When Tough Guys Ruled the Cinema- Episode 24: Goodfellas
Henry Hill, played by Ray Liotta, is a young boy who grew up in a neighborhood full of mobsters. After viewing their lifestyle, he began to idolize them, and slowly but surely became a gangster himself. Tommy Devito, played by Joe Pesci, is a tough but crazy wise guy with a comical side who becomes best friends with Henry. Jimmy Conway, played by Robert DeNiro, is a big-time gangster who puts both Henry and Tommy to work by running some of the biggest hijacks and burglaries in New York City. Paul Cicero, played by Paul Sorvino, is the local mob boss.
After Henry is sentenced to jail for a job gone wrong, he sneaks around the back of Cicero so that he can continue to live the life of luxury that he was always accustomed to living. However, when things go wrong, there are severe consequences.
Director Martin Scorsese does a phenomenal job of creating a world that viewers can relate to. The use of dialogue is extremely entertaining, as each character is introduced in a spot-on Italian stereotypical way. As the film goes on, you witness the lives of these gangsters drastically change, as they once had it all but slowly lost everything. A few bumps in the road are sure to damage a life that was used to a certain kind of living, but when all is said and done, it’s the wise guys who finish last.
“Goodfellas” is a film with memorable characters. Pesci is the bad guy you love to root for, with a great sense of humor to go along with a tough, no-nonsense personality. Liotta is the calm wise guy who is friendly but all business. DeNiro is the tough-as-nails gangster who you love and fear at the same time.
When the smoke clears, the life of luxury has been extinguished, causing all good things to come to an end.
Becoming a gangster is a lifestyle choice. However, life can be extremely short if you rat on your friends and never keep your mouth shut.
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