History Film / GoodFellas

6th Jun '17 10:52:19 AM CosmicFerret
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Creator/MartinScorsese's 1990 adaptation of the book ''Wiseguy'' by Nicholas Pileggi, which followed the story of New York City gangster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) from his induction into the Lucchese crime family in the 1950s to his downfall and entry into the Witness Protection Program in the 1980s. Along with Henry, the film follows Henry's boss Jimmy Conway (Creator/RobertDeNiro), his best friend Tommy [=DeVito=] (Creator/JoePesci), and his wife Karen (Creator/LorraineBracco). The film details Henry's moving up the ranks, his eventual imprisonment, his role in (at the time) the largest heist in American history, and his involvement with the cocaine trade (which eventually gets him arrested by narcotics officers and shunned by the Mob). As the ground crumbles around him, he turns to the Feds for protection, eventually having to "live the rest of [his] life like a schnook".

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Creator/MartinScorsese's 1990 adaptation of the book ''Wiseguy'' by Nicholas Pileggi, which followed the story of New York City gangster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) (Creator/RayLiotta) from his induction into the Lucchese crime family in the 1950s to his downfall and entry into the Witness Protection Program in the 1980s. Along with Henry, the film follows Henry's boss Jimmy Conway (Creator/RobertDeNiro), his best friend Tommy [=DeVito=] (Creator/JoePesci), and his wife Karen (Creator/LorraineBracco). The film details Henry's moving up the ranks, his eventual imprisonment, his role in (at the time) the largest heist in American history, and his involvement with the cocaine trade (which eventually gets him arrested by narcotics officers and shunned by the Mob). As the ground crumbles around him, he turns to the Feds for protection, eventually having to "live the rest of [his] life like a schnook".



** ''Series/TheSopranos'' isn't subtle in its attempts to pick up where ''[=GoodFellas=]'' leaves off in its demythologising of the Mafia. A truly impressive amount of the cast of that show had parts of varying significance in this film. In case it wasn't obvious enough, their first choice to play Tony Soprano was Ray Liotta.

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** ''Series/TheSopranos'' isn't subtle in its attempts to pick up where ''[=GoodFellas=]'' leaves off in its demythologising of the Mafia. A truly impressive amount of the cast of that show had parts of varying significance in this film. In case it wasn't obvious enough, their first choice to play Tony Soprano was Ray Liotta.Creator/RayLiotta.
1st Jun '17 11:10:01 AM JulianLapostat
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* EiffelTowerEffect: Averted. Despite being almost entirely set in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, there are no sightings of the UsefulNotes/StatueOfLiberty, the Empire State Building, the Twin Towers etc.

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* EiffelTowerEffect: Averted. Despite being almost entirely set in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity, there are no sightings of the UsefulNotes/StatueOfLiberty, UsefulNotes/StatueOfLiberty and the Empire State Building, Building. Most of the Twin Towers etc.action is set in Brooklyn and the remoteness and closed nature of their community is part of the general theme of the story. Indeed, Billy Batts is referred to by Paul Cicero as "the man from Downtown".
18th May '17 4:29:24 PM NightShade96
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* AdaptationalUgliness: The real Tommy was 6"2", had long hair and a moustache, was built like a boxer and was described as very good looking. In the film, he is played by Joe Pesci.
16th May '17 5:29:52 PM CumbersomeTercel
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* AbusiveParents: Subverted; though Henry resents his father for beating him, to the audience it comes across more as tough love since the only time we see it happen is because Henry was cutting school to work at a place his father knew to be a hangout for hardened criminals.



* BadBoss: Jimmy kills all of those who were involved in the Lufthansa Heist. This is ultimately his FatalFlaw. Jimmy's inclination to whack any liability the second they stop being useful becomes pretty well spotted. As such, Henry and even Karen can tell they're being set up to be murdered, driving them both to forsake any loyalty to him and run to the FBI to rat.



** One way to get on Jimmy's bad side is to not pay him money when you owe him. He also has no patience for people who are sloppy and could pose as a liability to his operations. This particular paranoia becomes more and more apparent as the film progresses, and anyone who leaves too many clues or in any way slips up will find themselves getting whacked.



* ClingyJealousGirl: Karen, bordering on {{yandere}} levels. She ''pointed a gun'' in Henry's face when she found out he was cheating on her.



** Henry Hill's final narration was intended by Scorsese as a TakeThat to the idea of DoNotDoThisCoolThing or at least the idea that Hill squealing on his buddies to get out of prison implies that he's TheAtoner when all he regrets is getting caught. Indeed the song that plays over the end, the Sid Vicious cover of ''My Way'' implies that for him the entire life was WorthIt.

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** Henry Hill's final narration was intended by Scorsese as a TakeThat to the idea of DoNotDoThisCoolThing or at least the idea that Hill squealing on his buddies to get out of prison implies that he's TheAtoner when all he regrets is getting caught. Indeed the song that plays over the end, the Sid Vicious Music/SidVicious cover of ''My Way'' implies that for him the entire life was WorthIt.



* TheDreaded: Tommy.

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* TheDreaded: Tommy.Tommy, even to his friends. Just look at how silent Henry and company went when they thought he got angry with Henry.



* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Tommy De Vito.

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* EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas: Tommy De Vito.shows at least a trace of humanity thanks to his relationship with his mother.



* FauxAffablyEvil: After the Lufthansa heist, Jimmy becomes a remorseless sociopath who kills anyone who gets in his way while acting polite to lull them into a false sense of security. One of the biggest signs of the change is that he stops being generous.



** As a young man, Jimmy tips generously and when he steals a truck and warns the driver that he knows where the driver lives, he slips a few bucks into the guy's wallet before handing it back.



* SacrificialLamb: Spider's murder at the hands of Tommy doesn't add any foreshadowing or any symbolism. Apparently, his death only serves another highlight or reminder of [[AxCrazy Tommy's murderous rage]] [[HairTriggerTemper and poor temper control.]]



** ''The Oklahoma Kid'' and ''{{Shane}}'' are part of the dialogue during [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8wJt59Q6So "The Spider Situation".]]

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** ''The Oklahoma Kid'' and ''{{Shane}}'' ''Film/{{Shane}}'' are part of the dialogue during [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8wJt59Q6So "The Spider Situation".]]]]
* SmugSnake: Billy Batts is a made guy and you can tell he acts as though it means he can do or say anything. He goes well out of his way to push Tommy's buttons, thinking that his status will scare Tommy and Jimmy enough not to retaliate. He's wrong.
19th Apr '17 3:47:36 PM Aurelian
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** Paulie:
--> "Tommy's a bad seed, what do you want me to do, shoot him?" [[spoiler:Paulie later arranges Tommy's murder.]]
12th Apr '17 4:27:29 PM Aurelian
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* BlatantLies: When Karen asks Henry what he does for a living, he replies "I'm in construction." Karen feels his soft hands and points out that they don't look like the hands of a constructor, so he elaborates and tells that he's [[LegitimateBusinessmensSocialClub a union delegate]]. Karen, [[DistractedByTheLuxury obviously enchanted by the lavish lifestyle]], doesn't press the matter.

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* BlatantLies: BlatantLies:
**
When Karen asks Henry what he does for a living, he replies "I'm in construction." Karen feels his soft hands and points out that they don't look like the hands of a constructor, so he elaborates and tells that he's [[LegitimateBusinessmensSocialClub a union delegate]]. Karen, [[DistractedByTheLuxury obviously enchanted by the lavish lifestyle]], doesn't press the matter.matter.
** When Henry is washing out his car's trunk, which smells horribly because it has had [[spoiler:Billy Batts' festering corpse in it]], he tells Karen he hit a skunk.
7th Apr '17 1:06:29 AM TrollBrutal
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Added DiffLines:

* WhatAnIdiot: In-universe. Henry's mule/babysitter is insistently told to leave the house in order to make a drug related phone call. ''And what does she do? She phones from the house''. [[spoiler: The police are wiretapping everything.]] It's all narrated and commented by Henry, an spectator of his own life.
6th Apr '17 4:28:43 PM Qicetrini
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* WhatAnIdiot: Henry's mule/babysitter is insistently told to leave the house in order to make a drug related phone call. ''And what does she do? She phones from the house''. [[spoiler: The police are wiretapping everything.]] Bitterly lampshaded in-universe by Henry.
6th Apr '17 4:27:10 PM Qicetrini
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* BeingGoodSucks: The gangsters more or less see regular people as "losers" who work honestly in a system that offers no reward for hard work and agency, while they can live like Kings by breaking the law. Henry Hill notes that at the age of 11 he was making more money as a crook than most honest people in his neighborhood. This is the main reason why Henry Hill resents his final fate as a "schnook", where he has to wait in line like all the others he felt contempt towards for most of his life.

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* BeingGoodSucks: The gangsters more or less see regular people as "losers" who work honestly in a system that offers no reward for hard work and agency, while they can live like Kings by breaking the law. Henry Hill notes that at the age of 11 he was making more money as a crook than most honest people in his neighborhood. This is the main reason why Henry Hill resents his final fate as a "schnook", "schnook," where he has to wait in line like all the others he felt contempt towards for most of his life.



* BlatantLies: When Karen asks Henry what he does for a living, he replies "I'm in construction". Karen feels his soft hands and points out that they don't look like the hands of a constructor, so he elaborates and tells that he's [[LegitimateBusinessmensSocialClub a union delegate]]. Karen, [[DistractedByTheLuxury obviously enchanted by the lavish lifestyle]], doesn't press the matter.

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* BlatantLies: When Karen asks Henry what he does for a living, he replies "I'm in construction". construction." Karen feels his soft hands and points out that they don't look like the hands of a constructor, so he elaborates and tells that he's [[LegitimateBusinessmensSocialClub a union delegate]]. Karen, [[DistractedByTheLuxury obviously enchanted by the lavish lifestyle]], doesn't press the matter.



** "Nigger stickup men get caught because they fall asleep in the getaway car," which should give you a hint about Stacks' murder

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** "Nigger stickup men get caught because they fall asleep in the getaway car," which should give you a hint about Stacks' murdermurder.



** Paulie Cicero is depicted as AffablyEvil and a likable capo. Henry Hill explains him away as "protection for wiseguys among themselves". Mobster Paul Vario - his RealLife counterpart - had more direct involvement in the nastier (and bloodier) crimes committed by his crew. In ''Wiseguy'' (the book the film was based on), Hill recalled seeing Vario attack a barmaid with a baseball bat after she informed his wife they were having an affair. ''Wiseguy'' author Nicholas Pileggi writes, "He abhorred unnecessary violence (the kind he hadn't ordered), [[PragmaticVillainy mainly because it was bad for business]]."

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** Paulie Cicero is depicted as AffablyEvil and a likable capo. Henry Hill explains him away as "protection for wiseguys among themselves". themselves." Mobster Paul Vario - his RealLife counterpart - had more direct involvement in the nastier (and bloodier) crimes committed by his crew. In ''Wiseguy'' (the book the film was based on), Hill recalled seeing Vario attack a barmaid with a baseball bat after she informed his wife they were having an affair. ''Wiseguy'' author Nicholas Pileggi writes, "He abhorred unnecessary violence (the kind he hadn't ordered), [[PragmaticVillainy mainly because it was bad for business]]."
6th Apr '17 4:12:15 PM Qicetrini
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-->'''Henry:''' Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hideout flats all over the city. I bet twenty, thirty grand over a weekend and then I'd either blow the winnings in a week or go to the sharks to pay back the bookies. ''(gets up from the witness stand)'' Didn't matter. It didn't mean anything. When I was broke, I'd go out and rob some more. We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. ''Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking.'' And now it's all over...

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-->'''Henry:''' Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hideout flats all over the city. I bet twenty, thirty grand over a weekend and then I'd either blow the winnings in a week or go to the sharks to pay back the bookies. ''(gets up from ''(to the witness stand)'' audience)'' Didn't matter. It didn't mean anything. ''(gets up from the witness stand)'' When I was broke, I'd go out and rob some more. We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. ''Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking.'' ''(beat)'' And now it's all over...



--> '''Tommy''' : In this day and age, what the fuck is this world coming to? I can't believe this, prejudice against - [[HypocriticalHumour a Jew broad]] - prejudice against Italians
-->'''Tommy''' Unbelievable. [Girl: You could see how a white girl could fall for him]. [...] So you condone that stuff?. I don't want to be kissing NatKingCole over here.

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--> '''Tommy''' : '''Tommy:''' In this day and age, what the fuck is this world coming to? I can't believe this, prejudice against - [[HypocriticalHumour a Jew broad]] - prejudice against Italians
-->'''Tommy''' --> '''Girl:''' Unbelievable. [Girl: You could see how a white girl could fall for him]. [...] him. '''Tommy:''' So you condone that stuff?. stuff? I don't want to be kissing NatKingCole over here.



* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler:Henry Hill himself]], who has to live the rest of his life as both "a rat" and "a schnook".

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* FateWorseThanDeath: [[spoiler:Henry Hill himself]], who has to live the rest of his life as both "a rat" and "a schnook".schnook."



-->He loved to steal. He ate and breathed it. I think if you ever offered Jimmy a billion dollars not to steal, hed turn you down and then try to figure out how to steal it from you

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-->He -->'''Henry:''' He loved to steal. He ate and breathed it. I think if you ever offered Jimmy a billion dollars not to steal, hed turn you down and then try to figure out how to steal it from youyou.



-->'''Henry:''' ''(Narrating)'' That's when I know Jimmy was gonna kill Morrie.

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-->'''Henry:''' ''(Narrating)'' That's when I know Jimmy was gonna kill whack Morrie.



-->'''Henry''': Saturday night was for wives... but Friday night at the Copa was for the girlfriends.

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-->'''Henry''': -->'''Henry:''' Saturday night was for wives... but Friday night at the Copa was for the girlfriends.



** The reaction of the Florida man by threatening to toss him to the lions for a midnight snack makes Henry ponder if that hasn't happened a few times before. Made funnier by the lions seeming to have a look of "Ooh, dinner time again".

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** The reaction of the Florida man by threatening to toss him to the lions for a midnight snack makes Henry ponder if that hasn't happened a few times before. Made funnier by the lions seeming to have a look of "Ooh, dinner time again".again."



* PlanetOfSteves: During the wedding scene. "Seems like all of them were named Peter or Paul, and they were all married to a Marie."

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* PlanetOfSteves: During the wedding scene. "Seems
-->'''Karen:''' Seems
like all of them were named Peter or Paul, and they were all married to a Marie."



* RootingForTheEmpire: In-universe: "Jimmy was the kind of guy who rooted for the bad guys in the movies".

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* RootingForTheEmpire: In-universe: "Jimmy was the kind of guy who rooted for the bad guys in the movies".movies."



* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: The end titles relate the fate of the characters as of 1990. It's accompanied by the half-ironic, half-unapologetic Music/SidVicious' version of "My Way".

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* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: The end titles relate the fate of the characters as of 1990. It's accompanied by the half-ironic, half-unapologetic Music/SidVicious' version of "My Way".Way."
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Film.GoodFellas