The Reviewing Network’s Favorite Movies #42: Goodfellas

Goodfellas (stylized as GoodFellas) is a 1990 American crime film directed by Martin Scorsese. It is an adaptation of the 1986 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who co-wrote the screenplay with Scorsese. The film narrates the rise and fall of mob associate Henry Hill and his friends over a period from 1955 to 1980.

Scorsese initially named the film Wise Guy and postponed making it; later, he and Pileggi changed the name to Goodfellas. To prepare for their roles in the film, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta often spoke with Pileggi, who shared research material left over from writing the book. According to Pesci, improvisation and ad-libbing came out of rehearsals wherein Scorsese gave the actors freedom to do whatever they wanted. The director made transcripts of these sessions, took the lines he liked best, and put them into a revised script, which the cast worked from during principal photography.

Made on a budget of $25 million, Goodfellas grossed $46.8 million. It received positive reviews from critics and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, with Pesci winning Best Actor in a Supporting Role. The film won five awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, including Best Film and Best Director. Additionally, Goodfellas was named the year’s best film by various critics’ groups.

Goodfellas is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in the crime genre. In 2000, it was deemed “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant” and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress. Its content and style have been emulated in numerous other films and television shows

One of Martin Scorsese’s classic movies, great acting, fantastic cinematography, good drama, it never lets up, it gives you everything you could possibly ask for and then some, one of the great Scorsese movies.

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