Goodfellas (1990)

Biopic charting the rise of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) within the Mob, under the guidance of 'Uncle Paulie' Paul Cicero (Paul Sorvino), and with his partners in crime Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci).  When one heist pays out more than they could have hoped, will greed for a bigger share get the better of the Goodfellas ... or greed for power when they go against the wishes of Uncle Paulie and break into the lucrative drug trade?

Our Rating: 7/10 - The acting is very good, even though the story plods on
Watchability: 3/10 - Just for hardcore gangster movie fans to watch again and again
Contributed By: JT
Tagline: ""As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster."" -- Henry Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1955

Release Date: 1990-09-21
IMDb icon 8.7/10
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English | Italian
  • Runtime: 226
  • Budget: $25,000,000
  • Revenue: $46,836,394
  • Production: Warner Bros.
Robert De Niro
Robert De Nir...
James Conway
Ray Liotta
Ray Liotta
Henry Hill
Joe Pesci
Joe Pesci
Tommy DeVito
Lorraine Bracco
Lorraine Brac...
Karen Hill
Paul Sorvino
Paul Sorvino
Paul Cicero
Frank Sivero
Frank Sivero
Frankie Carbone
Tony Darrow
Tony Darrow
Sonny Bunz
Mike Starr
Mike Starr
Frenchy
Frank Vincent
Frank Vincent
Billy Batts
Chuck Low
Chuck Low
Morris Kessler
Henny Youngman
Henny Youngma...
Henny Youngman
Gina Mastrogiacomo
Gina Mastrogi...
Janice Rossi
Catherine Scorsese
Catherine Sco...
Tommy's Mother
Charles Scorsese
Charles Scors...
Vinnie

The guy who sells wigs brings a tip-off to Henry and the boys for a $6million heist loosely similar to the earlier, successful, Air France job.  The heist involves most of the characters, except Paulie, and is a huge success.

Samuel L Jackson messes up, so to tie up loose ends Tommy calls round his apartment and blows his brains out.  Greed gets the better of them, so Tommy starts to knock off everyone else involved - sadly including the dude with the Fonze hairstyle who they find frozen solid in a meat truck.

Soon, Tommy is all set to be a fully signed-up Italian family member.  Jimmy is very proud.  Tommy follows the aides into a house - but realises too late that it is a setup, and is murdered in retaliation for his hit on Billy Batts.

Henry gets deeper with the drugs, affecting his life and his decisions.  One day he realises he is being followed, but doubts his paranoid mind and goes about his business as normal.  The babysitter who acts as his runner uses the house phone for calls, which are recorded - and as Henry is about to take her out to pick up their lucky hat, they are ""pinched"".  Karen panics and dumps $60,000 of drugs down the toilet.

Henry panics in jail knowing that he isn't safe from Paulie.  Karen's mother fixes his bail.  Henry hopes to secure one last deal - but the drugs have all gone and they no money.  Henry goes to see Paulie, he gives him some cash and turns his back on him.

Karen meets Jimmy for some help, but he has arranged a hit on her life. She manages to get away.

Shaken up, Henry decides to meet Jimmy alone.  Jimmy is scared that Henry will rat him out and offers a job to Henry - a hit in Miami.  It's all unusual for Jimmy, and Henry knows that if he went, he would never return.

Henry decides to enter witness protection with Karen.

In court Henry points out Paulie and Jimmy. Their judge accuses him of being a rat.

A little more voice over later, and we're with Jimmy at his new home as he collects the morning paper.  Life doens't look too bad, but he's unhappy.

In the credits we're told that Henry and Karen entered Witness Protection in 1985, but split up in 1989.  Paulie was sentenced to life, and died in prison from respiratory problems.  Jimmy was sentenced to life until his release in 2004 when he'll be an old man.

Our Comments:

Things I liked: 

  1. Has a character called ""Tuddy"", which is fun to say.
  2. Ray Liotta does the crazy laugh very well
  3. Has ""Mental"" (Mike Starr) from Dumb and Dumber making a cameo
  4. Has Samuel L. Jackson making a cameo!
  5. ""Henry Hill"" looks a little bit like ""Harry Hill""
  6. Does a good job to make your root for the bad guys
  7. Sountrack is pretty good - even has that song from the Stones as well that worked well on the C.O.D tv adverts

Things that just don't work:

  1. Robert De Niro has no real purpose in this, except to sell the movie poster and as he's important to the very last court case scene.  If it wasn't based on real life, this character would have been merged with Joe Pesci's in the first draft.
  2. Like most other gangster movies, it's just too long.  Rather than an extended biopic, would work much better showing us a shorter action-packed story focusing on one major event - like the $6 million heist.
  3. Joe Pesci can't be taken seriously anymore after Home Alone 1 ... and 2.
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