, and innovative camera work to create a sense of urgency and tension throughout the film.

The performances in GoodFellas are nothing short of brilliant. Ray Liotta delivers a captivating performance as Henry Hill, portraying both his charm and his descent into darkness. Robert De Niro brings depth and intensity to the role of Jimmy Conway, a seasoned mobster with a volatile personality. Joe Pesci’s portrayal of the unpredictable and violent Tommy DeVito earned him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.

The film is also notable for its strong supporting cast. Lorraine Bracco delivers a powerful performance as Henry’s wife, Karen, providing a complex perspective on the consequences of a life involved in organized crime. Paul Sorvino brings a commanding presence to the role of Paul Cicero, the boss of the crime family.

GoodFellas is renowned for its innovative and influential filmmaking techniques. Scorsese’s use of voice-over narration, freeze frames, and rapid-fire editing creates a sense of immediacy and immerses the audience in the chaotic and dangerous world of the characters. The film’s pacing is relentless, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats throughout.

The film’s soundtrack is another standout element, featuring an eclectic mix of popular music from the 1950s to the 1980s. The music, ranging from rock and roll classics to soulful ballads, enhances the mood of each scene and helps to evoke a sense of time and place.

Unforgettable scenes and dialogues are plentiful in GoodFellas. The iconic “Funny how?” scene, in which Joe Pesci’s character confronts Henry about his sense of humor, showcases Pesci’s ability to switch from charming to menacing in an instant. The famous Copacabana tracking shot, where Henry and Karen enter the nightclub through the back entrance, immerses viewers in the glamorous and exclusive world of the mob. These and many other scenes contribute to the film’s enduring legacy.

In conclusion, GoodFellas is a cinematic masterpiece that seamlessly weaves together an engaging story, exceptional performances, and groundbreaking filmmaking techniques. It stands as one of the greatest crime films ever made, offering a captivating and immersive look into the dark side of the American dream. Martin Scorsese’s direction, combined with the stellar performances from the cast, make GoodFellas a must-see film for fans of the genre and lovers of great cinema.


– Robert De Niro as James “Jimmy” Conway: A seasoned and influential mobster who takes Henry under his wing.

– Ray Liotta as Henry Hill: The film’s protagonist, who becomes involved in organized crime at a young age and experiences both the perks and perils of the lifestyle.

– Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito: A hot-headed and unpredictable member of the mob, known for his violent outbursts.

– Lorraine Bracco as Karen Hill: Henry’s wife, who becomes immersed in the world of organized crime alongside her husband.

– Paul Sorvino as Paul Cicero: The boss of the Lucchese crime family and a respected figure in the mob.


– Director: Martin Scorsese: Known for his mastery of the crime genre and his unique visual style, Scorsese brings his distinctive vision to GoodFellas.

– Screenplay: Martin Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi: The screenplay is based on Nicholas Pileggi’s book “Wiseguy” and was co-written by Pileggi and Scorsese.

– Producer: Irwin Winkler: Winkler worked closely with Scorsese to bring the story to life and oversee the production.

– Cinematography: Michael Ballhaus: The film’s cinematography captures the gritty and intense atmosphere of the mob world, with dynamic camera movements and visually striking compositions.

– Editing: Thelma Schoonmaker: Schoonmaker’s editing plays a crucial role in the film’s fast-paced narrative, creating a sense of urgency and energy.

The cast and crew of GoodFellas collaborated to create a cohesive and compelling film that has become a landmark in the crime genre. With their combined talent and expertise, they brought the characters and the world of organized crime to vivid life on the screen.

“GoodFellas” was a critical and commercial success, garnering widespread acclaim and solidifying its place as one of the greatest crime films of all time. Here are some factors that contributed to its success:

1. Masterful Direction: Directed by Martin Scorsese, known for his expertise in the crime genre, “GoodFellas” showcased his signature style and storytelling prowess. Scorsese’s attention to detail, immersive camerawork, and ability to create tension and realism elevated the film to a new level.

2. Stellar Performances: The film boasts an outstanding cast delivering powerful performances. Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci all delivered memorable portrayals, with Pesci winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the volatile Tommy DeVito. The performances brought depth and authenticity to the characters, drawing audiences into their world.

3. Engaging Storytelling: Based on the true story of Henry Hill’s life in the mob, “GoodFellas” presents a captivating narrative filled with twists, betrayals, and the rise and fall of its characters. The film expertly balances moments of tension, violence, humor, and introspection, keeping viewers engaged throughout.

4. Technical Excellence: The film’s technical aspects, such as its editing, cinematography, and soundtrack, contributed to its success. Thelma Schoonmaker’s editing skillfully crafted the fast-paced narrative, while Michael Ballhaus’s cinematography captured the grit and intensity of the mob world. The film’s soundtrack, featuring a mix of period-specific music and carefully selected songs, further enhanced the atmosphere and helped drive the story forward.

5. Cultural Impact: “GoodFellas” resonated with audiences and became a cultural touchstone. Its iconic scenes, memorable dialogue, and quotable lines have permeated popular culture. The film’s influence can be seen in subsequent crime films, with its narrative and stylistic choices inspiring filmmakers and shaping the genre.

Overall, “GoodFellas” achieved success by combining the talents of its cast and crew, delivering a compelling story, and leaving a lasting impact on audiences and the film industry. It remains a timeless classic that continues to be celebrated and revered by cinephiles around the world.

Behind the scenes of “GoodFellas,” there were several interesting anecdotes and stories that shed light on the making of the film. Here are a few notable ones:

1. Real-Life Mob Connections: The production of “GoodFellas” attracted attention from real-life mob figures due to the film’s subject matter. Henry Hill, the former mobster on whose life the film is based, was involved in the production as a consultant. His presence on set brought a sense of authenticity, as he shared anecdotes and insights from his experiences in the mob.

2. Improvised Dialogue: Director Martin Scorsese encouraged improvisation on set, allowing the actors to bring their own ideas and interpretations to the scenes. One of the most famous improvised moments is Joe Pesci’s line, “Funny how? Like I’m a clown? I amuse you?” during the dinner scene. Pesci’s intense delivery and off-the-cuff dialogue became one of the film’s most memorable and chilling moments.

3. Copacabana Tracking Shot: The iconic tracking shot through the Copacabana nightclub is one of the most celebrated scenes in the film. To achieve the seamless shot, the crew removed a wall of the nightclub and built a dolly track to navigate through the crowded venue. The shot required meticulous planning and coordination, but it ultimately became a standout sequence that showcased Scorsese’s technical mastery.

4. Authentic Details: The production team went to great lengths to ensure authenticity in depicting the mob lifestyle. They consulted with real-life mobsters, used genuine FBI surveillance footage, and incorporated specific details from Henry Hill’s accounts. The attention to detail extended to the costumes, sets, and props, creating a visually immersive experience for the audience.

5. De Niro’s Preparation: Robert De Niro, known for his dedication to his roles, prepared extensively for his portrayal of Jimmy Conway. He spent time with the real-life Jimmy Burke, the inspiration behind his character, and adopted his mannerisms and speech patterns. De Niro even learned how to operate a hijacked truck to make his scenes more authentic.

These behind-the-scenes stories highlight the commitment of the cast and crew to capturing the essence of the mob world and creating a compelling and realistic portrayal in “GoodFellas.” Their efforts contributed to the film’s authenticity and overall success.

Hit Music in “GoodFellas”

The soundtrack of “GoodFellas” is a collection of carefully chosen songs that perfectly complement the film’s narrative and enhance its atmosphere. The music consists primarily of popular tracks from the 1950s and 1960s, reflecting the era in which the story takes place. Some notable songs from the film include:

1. “Rags to Riches” by Tony Bennett: This classic Bennett tune plays during the opening credits, setting the stage for Henry Hill’s rise in the criminal underworld.

2. “Atlantis” by Donovan: This song accompanies the infamous “Lufthansa Heist” sequence, adding a sense of excitement and tension as the heist unfolds.

3. “Layla” by Derek and the Dominos: The haunting guitar riff of “Layla” underscores the film’s climactic sequence, creating a juxtaposition between the violence on screen and the melancholic beauty of the music.

4. “Gimme Shelter” by The Rolling Stones: This iconic track is featured during the film’s closing moments, emphasizing the consequences of Henry Hill’s actions and the downward spiral of his life.

Unforgettable Scenes

“GoodFellas” is filled with memorable scenes that have become iconic in the world of cinema. Here are a few standout moments:

1. The Copacabana Tracking Shot: As mentioned earlier, the Copacabana tracking shot is a technical marvel that follows Henry Hill and his date, Karen, through the back entrance of the nightclub. This extended shot showcases the glamour and allure of the mob lifestyle and highlights Henry’s privileged status.

2. The “Funny How?” Scene: During a casual conversation, Joe Pesci’s character, Tommy DeVito, takes offense when a fellow gangster remarks that he’s funny. Pesci’s improvisational skills shine as he delivers a menacing monologue, creating an intense and unpredictable atmosphere.

3. The “You Think I’m Funny?” Scene: Building on the previous moment, this scene features Joe Pesci’s character confronting a fellow mobster who questions his sense of humor. Pesci’s explosive performance and the tension that builds throughout the scene make it unforgettable.

4. The “May 11th” Montage: The film includes a fast-paced montage sequence that captures Henry Hill’s daily routine, from picking up his drugs to meeting with various mob associates. Accompanied by the upbeat rhythm of Harry Nilsson’s “Jump into the Fire,” the montage conveys the frenetic pace and adrenaline-filled lifestyle of a mobster.

Unforgettable Dialogues

“GoodFellas” is renowned for its sharp and memorable dialogues that capture the essence of the characters and the world they inhabit. Here are a few noteworthy lines:

1. “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” – Henry Hill (Ray Liotta)

2. “Funny how? I mean, funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you?” – Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci)

3. “For us to live any other way was nuts. To us, those goody-good people who worked shitty jobs for bum paychecks and took the subway to work every day, and worried about their bills, were dead. I mean, they were suckers.” – Henry Hill (Ray Liotta)

4. “Never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut.” – Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro)

These scenes and dialogues, along with others throughout the film, have become iconic and are often quoted and referenced in popular culture.

The combination of hit music, unforgettable scenes, and memorable dialogues all contribute to the lasting impact and cultural significance of “GoodFellas.” They enhance the film’s storytelling

The conclusion of “GoodFellas” is a reflection of the consequences and downfall that come with a life of crime. After years of involvement in the mob, Henry Hill finds himself in a precarious situation as he becomes involved in drug trafficking and experiences a series of betrayals.

The film’s climax centers around the aftermath of the infamous Lufthansa Heist, which initially brings great wealth and prosperity to Henry and his associates. However, as the crew starts to get caught or turn on each other, the tensions escalate, leading to a series of violent deaths. The once close-knit group disintegrates, and paranoia and fear consume those involved.

As the law enforcement tightens its grip on Henry and his criminal associates, the film’s pace intensifies. Henry, aware that his arrest is imminent, becomes increasingly paranoid and anxious. The cinematography and editing techniques used during this sequence, such as rapid cuts and close-ups, amplify the sense of chaos and impending doom.

In the final moments of the film, Henry Hill is faced with the consequences of his actions. His drug addiction worsens, causing him to make mistakes and draw attention to himself. As the pressure mounts, Henry becomes increasingly aware that he is being watched and that his life is in danger.

The conclusion of “GoodFellas” is marked by a sense of inevitability and poetic justice. Henry realizes that he can no longer trust anyone and must go into witness protection to save his own life. He testifies against his former associates and is forced to sever all ties with his criminal past.

The film’s final scene depicts Henry Hill living under a new identity, far removed from the glamorous and dangerous life he once led. As he looks back on his past, he reflects on the choices he made and the price he paid for his involvement in organized crime.


“GoodFellas” serves as a cautionary tale about the destructive nature of a criminal lifestyle. It shows the fleeting nature of power, the fragility of trust, and the inevitable downfall that awaits those who choose a life of crime. The film’s conclusion leaves viewers with a sense of the tragic consequences that befall individuals who become entangled in the world of organized crime, and the lasting impact it has on their lives.

Watch GoodFellas On Gomovies

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You cannot copy content of this page