1990 gangster

1990 gangster DEFAULT

How ‘Goodfellas’ and the Gangster Class of 1990 Changed Hollywood

Critic’s Notebook

That autumn, “The Godfather Part III” was hotly anticipated. Instead, the Scorsese movie and other crime tales raised the stakes for filmmakers to come.

“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster,” Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) muses near the start of “Goodfellas,” and in the fall of 1990, when that film was released, it seemed that every filmmaker of note wanted to make a gangster movie. Martin Scorsese’s “Goodfellas” led the way that September, with Phil Joanou’s “State of Grace” and Abel Ferrara’s “King of New York” opening later that month. The Coen brothers’ “Miller’s Crossing” followed in October. And in December came what was expected to be the biggest title of them all: “The Godfather Part III,” the long-awaited follow-up to the Francis Ford Coppola films that most audiences considered the gold standard of gangster pictures.

Such a wave of similarly minded movies hadn’t been seen since the glut of rip-offs that followed the release of the original “Godfather.” The torturous time and effort required of any major production made their rollouts more coincidental than coordinated, though it seems safe to surmise that studios were hoping to ride the wave of interest in “Godfather III.” Yet that film, the most hotly anticipated and (initially) the most financially successful, was the least enthusiastically received — and left the smallest cultural footprint.

Instead, the other gangster movies of that fateful fall 30 years ago would prove far more influential: they combined to draw a map of the routes the crime movie, and movies in general, would take in the coming decade.

None made their mark more than “Goodfellas,” drawn from Nicholas Pileggi’s book “Wiseguy” and based on the real-life exploits of the New York mob underling-turned-informant Henry Hill. Scorsese was 47 when it was released, but he infused the picture with the furious energy and stylistic razzle-dazzle of a film school kid: elaborate camera movements, snazzy freeze frames, hard-boiled voice-over, non-chronological storytelling and tighter needle drops than a downtown DJ set.

The filmmaking is intoxicating because it makes Hill’s life of crime seem so seductive; it draws us into his world. So Scorsese crafts a subjective experience, often literally: in the shot introducing the various gangsters and hangers-on, all of whom speak directly into the camera (“I’m gonna go get the papers, get the papers”), or the notorious “May 11, 1980” sequence, which uses jagged cutting, jittery camerawork and battling music cues to put us directly into the head of the film’s coked-out, paranoid protagonist. Compared with the respectful distance of earlier gangster stories (even “The Godfather” movies), the immediacy of “Goodfellas” feels like an earthquake.

It left unmistakable fingerprints on some of the most important films and television shows to follow. “‘Boogie Nights’ is very much ‘Goodfellas,’” said Glenn Kenny, author of the new book “Made Men: The Story of ‘Goodfellas,’” who has also written for The New York Times. He also sees a clear connection to Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” and “Reservoir Dogs” — particularly the recurring motif of gangsters who hang out, talk trash and do their jobs like, well, jobs. Most gangster movies focus on the big bosses and godfathers; “Goodfellas” and its descendants are about the grinders, the middlemen, the working-class thugs.

Kenny also pinpoints the notion of “mobsters having other aspects of their lives,” everyday marital and familial woes, a key ingredient in David Chase’s subsequent groundbreaking series, “The Sopranos.” Chase has called the film “his Quran, so to speak,” drawing not only from the film’s tone and perspective for “The Sopranos,” but also from its cast, which features several future “Sopranos” co-stars.

The hoods in “State of Grace” are, if anything, even smaller-time, expending their energies on nowhere hustles, petty theft and extortion. Foot soldiers for the Irish mob in Hell’s Kitchen, they’re scrappy street guys, and the relationship at the film’s center is a direct descendant of Scorsese’s 1974 film “Mean Streets”; both pair a sensible, centered earner (Sean Penn here, Harvey Keitel in “Mean Streets”) with a dangerous, trigger-happy yet charismatic hothead (Gary Oldman, standing in for Robert De Niro). That dynamic would reappear in many an indie ’90s crime movie (most notably Nick Gomez’s “Laws of Gravity”), while the ethnic and geographic sensibility of “State of Grace” is a clear influence on “Little Odessa” and “The Yards,” the early crime films of the director James Gray.

“State of Grace” is also noteworthy for its acknowledgment of the separation (and tension) between the Irish and Italian mob, expanding the insular Italian perspective typical of gangster narratives. Abel Ferrara would go even further in “King of New York,” which is in many ways a direct throwback to the traditional gangster movies of the 1930s, featuring a charismatic lead (Christopher Walken), a colorful cast of supporting players and a heady serving of social issues.

But “King” broke radically from norms in its racial makeup (its cast included the future ’90s breakout stars Wesley Snipes, Laurence Fishburne and Giancarlo Esposito). Walken’s underworld boss Frank White is, in fact, white, but his crew is mostly Black. Post-“Godfather” “blaxploitation” movies like Larry Cohen’s “Black Caesar” were as strictly segregated as their mainstream counterparts, but here, Ferrara not only integrates the milieu, but casts the film’s old world “Godfather”-style Italian gangsters as outright relics, barriers for his forward-glancing criminals to remove quickly and efficiently.

A video store favorite, “King of New York” would have a profound influence on ’90s hip-hop culture (the Notorious B.I.G. frequently referred to himself as “the Black Frank White”); it would also serve as the template for several Black-led gangster movies of the ’90s, including “New Jack City” and “Sugar Hill” (both fronted by “King” co-star Snipes).

Like “The Godfather,” Joel and Ethan Coen’s “Miller’s Crossing” begins with a portly, mustachioed man asking a mob boss for a favor. But “Miller’s” is a beast of its own, filtering the conventions of the gangster picture through the Coens’ distinctive sensibility, and it’s full of their trademarks: ornate, flourish-filled dialogue delivered at a mile a minute; complex, often dizzying plotting; exhilarating camerawork; bellowing overweight men; John Turturro.

“The tentative title for ‘Miller’s Crossing’ was ‘The Big Head,’” Adam Nayman, author of “The Coen Brothers: This Book Really Ties the Films Together,” explained by email. “Other crime films have higher body counts, but I’d wager there aren’t many with as much discussion about the intricacies of introducing a bullet into the brain.”

The framing, staging and setting of a warehouse rough-up sequence are obvious prototypes for the notorious torture sequence in “Reservoir Dogs,” while a bloody shootout to the strains of “Danny Boy” lays the groundwork for the continuing convention of violence paired with incongruent musical accompaniment. “Amidst all the stylized dialogue, contrapuntal music cues and deadpan-character-actor-casting,” Nayman noted, “Quentin Tarantino (and his imitators) were taking scrupulous notes.”

By the time “The Godfather Part III” finally arrived on Christmas Day, critics and audiences may well have simply burned out on gangster movies. “At the time, it was a massive, massive, massive disappointment,” Kenny recalled, and it’s easy to see why (without even revisiting Coppola’s decision to cast his daughter Sofia, an acting novice, in a key role). It’s a decidedly old-fashioned movie, steeped in the classical style of its predecessors, laying out its story of gang wars, political wrangling, Vatican intrigue and personal redemption in studiously paced (sometimes pokey, even), exposition-heavy dialogue scenes.

To its credit, “Godfather III” is also quiet, introspective and emotional in a way that its flashy brethren aren’t. (Michael’s weeping confession of ordering Fredo’s death is one of the most wrenching scenes in the entire trilogy.) But by the time the picture landed at the end of that pivotal year, it seemed downright quaint. Coppola’s film was true to itself, and the artful approach to a disreputable genre that had made the series seem, 18 years earlier, so revolutionary. But by “Part III,” the “Godfather” series had served its purpose; the gangster movie had evolved yet again, into something even more grimy, eccentric and alive.

Sours: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/16/movies/goodfellas-godfather.html


Member of a criminal gang

This article is about members of a gang or criminal organization. For other uses, see Gangster (disambiguation).

"Mobsters" redirects here. For the film, see Mobsters (film). For the TV series, see Mobsters (TV series).

A gangster is a criminal who is a member of a gang. Most gangs are considered to be part of organized crime. Gangsters are also called mobsters, a term derived from mob and the suffix-ster.[1] Gangs provide a level of organization and resources that support much larger and more complex criminal transactions than an individual criminal could achieve. Gangsters have been active for many years in countries around the world. Gangsters are the subject of many novels, films, and video games.


Yakuza, or Japanese mafia are not allowed to show their tattoos in public except during the Sanja Matsurifestival.

In modern usage, the term "gang" is generally used for a criminal organization, and the term "gangster" invariably describes a criminal. Much has been written on the subject of gangs, although there is no clear consensus about what constitutes a gang or what situations lead to gang formation and evolution. There is agreement that the members of a gang have a sense of common identity and belonging, and this is typically reinforced through shared activities and through visual identifications such as special clothing, tattoos or rings. Some preconceptions may be false. For example, the common view that illegal drug distribution in the United States is largely controlled by gangs has been questioned.

A gang may be a relatively small group of people who cooperate in criminal acts, as with the Jesse James gang, which ended with the leader's death in 1882. However, a gang may also be a larger group with a formal organization that survives the death of its leader. For example, each of the Five Families founded in the early 20th century, outlasted its founders and have survived into the 21st century. Large and well structured gangs such as the Mafia, drug cartels, Triads or even outlaw motorcycle gangs can undertake complex transactions that would be far beyond the capability of one individual, and can provide services such as dispute arbitration and contract enforcement that parallel those of a legitimate government.

The term "organized crime" is associated with gangs and gangsters, but is not synonymous. A small street gang that engages in sporadic low-level crime would not be seen as "organized". An organization that coordinates gangs in different countries involved in the international trade in drugs or prostitutes may not be considered a "gang".

Regional variants[edit]


Sketch of the 1901 maxi trial of suspected mafiosi in Palermo. From the newspaper L'Ora, May 1901

There are several organized crime groups in Italy. Notably, the Sicilian Mafia, or Cosa Nostra is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share common organizational structure and code of conduct. The origins lie in the upheaval of Sicily's transition out of feudalism in 1812 and its later annexation by mainland Italy in 1860. Under feudalism, the nobility owned most of the land and enforced law and order through their private armies. After 1812, the feudal barons steadily sold off or rented their lands to private citizens. Primogeniture was abolished, land could no longer be seized to settle debts, and one fifth of the land was to become private property of the peasants. Other similarly large and powerful Italian criminal organizations, often composed of smaller gangs or “clans” generally operating under a shared criminal subculture or code, include the Camorra in Naples and Campania and the Ndrangheta in Calabria.

Organized crime has existed in Russia since the days of Imperial Russia in the form of banditry and thievery. In the Soviet period Vory v Zakone emerged, a class of criminals that had to abide by certain rules in the prison system. One such rule was that cooperation with the authorities of any kind was forbidden. During World War II some prisoners made a deal with the government to join the armed forces in return for a reduced sentence, but upon their return to prison they were attacked and killed by inmates who remained loyal to the rules of the thieves. In 1988 the Soviet Union legalized private enterprise but did not provide regulations to ensure the security of market economy. Crude markets emerged, the most notorious being the Rizhsky market where prostitution rings were run next to the Rizhsky Railway Station in Moscow.[9]

As the Soviet Union headed for collapse many former government workers turned to crime, while others moved overseas. Former KGB agents and veterans of the Afghan and First and Second Chechen Wars, now unemployed but with experience that could prove useful in crime, joined the increasing crime wave.[9] At first, the Vory v Zakone played a key role in arbitrating the gang wars that erupted in the 1990s. By the mid-1990s it was believed that "Don" Semion Mogilevich had become the "boss of all bosses" of most Russian Mafia syndicates in the world, described by the British government as "one of the most dangerous men in the world". More recently, criminals with stronger ties to big business and the government have displaced the Vory from some of their traditional niches, although the Vory are still strong in gambling and the retail trade.

The Albanian Mafia is active in Albania, the United States, and the European Union (EU) countries, participating in a diverse range of criminal enterprises including drug and arms trafficking. The people of the mountainous country of Albania have always had strong traditions of family and clan loyalty, in some ways similar to that of southern Italy. Ethnic Albanian gangs have grown rapidly since 1992 during the prolonged period of instability in the Balkans after the collapse of Yugoslavia. This coincided with large scale migration throughout Europe and to the United States and Canada. Although based in Albania, the gangs often handle international transactions such as trafficking in economic migrants, drugs and other contraband, and weapons. Other criminal organizations that emerged in the Balkans around this time are popularly called the Serbian Mafia, Bosnian Mafia, Bulgarian Mafia and so on.


Du Yuesheng(1888–1951), a Chinese gangster and important Kuomintangsupporter who spent much of his life in Shanghai

In China, Triads trace their roots to resistance or rebel groups opposed to Manchu rule during the Qing dynasty, which were given the triangle as their emblem. The first record of a triad society, Heaven and Earth Gathering, dates to the Lin Shuangwen uprising on Taiwan from 1786 to 1787. The triads evolved into criminal societies. When the Chinese Communist Party came to power in 1949 in mainland China, law enforcement became stricter and tough governmental crackdown on criminal organizations forced the triads to migrate to Hong Kong, then a British colony, and other cities around the world. Triads today are highly organized, with departments responsible for functions such as accounting, recruiting, communications, training and welfare in addition to the operational arms. They engage in a variety of crimes including extortion, money laundering, smuggling, trafficking and prostitution.

Yakuza are members of traditional organized crime syndicates in Japan. They are notorious for their strict codes of conduct and very organized nature. As of 2009 they had an estimated 80,900 members. Most modern yakuza derive from two classifications which emerged in the mid-Edo period: tekiya, those who primarily peddled illicit, stolen or shoddy goods; and bakuto, those who were involved in or participated in gambling.[19]

United States and Canada[edit]

In the late 1860s, many Chinese emigrated to the United States, escaping from insecurity and economic hardship at home, at first working on the west coast and later moving east. The new immigrants formed Chinese Benevolent Associations. In some cases these evolved into Tongs, or criminal organizations primarily involved in gambling. Members of Triads who migrated to the United States often joined these tongs. With a new wave of migration in the 1960s, street gangs began to flourish in major cities. The Tongs recruited these gangs to protect their extortion, gambling and narcotics operations.[20]

As American society and culture developed, new immigrants were relocating to the United States. The first major gangs in 19th century New York City were the Irish gangs such as the Whyos and the Dead Rabbits. These were followed by the Italian Five Points Gang and later a Jewish gang known as the Eastman Gang. There were also "Nativist" anti-immigration gangs such as the Bowery Boys. The Italian-American Mafia arose from offshoots of the Mafia that emerged in the United States during the late 19th century, following waves of emigration from Sicily. There were similar offshoots in Canada among Italian Canadians, such as the Rizzuto crime family.

The terms "gangster" and "mobster" are mostly used in the United States to refer to members of criminal organizations associated with Prohibition. In 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution banned the sale, manufacture, and transportation of alcohol for consumption. Many gangs sold alcohol illegally for profit, and used acute violence to stake turf and protect their interest. Often, police officers and politicians were paid off or extorted to ensure continued operation.Al Capone was one of these notorious gangsters during the Depression era for the Chicago Outfit. Capone would rise to control a major portion of illicit activity such as gambling, prostitution, and bootlegging in Chicago during the early 20th century.

In New York City, by the end of the 1920s, two factions of organized crime had emerged to fight for control of the criminal underworld, one led by Joe Masseria and the other by Salvatore Maranzano.[26] This caused the Castellammarese War, which led to Masseria's murder in 1931. Maranzano then divided New York City into five families.[26] Maranzano, the first leader of the American Mafia, established the code of conduct for the organization, set up the "family" divisions and structure, and established procedures for resolving disputes.[26] In an unprecedented move, Maranzano set himself up as boss of all bosses and required all families to pay tribute to him. This new role was received negatively, and Maranzano was murdered within six months on the orders of Charles "Lucky" Luciano. Luciano was a former Masseria underling who had switched sides to Maranzano and orchestrated the killing of Masseria.[27] As an alternative to the previous despotic Mafia practice of naming a single Mafia boss as capo di tutti capi, or "boss of all bosses," Luciano created The Commission in 1931,[26] where the bosses of the most powerful families would have equal say and vote on important matters and solve disputes between families. This group ruled over the National Crime Syndicate and brought in an era of peace and prosperity for the American Mafia.[28]

Latin America[edit]

Members of Colonel Martinez's Search Bloc celebrate over Pablo Escobar's body on December 2, 1993

Most cocaine is grown and processed in South America, particularly in Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, and smuggled into the United States and Europe, the United States being the world's largest consumer of cocaine. Colombia is the world's leading producer of cocaine, and also produces heroin that is mostly destined for the US market. The Medellín Cartel was an organized network of drug suppliers and smugglers originating in the city of Medellín, Colombia. The gang operated in Colombia, Bolivia, Peru, Central America, the United States, as well as Canada and Europe throughout the 1970s and 1980s. It was founded and run by Ochoa Vázquez brothers with Pablo Escobar. By 1993, the Colombian government, helped by the US, had successfully dismantled the cartel by imprisoning or hunting and gunning down its members.

Although Mexican drug cartels, or drug trafficking organizations, have existed for several decades, they have become more powerful since the demise of Colombia's Cali and Medellín cartels in the 1990s. Mexican drug cartels now dominate the wholesale illicit drug market in the United States. Sixty five percent of cocaine enters the United States through Mexico, and the vast majority of the rest enters through Florida. Cocaine shipments from South America transported through Mexico or Central America are generally moved over land or by air to staging sites in northern Mexico. The cocaine is then broken down into smaller loads for smuggling across the U.S.–Mexico border. Arrests of key gang leaders, particularly in the Tijuana and Gulf cartels, have led to increasing drug violence as gangs fight for control of the trafficking routes into the United States.

Cocaine traffickers from Colombia, and recently Mexico, have also established a labyrinth of smuggling routes throughout the Caribbean, the Bahama Island chain, and South Florida. They often hire traffickers from Mexico or the Dominican Republic to transport the drug. The traffickers use a variety of smuggling techniques to transfer their drug to U.S. markets. These include airdrops of 500–700 kg in the Bahama Islands or off the coast of Puerto Rico, mid-ocean boat-to-boat transfers of 500–2,000 kg, and the commercial shipment of tonnes of cocaine through the port of Miami. Another route of cocaine traffic goes through Chile, this route is primarily used for cocaine produced in Bolivia since the nearest seaports lie in northern Chile. The arid Bolivia-Chile border is easily crossed by 4x4 vehicles that then head to the seaports of Iquique and Antofagasta.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

Further information: Gangster film

Gangs have long been the subject of movies. In fact, the first feature-length movie ever produced was The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), an Australian production that traced the life of the outlaw Ned Kelly (1855–1880). The United States has profoundly influenced the genre, but other cultures have contributed distinctive and often excellent gangster movies.[citation needed]

United States[edit]

The stereotypical image and myth of the American gangster is closely associated with organized crime during the Prohibition era of the 1920s and 1930s.

The classic gangster movie ranks with the Western as one of the most successful creations of the American movie industry. The "classic" form of gangster movie, rarely produced in recent years, tells of a gangster working his way up through his enterprise and daring, until his organization collapses while he is at the peak of his powers. Although the ending is presented as a moral outcome, it is usually seen as no more than an accidental failure. The gangster is typically articulate, although at times lonely and depressed, and his worldly wisdom and defiance of social norms has a strong appeal, particularly to adolescents.

The years 1931 and 1932 saw the genre produce three classics: Warner Bros.' Little Caesar and The Public Enemy, which made screen icons out of Edward G. Robinson and James Cagney, and Howard Hughes' Scarface starring Paul Muni, which offered a dark psychological analysis of a fictionalized Al Capone. These films chronicle the quick rise, and equally quick downfall, of three young, violent criminals, and represent the genre in its purest form before moral pressure would force it to change and evolve. Though the gangster in each film would face a violent downfall which was designed to remind the viewers of the consequences of crime, audiences were often able to identify with the charismatic anti-hero. Those suffering from the Depression were able to relate to the gangster character who worked hard to earn his place and success in the world, only to have it all taken away from him.

Latin America[edit]

Latin American gangster movies are known for their gritty realism. Soy un delincuente (English: I Am a Criminal) is a 1976 Venezuelan film by director Clemente de la Cerda. The film tells the story of Ramón Antonio Brizuela, a real-life individual, who since childhood has to deal with rampant violence and the drugs, sex and petty thievery of a Caracas slum. Starting with delinquency, Ramón moves on to serious gang activity and robberies. He grows into a tough, self-confident young man who is hardened to violence. His views change when his fiancée's brother is killed in a robbery. The film was a blockbuster hit in Venezuela.

City of God (Portuguese: Cidade de Deus) is a 2002 Braziliancrimedrama film directed by Fernando Meirelles and co-directed by Kátia Lund, released in its home country in 2002 and worldwide in 2003. All the characters existed in reality, and the story is based on real events. It depicts the growth of organized crime in the Cidade de Deus suburb of Rio de Janeiro, between the end of the '60s and the beginning of the '80s, with the closure of the film depicting the war between the drug dealer Li'l Zé and criminal Knockout Ned. The film received four Academy Award nominations in 2004.

East Asia[edit]

The first yakuza (gangster) film made in Japan was Bakuto (Gambler, 1964). The genre soon became popular, and by the 1970s the Japanese film industry was turning out a hundred mostly low-budget yakuza films each year. The films are descendants of the samurai epics, and are closer to Westerns than to Hollywood gangster movies. The hero is typically torn between compassion for the oppressed and his sense of duty to the gang. The plots are generally highly stylized, starting with the protagonist being released from prison and ending in a gory sword fight in which he dies an honorable death.[43]

Although some Hong Kong gangster movies are simply vehicles for violent action, the mainstream movies in the genre deal with Triad societies portrayed as quasi-benign organizations. The movie gangster applies the Taoist principles of balance and honor to his conduct. The plots are often similar to those of Hollywood gangster movies, often ending with the fall of the subject of the movie at the hands of another gangster, but such a fall is far less important than a fall from honor. The first movie made by the acclaimed director Wong Kar-wai was a gangster movie, As Tears Go By. In it the protagonist finds himself torn between his desire for a woman and his loyalty to a fellow gangster.Infernal Affairs (2002) is a thriller about a police officer who infiltrates a triad and a triad member who infiltrates the police department. The film was remade by Martin Scorsese as The Departed.

Gangster films make up one of the most profitable segments of the South Korean film industry. Films made in the 1960s were often influenced by Japanese yakuza films, dealing with internal conflict between members of a gang or external conflict with other gangs. The gangsters' code of conduct and loyalty are important elements. Starting in the 1970s, strict censorship caused decline in the number and quality of gangster movies, and none were made in the 1980s. In the late 1980s and early 1990s there was a surge of imports of action movies from Hong Kong. The first of the new wave of important home grown gangster movies was Im Kwon-taek's General's Son (1990). Although this movie followed the earlier tradition, it was followed by a series of sophisticated gangster noirs set in contemporary urban locations, such as A Bittersweet Life (2005).

See also[edit]



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  • Thrasher, Frederic Milton, 1892-1962. (1936). "Chicago's gangland 1923-1926". Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Archived from the original on 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
  • "Tongs and Street Gangs". MafiaNJ. Archived from the original on 2011-07-14. Retrieved 2011-11-24.
  • Toplin, Robert B. (1996). History by Hollywood: The Use and Abuse of the American Past. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois. ISBN .
  • Anastasia, George; Macnow, Glen; Pistone, Joe (2011). The Ultimate Book of Gangster Movies: Featuring the 100 Greatest Gangster Films of All Time. Running Press. ISBN .
  • Beeton, Sue (2005). Film-induced tourism. Channel View Publications. p. 62. ISBN .
  • Casillo, Robert (2006). Gangster priest: the Italian American cinema of Martin Scorsese. University of Toronto Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • Choi, Jinhee (2010). The South Korean film renaissance: local hitmakers, global provocateurs. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • "City of God". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on 2017-10-18. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
  • Ebert, Roger (January 24, 2003). "City of God". Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
  • Hark, Ina Rae (2007). American cinema of the 1930s: themes and variations. Rutgers University Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • Hoppenstand, Gary (1987). "Gangster Formula". In search of the paper tiger: a sociological perspective of myth, formula, and the mystery genre in the entertainment print mass medium. Popular Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • Kaplan, David E.; Dubro, Alec (2003). Yakuza: Japan's criminal underworld. University of California Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-04-25. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • Kenna, Laura Cook (2007). Dangerous men, dangerous media: Constructing ethnicity, race, and media's impact through the gangster image, 1959--2007. The George Washington University. ISBN .
  • McCarty, John (2004). Bullets over Hollywood: the American gangster picture from the silents to The Sopranos. Da Capo Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-04-23. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • Munby, Jonathan (1999). Public enemies, public heroes: screening the gangster from Little Caesar to Touch of Evil. University of Chicago Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-05-29. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • Nochimson, Martha (2007). Dying to belong: gangster movies in Hollywood and Hong Kong. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-05-27. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • Nochimson, Martha P. (2011). World on Film: An Introduction. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-06-23. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • Reiber, Beth (2011). Frommer's Hong Kong. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-04-30. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • Rubin, Rachel (2000). Jewish gangsters of modern literature. University of Illinois Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-06-17. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • Ruth, David E. (1996). Inventing the public enemy: the gangster in American culture, 1918–1934. University of Chicago Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-05-19. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • Shadoian, Jack (2003). Dreams & dead ends: the American gangster film. Oxford University Press. ISBN . Archived from the original on 2016-05-01. Retrieved 2015-11-20.
  • "Soy un Delincuente". Allmovie. Archived from the original on 2020-09-10. Retrieved 2011-11-25.
  • Talbot, Daniel (1975). Film: an anthology. University of California Press.

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of mob at Wiktionary
Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gangster
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  • 1

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  • 16
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  • 48
  • Sours: https://www.ranker.com/list/best-90s-gangster-movies/ranker-film
    L.A. Gang Wars ☆ 1988

    Poll: The Best Gangster Movie of the '90s

  • Vote!


    Pulp Fiction (1994)

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    Goodfellas (1990)

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    Reservoir Dogs (1992)

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    The Usual Suspects (1995)

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    Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

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    Casino (1995)

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    Donnie Brasco (1997)

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    Miller's Crossing (1990)

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    Carlito's Way (1993)

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    A Bronx Tale (1993)

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    Bugsy (1991)

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    The Godfather: Part III (1990)

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    Boyz n the Hood (1991)

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    True Romance (1993)

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    State of Grace (1990)

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    American History X (1998)

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    Léon: The Professional (1994)

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    Heat (1995)

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    The Boondock Saints (1999)

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    King of New York (1990)

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    Sonatine (1993)

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    La Haine (1995)

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    Pusher (1996)

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    Hard Boiled (1992)

  • Sours: https://www.imdb.com/poll/0UgS54wTCaw/

    Gangster 1990


    This is the third installment on the series American Gangster Films (1970s – 1990s).

    In the 1990s, there was a revival of the gangster genre, not only in film but also in the literary circle. There was a restoration of the interest in the mafia, particularly the Italian mafia and New York City as the central setting for these stories.

    Thus, the concept of organized crime within a family or a small circle, the values of tradition and above all loyalty were specially emphasized in the materials produced during the 90s. This trend might have been the result of perhaps a handful of events that happened in the end of the 1980s and during the 90s that had an impact on the United States, including the end of the Cold War.

    American television started to concentrate more on the production of crime dramas (“Law & Order”, “Homicide: Life on the Street”, “The Sopranos”, “Wiseguy”). Books concentrated on organized crime became successful (“Donnie Brasco” by Joseph D. Pistone, “Casino” by Nicholas Pileggi, “The Last Don” by Mario Puzo). Video games started including new features and genres such as the first-person shooter.

    The Los Angeles riots brought attention once more to police methods and organized crime, the hip-hop culture also emphasized the gang culture, the savings and loans crisis put under focus the corruption of figures and institutions connected with the nation’s law and order (The Keating Five). So, despite the economic growth felt during the 90s, there was a group of elements that might have led to the genre’s revival, which, of course, affected film as we shall see in this list.


    15. Blood In Blood Out (1993, Taylor Hackford)

    Blood In Blood Out

    One of the most popular films of the 90s, “Blood In Blood Out” is set in sunny California and revolves around the lives of three Mexican-Americans – Miklo (Damian Chapa), Cruz (Jesse Borrego) and Paco (Benjamin Bratt).

    The film opens in 1972 with the three men being part of a Los Angeles gang named “Vatos Locos”. Soon they see themselves involved in a violent event that will alter their lives and dictate their separation as Paco becomes a police officer, Miklo is sent to San Quentin State Prison, whereas Cruz becomes a painter with a serious drug addiction.

    At the time of its release, the film received a mixed wave of critics; some thought the film fell too much on the cliché and lacked originality either visually speaking or in terms of the story. However, the audiences were driven by it and it became a successful film, particularly because of the film’s concentration on the ‘Chicano’ and ‘Barrio’ cultures, as well as the violence between street gangs and police in Los Angeles, particularly in the 1970s and 1980s.


    14. A Bronx Tale (1993, Robert De Niro)

    A Bronx Tale

    From California, we travel to the other end of the country, New York, specifically the Bronx. Directed by Robert De Niro in his first directorial effort, “A Bronx Tale” is set in the 1960s against an Italian mafia background, following the path of a young boy named Calogero Anello. From his childhood up to his teenage years, he has his life divided by the guidance of two opposite men – his father Lorenzo (Robert De Niro) and a mafia boss named Sonny LoSpecchio (Chazz Palminteri).

    This film is a coming-of-age tale which benefits from the great screen presences of veterans De Niro and Palminteri, who actually wrote the play upon which the film is based as well as the film’s screenplay. And perhaps the key lies on the fact that this is a very human drama that has the power and pace to lead the audience through a range of varied feelings and states of mind, from anger to irony to laugher. It depicts life in a very honest way and therefore, it stands as a very close-to-heart film.


    13. State of Grace (1990, Phil Joanou)

    State of Grace (1990)

    Despite having been outshone by the release of “Goodfellas” which happened around the same time, “State of Grace” is another interesting depiction of organized crime produced in the 90s. The film was heavily inspired by the Hell’s Kitchen culture, and it tells the story of a man named Terry Noonan (Sean Penn) who returns to New York and reunites with his childhood friend Jackie Flannery (Gary Oldman). Jackie is part of the Irish mafia as is his brother Frankie (Ed Harris), who happens to be the leader of a local gang.

    Terry is, in secret, working as an undercover officer who soon finds himself immersed in a moral crossroad: either he respects his loyalty to his family and friends, or he chooses to follow his duties as a police officer.

    Even though the plot may lack in terms of originality and be quite complicated at times, the great aspect of this film is perhaps the actors’ performances, who understand the importance of behaviour and body language in a film like this. They manage to give solid performances in their roles, particularly Oldman and Harris.


    12. Boyz n the Hood (1991, John Singleton)


    Set in Los Angeles, this film is a coming-of-age picture that follows the lives of three young men living in a problematic black neighbourhood. It stars younger versions of Cuba Gooding Jr., Ice Cube, Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett and Morris Chestnut, who give thoughtful and solid performances.

    The film, in the manner of coming-of-age pictures, assumes an observational point of view that explores themes connected to the lives of these three young men, particularly touching subjects related with race, sexuality, violence and dreams.

    In the 90s, there were a number of films produced that targeted young audiences and “Boyz n the Hood” followed that trend. However, it overcomes that new wave of teenage angst to become a depiction of human drama, therefore appealing to ‘all ages and sizes’.

    Another interesting aspect of this film is the rhythm which evolves achievements in editing (sharp cut) and directing (hand held camera, proximity to the characters). In addition to that, the film is also a cultural landmark, which at the time of its release had an immense impact on American society.


    11. One False Move (1992, Carl Franklin)


    Perhaps not as well known today as some of the other titles on this list, Carl Franklin’s “One False Move” is nevertheless a title worthy of proper recognition. The film, set in California (Los Angeles), Texas (Houston) and Arkansas (Star City), follows the path of a gang of three criminals, Ray (Billy Bob Thornton), Pluto (Michael Beach) and Fantasia (Cynda Williams), who, upon finishing a crime spree that includes murder and theft, depart for Texas where they plan to sell the drugs they’ve robbed.

    The L.A.P.D. are prevented from following the criminals, since they’ve gone out of the department’s jurisdiction; knowing that the criminal trio will go to Arkansas, they contact the police chief Dale Dixon (Bill Paxton), who then waits for the killers to arrive.

    Similar to other film predecessors such as “In Cold Blood” (1967) or “Badlands” (1973), “One False Move” is a study of human behaviour, relationships, and the forces and elements of the individual against the concept of group and vice-versa. It opposes a group of black people to a group of white people without falling on the cliché of race and prejudice. For that, this film is also a must-see.


    10. Bullets Over Broadway (1994, Woody Allen)

    Bullets Over Broadway

    Set in 1928’s New York, “Bullets Over Broadway” is a comedy film that revolves around a neurotic playwright named David Shayne (John Cusack), who is a newcomer to the Broadway atmosphere.

    Struggling to find financial backing for his new play “God of Our Fathers”, Shayne agrees to cast an aspiring talentless actress named Olive Neal (Jennifer Tilly) who is the prize girlfriend of a local gangster, only to find out that her bodyguard, a low-level gangster named Cheech (Chazz Palminteri), is actually the real deal, since the man is able to come up with excellent ideas that help the play.

    This is perhaps one of the most overlooked films made by Woody Allen, shadowed by other career achievements in the late 80s and 90s such as “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (1989) and “Manhattan Murder Mystery” (1993). Nevertheless, the film is a very intelligent comedy that explores the ‘dandy’ side of being a gangster, and the power criminal syndicates had during the roaring 20s.

    However, the film also presents the audience with more serious questions, such as the responsibility for one’s creation – what is creation and what is the relationship between the author and its object? Is it his/her object of affection? What are the limits when it comes to bringing one’s creation to life?


    9. Donnie Brasco (1997, Mike Newell)

    Donnie Brasco

    Based on the true events that surrounded the life of federal agent Joseph D. Pistone in New York in the 1970s, “Donnie Brasco” borrows the agent’s alias as a title for a biographical film that accounts for the incidents leading an FBI agent working undercover inside one of New York’s top crime families to go from a lawful side to a criminal end.

    The film became one of the most popular in the 90s, and it was praised for several reasons. Among the two most expressed were, first and foremost, its performances, particularly Johnny Depp as Donnie Brasco, and Al Pacino as a small-time gangster and Brasco’s contact in the mob. And on the other hand, the film was seen as a moral tale and a very human drama, for it explores the fall of a man, his duty for his fellow, his desires, his conflict, and his complex behaviours.

    In the film, this is all clear through Brasco’s own words: “You think I hate you? I don’t hate you. This job is eating me alive. I can’t breathe anymore. And if I come out. This guy Lefty dies. They’re gonna kill him because he vouched for me. Because he stood up for me. I live with that every day. That’s the same thing if I put the bullet through his head myself, you understand? I spend all these years trying to be the good guy, you know? The man in the white fuckin’ hat. For what? For nothin’. I’m not becoming like them, Maggie, I am them.”

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    Sours: http://www.tasteofcinema.com/2017/the-15-best-american-gangster-movies-of-the-1990s/
    L.A. Gang Wars ☆ 1988


    1990 crime film directed by Martin Scorsese

    For other uses, see Goodfellas (disambiguation).

    Goodfellas (stylized GoodFellas) is a 1990 American biographicalcrime film directed by Martin Scorsese, written by Nicholas Pileggi and Scorsese, and produced by Irwin Winkler. It is a film adaptation of the 1985 nonfiction book Wiseguy by Pileggi. Starring Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco and Paul Sorvino, the film narrates the rise and fall of mob associate Henry Hill and his friends and family from 1955 to 1980.

    Scorsese initially titled the film Wise Guy and postponed making it; he and Pileggi later changed the title to Goodfellas. To prepare for their roles in the film, De Niro, Pesci and 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 most and put them into a revised script, which the cast worked from during principal photography.

    Goodfellas premiered at the 47th Venice International Film Festival on September 9, 1990, where Scorsese was awarded with Silver Lion for Best Director, and was released in the United States on September 19, 1990 by Warner Bros. The film was made on a budget of $25 million, and grossed $47 million. Goodfellas received widespread acclaim upon release: the critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes calls it "arguably the high point of Martin Scorsese's career". The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, with Pesci winning for Best Supporting Actor. 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 ever made, particularly in the gangster 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.[4][5] Its content and style have been emulated in numerous other films and television series.[6]


    In 1955, a young Henry Hill becomes enamored of the criminal life and Mafia presence in his working class Italian-American neighborhood in Brooklyn. He begins working for local caporegime Paul "Paulie" Cicero and his associates: James "Jimmy" Conway, an Irish-American truck hijacker and gangster, and Tommy DeVito, a fellow juvenile delinquent. Henry begins as a fence for Jimmy, gradually working his way up to more serious crimes. The three associates spend most of their nights in the 1960s at the Copacabana nightclub carousing with women. Henry starts dating Karen Friedman, a Jewish woman who is initially troubled by Henry's criminal activities, but is eventually seduced by his glamorous lifestyle. She marries him, despite her parents' disapproval.

    In 1970, Billy Batts, a made man in the Gambino crime family who was recently released from prison, repeatedly insults Tommy at a nightclub owned by Henry; Tommy and Jimmy then beat, stab and shoot Billy to death. The unsanctioned murder of a made man invites retribution; realizing this, Jimmy, Henry, and Tommy cover up the murder by burying the body in upstate New York. Six months later, however, Jimmy learns that the burial site is slated for development, prompting them to exhume and relocate the decomposing corpse.

    In 1974, Karen harasses Henry's mistress Janice and threatens Henry at gunpoint. Henry moves in with Janice, but Paulie insists that he should return to Karen after collecting a debt from a gambler in Tampa with Jimmy. Upon returning, Jimmy and Henry are arrested after being turned in by the gambler's sister, an FBI typist, and they receive ten-year prison sentences. In order to support his family on the outside, Henry has drugs smuggled in by Karen and sells them to a fellow inmate from Pittsburgh.

    In 1978, Henry is paroled and expands his cocaine business with Jimmy and Tommy against Paulie's orders. Jimmy later organizes a crew to raid the Lufthansa vault at John F. Kennedy International Airport, stealing six million dollars in cash and jewellery. After some members purchase expensive items against Jimmy's orders and the getaway truck is found by police, he has most of the crew murdered, while Tommy and Henry are spared. In 1979, Tommy is deceived into believing he is to become a made man, and is murdered on the way to the ceremony—partly as retribution for Batts' murder.

    By 1980, Henry develops a drug habit and becomes a paranoid wreck. He sets up another drug deal with his Pittsburgh associates, but is arrested by narcotics agents and jailed. After bailing him out, Karen explains that she flushed $60,000 worth of cocaine down the toilet to prevent FBI agents from finding it during their raid, leaving them penniless. Feeling betrayed by Henry's drug dealing, Paulie gives him $3,200 and ends their association. Henry meets Jimmy at a diner and is asked to travel on a hit assignment, but the novelty of such a request makes him suspicious. Henry realizes that Jimmy plans to have him and Karen killed, prompting his decision to become an informant and enroll, with his family, into the witness protection program. Henry gives sufficient testimony and evidence to have Paulie and Jimmy convicted, and is later seen living in a nondescript neighborhood, unhappy to leave his exciting gangster life to live as a boring average "schnook".

    The end title cards state that (as of 1990, when the film was released) Henry is still a protected witness, but that he was arrested in 1987 in Seattle for narcotics conspiracy. Henry received five years of probation, but has since been clean. He and Karen separated in 1989, while Paulie died the previous year in Fort Worth Federal Prison from respiratory illness. Jimmy is serving a 20 years-to-life sentence in a New York prison for murder, and would be eligible for parole in 2004.




    Martin Scorsese in 2006, the director of the film

    Goodfellas is based on New York crime reporter Nicholas Pileggi's book Wiseguy.[8] Martin Scorsese did not intend to make another mob film, but he saw a review of Pileggi's book, which he then read while working on the set of The Color of Money in 1986.[9][10] He had always been fascinated by the mob lifestyle and was drawn to Pileggi's book because he thought it was the most honest portrayal of gangsters he had ever read.[11] After reading the book, Scorsese knew what approach he wanted to take, "To begin Goodfellas like a gunshot and have it get faster from there, almost like a two-and-a-half-hour trailer. I think it's the only way you can really sense the exhilaration of the lifestyle, and to get a sense of why a lot of people are attracted to it."[12] According to Pileggi, Scorsese cold-called the writer and told him, "I've been waiting for this book my entire life," to which Pileggi replied, "I've been waiting for this phone call my entire life."[13][14]

    Scorsese decided to postpone making the film when funds materialized in 1988 to make The Last Temptation of Christ. He was drawn to the documentary aspects of Pileggi's book. "The book [Wiseguy] gives you a sense of the day-to-day life, the tedium, how they work, how they take over certain nightclubs, and for what reasons. It shows how it's done."[13] He saw Goodfellas as the third film in an unplanned trilogy of films that examined the lives of Italian Americans "from slightly different angles."[15] He has often described the film as "a mob home movie" that is about money, because "that's what they're really in business for."[11] Two weeks in advance of the filming, the real Henry Hill was paid $480,000.[16]


    Scorsese and Pileggi collaborated on the screenplay, and over the course of the 12 drafts it took to reach the ideal script, the reporter realized "the visual styling had to be completely redone... So we decided to share credit."[13][16] They chose the sections of the book they liked and put them together like building blocks.[2] Scorsese persuaded Pileggi that they did not need to follow a traditional narrative structure. The director wanted to take the gangster film and deal with it episode by episode, but start in the middle and move backwards and forwards. Scorsese compacted scenes, realizing that, if they were kept short, "the impact after about an hour and a half would be terrific."[2] He wanted to do the voiceover like the opening of Jules and Jim (1962) and use "all the basic tricks of the New Wave from around 1961."[2] The names of several real-life gangsters were altered for the film: Tommy "Two Gun" DeSimone became the character Tommy DeVito; Paul Vario became Paulie Cicero, and Jimmy "The Gent" Burke was portrayed as Jimmy Conway.[16] Scorsese initially titled the film Wise Guy, but later, he and Pileggi decided to change the title of their film to Goodfellas because two contemporary projects, the 1986 Brian De Palma film Wise Guys and the 1987–1990 TV series Wiseguy had used similar titles.[2]


    Once Robert De Niro agreed to play Conway, Scorsese was able to secure the money needed to make the film.[10] The director cast Ray Liotta after De Niro saw him in Jonathan Demme's Something Wild (1986), and Scorsese was surprised by "his explosive energy" in that film.[15] Liotta had read Pileggi's book when it came out and was fascinated by it. A couple of years afterwards, his agent told him Scorsese was going to direct a film version. In 1988, he met the director over a period of a couple of months and auditioned for the film.[11] He campaigned aggressively for a role, but the studio wanted a well-known actor. He later said "I think they would've rather had Eddie Murphy than me."[17]Al Pacino[18] and John Malkovich were considered for the role of Jimmy Conway and Sean Penn, Alec Baldwin, Aidan Quinn,[19]Val Kilmer, and Tom Cruise were considered for the role of Henry Hill.[20][21][22]

    To prepare for the role, De Niro consulted with Pileggi, who had research material that had been discarded while writing the book.[23] De Niro often called Hill several times a day to ask how Burke walked, held his cigarette, and so on.[24][25] Driving to and from the set, Liotta listened to FBI audio cassette tapes of Hill, so he could practice speaking like his real-life counterpart.[25]Madonna was considered for the role of Karen Hill.[20] To research her role, Lorraine Bracco tried to get close to a mob wife but was unable to, because they exist in a very tight-knit community. She decided not to meet the real Karen, saying she "thought it would be better if the creation came from me. I used her life with her parents as an emotional guideline for the role."[26]Paul Sorvino had no problem finding the voice and walk of his character, but found it challenging finding what he called "that kernel of coldness and absolute hardness that is antithetical to my nature except when my family is threatened."[27]

    Former EDNY prosecutor Edward McDonald appeared in the film as himself, recreating the conversation he had with Henry and Karen Hill about joining the Witness Protection Program. McDonald, who was friends with Pileggi, was cast on a whim; while a location scout was taking pictures of his office, McDonald casually remarked that he would be happy to play himself if needed. Pileggi called him an hour later asking if he was serious, and he was cast. The scene was unscripted, with McDonald improvising the line referring to Karen as a "babe-in-the-woods."[28]


    The film was shot on location in Queens, New York state, New Jersey, and parts of Long Island during the spring and summer of 1989, with a budget of $25 million.[16] Scorsese broke the film down into sequences and storyboarded everything because of the complicated style throughout. The filmmaker stated, "[I] wanted lots of movement and I wanted it to be throughout the whole picture, and I wanted the style to kind of break down by the end, so that by [Henry's] last day as a wiseguy, it's as if the whole picture would be out of control, give the impression he's just going to spin off the edge and fly out."[9] He added that the film's style comes from the first two or three minutes of Jules and Jim (1962): extensive narration, quick edits, freeze frames, and multiple locale switches.[12] It was this reckless attitude towards convention that mirrored the attitude of many of the gangsters in the film. Scorsese remarked, "So if you do the movie, you say, 'I don't care if there's too much narration. Too many quick cuts?—That's too bad.' It's that kind of really punk attitude we're trying to show."[12] He adopted a frenetic style to almost overwhelm the audience with images and information.[2] He also put plenty of detail in every frame because he believed the gangster life is so rich. Freeze frames were used as Scorsese wanted images that stopped "because a point was being reached" in Henry's life.[2]

    Joe Pesci did not judge his character but found the scene where he kills Spider for talking back to his character hard to do, because he had trouble justifying the action until he forced himself to feel the way Tommy did.[11] Lorraine Bracco found the shoot to be an emotionally difficult one because it was such a male-dominated cast, and she realized if she did not make her "work important, it would probably end up on the cutting room floor."[11] When it came to the relationship between Henry and Karen, Bracco saw no difference between an abused wife and her character.[11]

    According to Pesci, improvisation and ad-libbing came out of rehearsals wherein Scorsese let the actors do whatever they wanted. He made transcripts of these sessions, took the lines the actors came up with that he liked best, and put them into a revised script that the cast worked from during principal photography.[23] For example, the scene where Tommy tells a story and Henry is responding to him—the "Funny how? Do I amuse you?" scene—is based on an actual event that Pesci experienced. Pesci was working as a waiter when he thought he was making a compliment to a mobster by saying he was "funny", however, the comment was not taken well.[29][30] It was worked on in rehearsals where he and Liotta improvised, and Scorsese recorded four to five takes, rewrote their dialogue, and inserted it into the script.[31] The dinner scene with Tommy's mother was largely improvised. Her painting of the bearded man with the dogs was based on a photograph from National Geographic magazine.[32] The cast did not meet Henry Hill until a few weeks before the film's premiere. Liotta met him in an undisclosed city; Hill had seen the film and told the actor that he loved it.[11]

    The long tracking shot through the Copacabana nightclub came about because of a practical problem: the filmmakers could not get permission to go in the short way, and this forced them to go round the back.[2] Scorsese decided to film the sequence in one unbroken shot in order to symbolize that Henry's entire life was ahead of him, commenting, "It's his seduction of her [Karen] and it's also the lifestyle seducing him."[2] This sequence was shot eight times.[31]

    Henry's last day as a wiseguy was the hardest part of the film for Scorsese to shoot, because he wanted to properly show Henry's state of anxiety, paranoia, and racing thoughts caused by cocaine and amphetamines intoxication.[2] In an interview with movie critic Mark Cousins, Scorsese explained the reason for Pesci shooting at the camera at the end of the film, "well that's a reference right to the end of The Great Train Robbery, that's the way that ends, that film, and basically the plot of this picture is very similar to The Great Train Robbery. It hasn't changed, 90 years later, it's the same story, the gun shots will always be there, he's always going to look behind his back, he's gotta have eyes behind his back, because they're gonna get him someday." The director ended the film with Henry regretting that he is no longer a wiseguy, about which Scorsese said, "I think the audience should get angry at him and I would hope they do—and maybe with the system which allows this."[2]


    Scorsese wanted to depict the film's violence realistically, "cold, unfeeling and horrible. Almost incidental."[10] However, he had to remove 10 frames of blood to ensure an R rating from the MPAA.[15] With a budget of $25 million, Goodfellas was Scorsese's most expensive film to that point but still only a medium-sized budget by Hollywood standards. It was also the first time he was obliged by Warner Bros. to preview the film. It was shown twice in California, and a lot of audiences were "agitated" by Henry's last day as a wise guy sequence. Scorsese argued that that was the point of the scene.[2] Scorsese and the film's editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, made this sequence faster with more jump cuts to convey Henry's drug-addled point of view. In the first test screening there were 40 walkouts in the first ten minutes.[31] One of the favorite scenes for test audiences was the "Do I amuse you?" scene.[2]


    Main article: Goodfellas (soundtrack)

    While there is no incidental score as such in the film, Scorsese chose songs for the soundtrack that he felt obliquely commented on the scene or the characters.[15] In a given scene, he only used music contemporary to or older than the scene's setting. According to Scorsese, a lot of non-dialogue scenes were shot to playback. For example, he had "Layla" by Derek and the Dominos playing on the set while shooting the scene where the dead bodies are discovered in the car, dumpster, and meat truck. Sometimes, the lyrics of songs were put between lines of dialogue to comment on the action.[2] Some of the music Scorsese had written into the script, while other songs he discovered during the editing phase.[31]



    Goodfellas premiered at the 47th Venice International Film Festival, where Scorsese received the Silver Lion award for best director.[33] It was given a wide release in North America on September 21, 1990.

    Home media[edit]

    Goodfellas was released on DVD in March 1997, in a single-disc, double-sided, single-layer format that requires the disc to be flipped during viewing; in 2004, Warner Home Video released a two-disc, dual-layer version, with remastered picture and sound, and bonus materials such as commentary tracks.[34] In early 2007, the film became available on single Blu-ray with all the features from the 2004 release; an expanded Blu-ray version was released on February 16, 2010, for its 20th anniversary,[35] bundled with a disc with features that include the 2008 documentary Public Enemies: The Golden Age of the Gangster Film.[34] On May 5, 2015, a 25th anniversary edition was released.[36] The film was released on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on December 6, 2016.[37]


    Box office[edit]

    Goodfellas grossed $6.3 million from 1,070 theaters in opening weekend, topping the box office.[38] In its second weekend the film made $5.9 million from 1,291 theaters, falling just 8% and finishing second behind newcomer Pacific Heights.[39] It went on to make $46.8 million domestically.[40][3]

    Critical response[edit]

    According to review aggregatorRotten Tomatoes, 96% of 103 critics have given the film a positive review, with an average rating of 9.00/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Hard-hitting and stylish, GoodFellas is a gangster classic—and arguably the high point of Martin Scorsese's career."[41]Metacritic has assigned the film a weighted average score of 90 out of 100 based on reviews from 21 critics, indicating "universal acclaim".[42] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[43]

    In his review for the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert gave the film a full four stars and wrote, "No finer film has ever been made about organized crime – not even The Godfather."[44] In his review for the Chicago Tribune, Gene Siskel wrote, "All of the performances are first-rate; Pesci stands out, though, with his seemingly unscripted manner. GoodFellas is easily one of the year's best films."[45] Both named it as the best film of 1990. In his review for The New York Times, Vincent Canby wrote, "More than any earlier Scorsese film, Goodfellas is memorable for the ensemble nature of the performances... The movie has been beautifully cast from the leading roles to the bits. There is flash also in some of Mr. Scorsese's directorial choices, including freeze frames, fast cutting and the occasional long tracking shot. None of it is superfluous."[46]USA Today gave the film four out of four stars and called it, "great cinema—and also a whopping good time."[12]David Ansen, in his review for Newsweek magazine, wrote "Every crisp minute of this long, teeming movie vibrates with outlaw energy."[47]Rex Reed said, "Big, rich, powerful and explosive. One of Scorsese's best films! Goodfellas is great entertainment."[48] In his review for Time, Richard Corliss wrote, "So it is Scorsese's triumph that GoodFellas offers the fastest, sharpest 2½-hr. ride in recent film history."[49]


    The film was ranked the best of 1990 by Roger Ebert,[50] Gene Siskel,[50] and Peter Travers.[51] In a poll of 80 film critics, "Goodfellas" was named the best film of the year by 34 critics. Director Martin Scorsese was chosen as the year's best director in 45 of the 80 ballots.[52]

    Goodfellas is ranked #92 on the AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) list, published in 2007. In 2012, the Motion Picture Editors Guild listed Goodfellas as the fifteenth best-edited film of all time based on a survey of its membership.[53] In the 2012 Sight & Sound polls, it was ranked the 48th-greatest film ever made in the directors' poll.[54]Goodfellas is 39th on James Berardinelli's 2014-made list of the top 100 films of all time.[55] In 2015, Goodfellas ranked 20th on BBC's "100 Greatest American Films" list, voted on by film critics from around the world.[56]



    Goodfellas is #94 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Movies" list and moved up to #92 on its AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) from 2007. In June 2008, the AFI put Goodfellas at #2 on their AFI's 10 Top 10—the best ten films in ten "classic" American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the movie-related community.[60]Goodfellas was regarded as the second-best in the gangster film genre (after The Godfather).[61] In 2000, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

    Roger Ebert named Goodfellas the "best mob movie ever" and placed it among the ten best films of the 1990s.[62] In December 2002, a UK film critics poll in Sight & Sound ranked the film #4 on their list of the 10 Best Films of the Last 25 Years.[63]Time included Goodfellas in their list of Time's All-Time 100 Movies.[64]Channel 4 placed Goodfellas at #10 in their 2002 poll The 100 Greatest Films, Empire listed Goodfellas at #6 on their "500 Greatest Movies Of All Time,"[65] and Total Film voted Goodfellas #1 as the greatest film of all time.[66]

    Premiere listed Joe Pesci's Tommy DeVito as #96 on its list of "The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time," calling him "perhaps the single most irredeemable character ever put on film."[67]Empire ranked Tommy DeVito #59 in their "The 100 Greatest Movie Characters" poll.[68]

    Goodfellas inspired director David Chase to make the HBO television series The Sopranos." He told Peter Bogdanovich, "Goodfellas is a very important movie to me and Goodfellas really plowed that ... I found that movie very funny and brutal and it felt very real. And yet that was the first mob movie that Scorsese ever dealt with a mob crew. ... as opposed to say The Godfather ... which there's something operatic about it, classical, even the clothing and the cars. You know I mean I always think about Goodfellas when they go to their mother's house that night when they're eating, you know when she brings out her painting, that stuff is great. I mean The Sopranos learned a lot from that."[69] Indeed, the film shares a total of 27 actors with The Sopranos,[70] including Bracco, Sirico, Imperioli, Pellegrino, Lip, and Vincent, who all had major roles in Chase's HBO series.

    July 24, 2010 marked the 20th anniversary of the film's release. This milestone was celebrated with Henry Hill hosting a private screening for a select group of invitees at the Museum of the American Gangster, in New York City.[71]

    In January 2012, it was announced that the AMC Network had put a television series version of the movie in development. Pileggi was on board to co-write the adaptation with television writer-producer Jorge Zamacona. The two were set to executive produce with the film's producer Irwin Winkler and his son, David.[72]

    Luc Besson's 2013 crimecomedy filmThe Family features a sequence where Giovanni Manzoni (Goodfellas star De Niro), a gangster who is under witness protection for testifying against a member of his family, watches Goodfellas.[73]

    In 2014, the ESPN-produced 30 for 30 series debuted Playing for the Mob,[74] the story about how Hill and his Pittsburgh associates, and several Boston College basketball players, committed the point shaving scandal during the 1978–79 season, an episode briefly mentioned in the movie. The documentary, narrated by Liotta, was set up so that the viewer needed to watch the film beforehand, to understand many of the references in the story.

    In 2015, Goodfellas closed the Tribeca Film Festival with a screening of its 25th-anniversary remaster.[75]

    American Film Institute Lists


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    External links[edit]

    Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goodfellas

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