Goodfellas: I’m Here to Amuse You

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Cinephilia and Beyond Tumblr

I’ve written before about love of Tumblr before on this blog, and one of the most consistently brilliant Tumblr blogs I follow is the all-things-film tumblr Cinephilia and Beyond. If you love movies, this is an amazing resource.

Anyway, over a year ago the Cinephilia blog, doing what it does so well, posted an all but comprehensive article filled with resources about the 1991 film GoodfellasIt has the original film script, images from set, a documentary about the making of the film, a documentary about Henry Hill, an article about Henry Hill’s experience in the Witness Protection Program, Scorsese and his mom on Letterman, and much more. It’s an example of just how amazing this blog is, it understands that at its best blogging is an aggregation of awesome resources that leads the visitor on to further explorations and discoveries.

At the time I filed this post away because I knew I was already thinking about teaching a course on true crime, and both Nicholas Pileggi’s 1985 book Wiseguy and Scorsese’s film were strong candidates. Lo and behold, a year later I am happy to share this amazing post for the True Crime class (and anyone else that loves Goodfellas—who doesn’t?) so that you have no shortage of material to amuse yourself after watching the movie.


Now the Cinephilia and Beyond blog is an open educational repository I can get behind!



“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.” What a genius script looks like. Read, learn, and absorb: Goodfellas [the screenplay] by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese [pdf1, pdf2]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only)



The 30-minute documentary Getting Made: The Making of Goodfellas, also included on the Blu-ray release, has recently been put online for your viewing pleasure. Going through the pre-production, shooting, release and more, a few of the film’s iconic scenes (including Ray Liotta and Joe Pesci‘s dinner exchange, as well as the extended steadicam shot) are discussed — all with the insight from editor Thelma Schoonmaker. It’s a fascinating inside look at the making of a masterpiece and one can check out the documentary below, then head over to Amazon to stream the film for free and pick it up for cheap on Blu-ray, if you don’t own it yet. [thanks to A Bittersweet Life & The Film Stage]

The legendary Steadicam shot in Goodfellas through the nightclub kitchen was a happy accident — Scorsese had been denied permission to go in the front way and had to improvise an alternative.




By now you’ve heard the news that former gangster-turned-mob informant Henry Hill passed away last Tuesday, leaving behind hundreds of thousands of moviegoers who’ve watched Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (itself based on the life of Henry Hill) and often wondered just how the guy managed to survive long enough to die at the age of 69 without being whacked by those he turned against. Clues to that mystery may be found in this documentary, called The Real Goodfella, which is one of the more fascinating docs on the real-life man behind the character Ray Liotta so memorably portrayed on screen. Featuring in-depth interviews with Hill, FBI agents, Martin Scorsese and more, the 47-minute doc uses dramatized reenactments to piece together what really happened versus what Scorsese chose to use for his film. You can watch the entire doc below, which dates back to 2006. —Erik Davis

  • Interview with the real gangster behind Goodfellas, Henry Hill [pdf]
  • A recipe for the mouthwatering prison dinner from Goodfellas:

6 onions peeled and finely diced
75g Cotswold gold rapeseed oil or olive oil
A teaspoon of salt
300g minced beef
300g minced pork shoulder
300g diced English rose veal flank
30g Cotswold gold rapeseed oil or olive oil
250g beef or brown chicken stock
10 cloves garlic peeled
100ml white wine
150g tomato puree
750g ripe vine tomatoes (chopped) or equivalent weight of quality chopped tinned tomatoes
A pinch of salt
Good grind of black pepper

Just like the guys in Goodfellas, I like to serve this with a char grilled 34 day aged hanger steak cooked medium rare, a bottle of Chianti and good crunchy country bread (to soak up all those wonderful juices and flavours).

Yes, indeed, The Godfather is masterful. The Sopranos? We never missed an episode. But you want to talk about a movie that leaves a mark? Twenty years after the release of Goodfellas, the good people behind it—Scorsese, Liotta, De Niro!—re-create the making of the truest, bloodiest, greatest gangster film of all time.Getting Made The Scorsese Way 


This entry was posted in film, movies, True Crime and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Goodfellas: I’m Here to Amuse You

  1. Brian says:

    You last post made a succinct and powerful case for open platforms. This one shows yet another mode of the Bava corpus, but is equally sublime. You’re on top of your game, man, it’s great to see.

  2. Reverend says:

    Funny, feels like I have been writing this stuff forever, in fact many of us have—including you. That said, it also feels like we are returning to it all anew. It has matured while the xMOOC craziness became all the rage, and as we emerge from that I am realizing it is stronger than ever in some important ways. I am trying to capture that before the freshness of it all these days disappears.

    Thanks for the encouragement, I’m just following your lead. Have been for almost eight years now.

  3. Pingback: Course Domains | bavatuesdays

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