Trivia / GoodFellas

  • Adaptation Displacement: Partly because the movie's title was changed to avoid confusion with the TV series of the same name, a lot of people don't realize it's based on a book.
  • AFI's 100 Years... Series:
  • Cast the Expert: According to Nicholas Pileggi, some actual mobsters were hired as extras to lend authenticity to scenes. One of them, Louis Eppolito, was an NYPD detective and son of a Gambino family member who later turned out to have been doing hits for the mob while on the force. The mobsters gave fake Social Security numbers to Warner Bros. and it is unknown how they received their paychecks.
  • The Danza: Paul Cícero, played by Paul Sorvino.
    • Detectives Deacy and Silvestri are played by Ed Deacy and Larry Silvestri, respectively.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Joe Pesci was 46 at the time of filming and plays Tommy starting his early twenties.
    • Similarly, Ray Liotta was 35 and plays 21-year-old Henry through the film's first act (through his courtship with Karen).
  • Enforced Method Acting/Improv: A number of scenes are partially ad-libbed with actors not told beforehand:
    • Specially relevant in the "I'm funny how?" one; Pesci and Liotta were instructed to improvise, other actors didn't know what was going to happen so their surprised-to-panicked reactions and puzzled faces are genuine. The scene mirrors what happened to Pesci in Real life; he told a mobster in a restaurant that he was funny and the mobster got angry. Scorsese implemented it once he learnt about it, as it wasn't in the book.
    • Scorsese also had all the actors involved in the kitchen scene (while Billy Batts was still in the trunk) simply improvise their dialogue for that sequence. The final scene with Spider was also ad-libbed, with the only scripted line being "Why don't you go fuck yourself?"
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor:
    • Joe Pesci had problems with the Spider scene because he couldn't understand the outrageous reaction of his own character.
    • Paul Sorvino almost walked out because he felt that he couldn't reach the cold personality of his role because he was the opposite kind of individual.
  • Real-Life Relative:
    • Lorraine Bracco's two real life daughters played the part of Judy Hill at different ages. Margaux Guerard played Judy (aged 10) and Stella Keitel, played the part of Judy (aged 4 or 5).
    • Martin Scorsese's mother, Catherine Scorsese, plays Tommy's mother. She and the cast ad-libbed the dinner scene. Scorsese's father, Charles Scorsese, plays Vinny the prisoner who puts too many onions in the tomato sauce and later murders Tommy.
  • Throw It In!:
    • When Paulie confronts Henry after Henry's released from prison, Paul Sorvino improvised the slap to Ray Liotta's face, hence Liotta's reaction.
    • For the scene where Sonny Bunz complains to Paulie, Martin Scorsese secretly told Tony Darrow to improvise more lines for his character without telling Paul Sorvino. Sorvino's confused reaction was real.
    • According to Debi Mazar, when her character trips after meeting Henry it was actually Mazar tripping over the camera dolly track. Scorsese liked it because it looked like she was overwhelmed by Henry and left it in the film.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Warner Bros. suggested Tom Cruise for Henry Hill and Madonna for Karen. Sean Penn and Charlie Sheen were also considered and Alec Baldwin auditioned.
    • Al Pacino was offered the role of Jimmy Conway but he turned it down due to fears of typecasting. Ironically, that same year Pacino ended up playing an even more stereotyped gangster - Big Boy Caprice in Dick Tracy. He regretted this decision. John Malkovich also turned it down.
  • Working Title: Wiseguys.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/Goodfellas