Back Seat Producers Season 08 Shows

BSP Episode 252: Goodfellas

Release date:  9/19/1990

Warner Bros.

Directed by

  • Martin Scorsese

Produced by

  • Irwin Winkler

Screenplay by

  • Martin Scorsese
  • Nicholas Pileggi

Based on Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi


Ray Liotta

  • Henry Hill

Robert DeNiro

  • Jimmy Conway

Joe Pesci

  • Tommy DeVito

Lorraine Bracco

  • Karen Hill

Paul Sorvino

  • Paul Cicero

The hosts review:

  • You can watch this several times and get something different out of it each time.
  • Although Henry Hill’s character lies throughout the movie, you still learn what that life was like.
  • One of the best 1st person narrative movies made (up there with Taxi Driver).
  • Foot soldiers’ view of mob life.
  • Very different Don than The Godfather.
  • Henry Hill died 6/12/12, which makes this a Recently Dead Guy Podcast.
  • Enjoying some Henry Hill anectodes.
  • If you’re short, you demand respect.
  • Was Paulie a weak leader?  Opinions differ.
  • You don’t get a real view of Paulie because you only see him through Henry’s eyes.
  • Henry didn’t want to be a Don, he just wanted to be a Wiseguy.
  • Power without responsibility.  If we wanted more, we took more.
  • The scene when Hill drops off his brother and he’s being followed by helicopters was played really well; it was frantic and frenetic.
  • “For a second I thought I was dead. But, when I heard all the noise, I knew they were cops. Only cops talk that way. If they’d been wiseguys, I wouldn’t have heard a thing. I would’ve been dead.”
  • Tony rocks an old-school DVD!
  • Financial comparison between Goodfellas and The Last Temptation of Christ… and other Scorsese movies.
  • Lorraine Bracco… when she hides the gun in her panties… yeah, that’s hot.

Awards (short list):

Goodfellas has won the following awards:

  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor (Joe Pesci)
  • British Academy Film Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Editing and Costume Design
  • Venice Film Festival Silver Lion for Best Director, Audience Award (Scorsese), and Filmcritica “bastone Bianco” Award (Scorsese)
  • New York Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor (DeNiro)
  • Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (Pesci), Best Supporting Actress (Bracco) and Best Cinematography

Goodfellas has also made some of American Film Institute’s lists:

  • AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies  #94
  • AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition)  #92
  • AFI’s Top 10 Gangster Film  #2

Trivial bits ‘n pieces:

  • The “You think I’m funny?” scene was based on a story that Joe Pesci acted out for Martin Scorsese about working at a restaurant years earlier and he told a mobster that he was funny; the mobster was not amused.  Scorsese allowed Pesci and Ray Liotta improvise the scene.  Scorsese didn’t tell the other actors in the scene what would happen because he wanted their genuine surprised reactions.
  • The word “f$&k” is used 296 times, for an average of 2.04 f$&ks per minute.  About half of them are said by Joe Pesci.
  • Scorsese’s mother, Catherine, plays Tommy’s (Pesci) mother.  She and the cast ad-libbed the dinner scene.  Scorsese’s father, Charles, plays the prisoner who puts too many onions in the tomato sauce.
  • When Paulie confronts Henry after Henry’s released from prison, Paul Sorvino improvised the slap to Liotta’s face.
  • The MPAA ordered 10 frames of blood removed from the film before granting it an ‘R’ rating.
  • Liotta’s mother died of cancer during filming, and he said that he used his anger over losing his mother for certain scenes, the pistol-whipping scene in particular.
  • Lorraine Bracco demanded real jewelry to be used for Karen’s dresser. The production designer rented expensive gold and stones that were protected by armed guards.
  • DeNiro wanted to use real money for the scene where Jimmy hands out money.  The prop master gave DeNiro $5,000 of his own money, and at the end of each take, no one was allowed to leave the set until all the money was returned.

Your Producers for this episode were:

  • Tony
  • Darrell
  • Tony/Deuce

This episode was recorded: 12/13/2012



2 replies on “BSP Episode 252: Goodfellas”

I love Taxi Driver and I think that Scorcese is actually rather under-appreciated other than that crap-pile that is The Departed. However, I struggled to get through Goodfellas. Sacrilege, I know, but it’s bloated and meandery.

I feel like it was a terrific attempt at telling what is basically a novel in film format, but it’s ultimately just that: an attempt, not a success. Maybe, one day, I’ll watch it again and it’ll click and I won’t feel like it sags so much in the middle.

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