Goodfellas is the greatest mafia movie ever made. There are those who think the Godfather is. They are foolish.


Just The Facts

  1. The word "fuck" is used in the film approximately 300 times, the ninth most in film.
  2. *SPOILER* Almost certainly the only film you'll see Samuel L. Jackson killed by Joe Pesci. Yeah, the fake Bible verse spouting "Bad Motherfucker" wallet carrying hitman from Pulp Fiction is killed by the bumbling burglar from Home Alone.
  3. In the first test screening there were 40 walkouts in the first ten minutes. These are probably the same people who think Quentin Tarantino is "violent."
  4. This movie not only got Joe Pesci an Academy Award but helped cement his reputation as one of the biggest badasses of all time despite being 5'4".

The Opening Sequence

Goodfellas is presented in a fairly straight-forward chronological narrative except for the opening scene. According to Scorsese in the DVD's special features, he thought the opening scene needed to really grab the audience and decided to take a scene from about midway through the movie. Future filmmakers take note: Goodfellas one of the most entertaining movies of all-time, however Scorsese still thought to put a balls-to-the-wall scene to kick it off. Martin Scorsese, you know... the guy with three films on the AFI's 100 Greatest American Movies list, an Academy Award for Best Director, and voted 2nd best director of all-time by Total Film kicking Spielberg in the balls with his feel-good endings.

How could you not finish after this?

Hint: It's not a car tire...

Henry's Childhood

Immediately we are transported to Henry Hill's childhood. It's like a dream come true. What kid wouldn't want to be a gangster?

"As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster."

He makes more money than most of the adults in the neighborhood, blows up cars, sees a guy get shot, and one day some of the kids from the neighborhood carried his mother's groceries all the way home. You know why? It was outta respect. While most Cracked readers were getting picked on by guy's like these:

"I must have had some Felix Felicis, because I think I'm about to get lucky."

Ever skipped school and gotten the crapped kicked out of you for it? Alright, maybe you live in a progressive household that didn't cause permanent psychological damage and in turn become attracted to violence in movies like Goodfellas... Lucky you. But, you still got in trouble right? Well, instead of laying down and taking it, Henry and his mob friends have a friendly chat with the mailman about no more letters from school.

Pictured: Friendly chat with the neighborhood mailman.

Funny How?

Ah yes, the Funny How? scene. Arguably, the most famous scene in the movie. It's been ripped off, err... homaged in many other places including the 2004 English film, The Football Factory.

When you watch this scene, pay attention (you future filmmakers again) to how it's not a close-up used so as to show the expressions and reactions of the people around the table to He Who is Joe Pesci.

This is also the scene that is most parodied.


For those who haven't scene Jimmy Stewart movies go back to watching Family Guy^ you uncultured pieces of...

Billy Batts and Marty's Mom's Oscar-Worthy Performance

This is just one of the epic smackdowns in Goodfellas but I've probably seen this scene over 500 times easy. I have the music, dialogue, everything memorized and synced. This is the sequel to Frank Vincent's first beatdown by Joe Pesci, the first being in Raging Bull. However, he finally gets his revenge in Casino...

Joe Pesci's story to go along with it:

So, let me set the scene for you. They just brutally beat the shit out of this guy, put him in the trunk of his car, and he's presumed dead. What the next logical step? Go to your mother's house to pick up a shovel? YES SIR. Pure genius. Apparently most of the dialogue was improvised by Pesci and Mrs. Scorsese. Oscar-worthy folks.

Has Tommy ever told you about my painting?

Marty on using his mom for the scene:

The Soundtrack

Goodfellas has one of the greatest soundtracks of all-time. Right up there with Saturday Night Fever's.

We won't mention the Bodyguard's soundtrack...

The songs match-up perfectly with the scenes and set the mood perfectly. Here are just a few good examples.

Just Some of the Mafia/Gangster Movies Goodfellas is Better Than

Sorry Gilbert.


Yes, it has De Niro and still comes nowhere close.

Don't make me slap you.

Did I even need to say this?


Just stop right there...

Ebert, the Real Life Henry Hill, and the Real Lesson Here

Ebert actually had the retarded notion that Goodfellas made people NOT want to be gangsters. Oh Roger, and I bet you think video games can never be art either.

Pictured: Better than the Mona Lisa

What actually makes you not want to go down that path is seeing what the real Henry Hill has been doing lately. If you said bedding famous women and riding the Goodfellas glory wave you were mistaken.

He sells his artwork on Ebay. That's right, just like that painting above.^ A far cry from sugar bowls full of coke. Well, maybe everyone else turned out better because they didn't rat on their friends. If your definition of better is dying in prison then yes.

I mean I feel really bad for the guy. Just look at him here on Howard Stern...

Now THAT'S what addiction and a gangster life gives back to you folks. I mean that's a way more effective fucking PSA then anything I've ever seen.

So want to say you have a real-life gangster picture in your home/apartment/room in your parent's house?

Pick up an ice pick while you're at it and remember this quote kids:

"We had it all, just for the asking. Our wives, mothers, kids, everybody rode along. I had paper bags filled with jewelry stashed in the kitchen. I had a sugar bowl full of coke next to the bed. Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hideout flats all over the city. I'd 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. Didn't matter. It didn't mean anything. When I was broke I would 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. And that's the hardest part. Today, everything is different. There's no action. I have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food. Right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook."

P.S. A little bonus: