On this weeks episode of the Film Coterie (Ep. 03) I decided to take a trip back to 1990 and re-watch the movie Goodfellas. I have to say coming back to this film 27 years later I was pleasantly surprised by how well it holds up. Goodfellas is based upon the true story of Henry Hill and his rise through the mafia ranks in New York City during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. It stars Ray Liotta in the lead role of Henry Hill and Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci play his cohorts in crime. Directed by Martin Scorsese this two hour and 26 minutes crime drama is well worth a watch, even today.
Even though I know what was about to happen, I still found myself on the edge of my seat in anticipation of Joe Pesci’s character exploding upon someone who just offended him. This may very well be Joe Pesci's best performance in any film. One of the great things about this film is that they put you on a roller coaster ride where even though you know how everything will turn out in the end, you still have a great time on the journey.
If you enjoyed Goodfellas, I would highly recommend some of these other gangster films:
My Blue Heaven (1990) - This film feels like a comedic successor to Goodfellas. Steve Martin plays a gangster who is having a hard time giving up his old ways and going straight in the witness protection program. Rick Moranis plays the federal agent who must keep the wily gangster safe until he can testify against a mafia boss.
Dick Tracy (1990) - This is perhaps the most family-friendly gangster movie ever made. Disney brings the 1930's gumshoe hero to life in this colorful film. Warren Beatty plays Dick Tracy, the iconic detective in the banana yellow trench coat, and Al Pacino, under a ton of make-up, plays Big Boy, the villain. While the film originally struggled at the box office, it has developed a minor cult following on home video.
The Untouchables (1987) This is one of my favorite gangster films of all time. Brian De Palma directs this drama which focuses on legendary lawman Elliot Ness trying to bring down the one and only Al Capone. Kevin Costner plays Elliot Ness, Sean Connery is Jim Malone, and Robert DeNiro is Al Capone. It also features one of the more memorable shoot-outs of all time as the two sides exchange gunfire on the stairs of a train station as a baby carriage rolls down the stairs, right in the middle of the firefight.
And of course we haven’t even mentioned the classic Cagney gangster films or Puzo’s Godfather saga…
What other movies would you recommend in the Gangster genre?