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Goodfellas

1990

Martin Scorsese's 1990 masterpiece GoodFellas immortalizes the hilarious, horrifying life of actual gangster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), from his teen years on the streets of New York to his anonymous exile under the Witness Protection Program. The director's kinetic style is perfect for recounting Hill's ruthless rise to power in the 1950s as well as his drugged-out fall in the late 1970s; in fact, no one has ever rendered the mental dislocation of cocaine better than Scorsese. Scorsese uses period music perfectly, not just to summon a particular time but to set a precise mood. GoodFellas is at least as good as The Godfather without being in the least derivative of it. Joe Pesci's psycho improvisation of Mobster Tommy DeVito ignited Pesci as a star, Lorraine Bracco scores the performance of her life as the love of Hill's life, and every supporting role, from Paul Sorvino to Robert De Niro, is a miracle.
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Karen and her children are visiting Henry in jail

Guard:
Mrs. Hill, this way. Sign this book, please.

Karen signs ledger but something catches her eye

Name of Inmate:
Henry Hill

Name of Visitor:
Janice Rossi

Visitor's center

Karen:
I saw her, Henry.

Henry:
What are you talking about?

Karen:
I saw her name in the register.

Henry:
Jesus Christ.

Karen:
You want her to visit you? Let her stay up all night, crying and writing letters to the parole board.

Henry:
What am I doing here? Where am I? I'm in jail. I can't stop people from coming to see me.

Karen:
Good. Let her sneak this stuff every week. [Karen dangles a bag of illegal drugs in front him] Let her fight these bastards every week!

Henry:
Look what you're doing! Stop it!

Karen:
I'm sorry. Let her sneak this shit in for you.

Henry:
Will you stop it, Karen? Will you stop it?

Karen:
Let her do it! Let her do it!

Henry:
STOP IT!!!

[Kids react to anger; Karen starts to sob]

Karen:
Nobody is helping me. I am all alone. Belle and Morrie are broke. I asked your friend Remo for the money that he owes you, and you know what he told me? He told me to take my kids down to the police station and get on welfare.

Henry:
Karen, It's going to be okay.

Karen:
Yeah? Even Paulie, since he got out, I've never seen him. I never see anybody anymore.

Henry:
It's only you and me. That's what happens when you go away. I told you that we're on our own. Forget everybody else. Forget Paulie. As long as he's on parole, he doesn't want anybody doing anything.

Karen:
I can't do it.

Henry:
Yes, you can. Karen, Listen to me. All I need is for you to bring me this stuff. I got a guy in here from Pittsburgh who'll help me move it. Believe me, in a month we're gonna be fine. We won't need anybody.

Karen:
I'm afraid. I'm afraid if Paulie finds out...

Henry:
Or I just say, Don't worry about him. He is not helping us out. Is he putting any food on the table? We've gotta help each other. We've just gotta-- Listen, We've gotta be really careful while we do it.

Karen:
I don't want to hear a word about her anymore, Henry.

Henry:
Never.

Tommy:
Just don't go bustin' my balls, Billy, okay?

Billy:
Hey, Tommy, if I was gonna break your balls, I'd tell you to go home and get your shine box. [To his friends] Now this kid, this kid was great. They, they used to call him Spitshine Tommy. I swear to God! Now he'd make your shoes look like fuckin' mirrors. 'Scuse my language. He was terrific, he was the best. He made a lot of money, too. Salud, Tommy!

Tommy:
No more shines, Billy.

Billy:
What?

Tommy:
I said no more shines. Maybe you didn't hear about it, you've been away a long time; they didn't go up there and tell you. I don't shine shoes anymore.

Billy:
Relax, will ya? You flipped right out, what's got into you? I'm breakin' your balls a little bit, that's all. I'm only kiddin' with ya.

Tommy:
Sometimes you don't sound like you're kidding, you know? There's a lotta people around...

Billy:
Tommy, I'm only kiddin' with you. We're having a party and I just came home, and I haven't seen you in a long time, and I'm breakin' your balls, and right away you're getting fuckin' fresh. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to offend you.

Tommy:
I'm sorry too. It's okay. No problem.

Billy:
Okay, salud. [moment of silence as he takes a drink] Now go home and get ya fuckin' shinebox!

Tommy:
[smashes his glass in anger] Motherfuckin' mutt! You, you fuckin' piece of shit...! [Henry and Jimmy restrain him]

Billy:
[taunting] Yeah, yeah, yeah, come on, come on! Come on! Let him go!

Tommy:
Henry, he bought his fucking button! That fake old tough guy! You bought your fucking button! Keep that motherfucker here, keep him here! [leaves]

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