From the moment the very opening line of “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster”, was uttered by Ray Liotta, in that distinct new York accent, he and the stunning supporting cast of characters in ‘GoodFellas’ take the audience on a ride they won’t soon forget.
Directed by Martin Scorsese, ‘GoodFellas’ is an adaptation of the Nicholas Pileggi novel, which is based on the life of Henry Hill. This same book had already been made into Brian De Palma’s comic rendition, ‘Wise Guys’, so the name was edited to ‘GoodFellas’, the genre became crime drama and celluloid history was made.
With an impressive cast of leading men, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta, in the lead role of Henry Hill. It has been reported that much of Joe Pesci’s more memorable lines were not from the script, but ad-libs he created after he and fellow actors spent time with Pileggi researching for their roles.
The movie begins in Brooklyn, New York, in the early 1950’s and spans the next three generations in the life and times of some Good Fellas.
Though nominated for a number of Academy Awards, the only winner was Pesci, for ‘Best Supporting Actor’. It also won three British Academy of Film awards and was named Best in Film, 1999, by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics.