Free «Goodfellas» Essay Sample


Martin Scorsese tried to depict the violent revisions of a mobster in New York who cooperated with federal law enforcement authorities. The film revolves around there significant personalities during the 1960s and 1970s. The movie features Robert de Niro as a leading mobster in New York. Martin Scorsese tried to show the violent side of New York City. This paper analyses Goodfellas as brought out by martin Scorsese.


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Martin Scorsese based the Goodfellas movie on the book wise guy by Nicholas pillage. Scorsese and Pileggi came together and worked on the screenplay of the movie. Martin Scorsese dealt with the movie episode by episode moving away from the traditional narrative, movie structure. Scorsese wanted the movie to have a flash-forward and flashback structure, which meant that the movie would start in the middle, reflect what had happened in the past and move towards the future (Nyce).

The narratives in the movie have a concern with the usual intrigues and violent acts that happen in most gangster films but retain an interesting development. It has a captivating visual style that has been created competently. Scorsese uses both a narrative and visual effect to give the movie a high quality. He creates characters that make the viewer aware of their world of reason and perspective that makes them think of the mafia as their only way of life (Robbe 63).

The opening in the movie has been put in mediasres where the film begins after the story has already progressed. This adds some effect to the story. The start of the story follows after the movie has progressed and explains the opening part of the movie. Martin Scorsese as the director of Goodfellas used this technique to engage the audience and make them watch the movie. Scorsese uses this technique to capture the attention of the audience. At first, one wonders where the movie started but as it progresses the audience gets to know what happened. This technique makes the movie captivating and makes the audience want to watch what happens next.

Scorsese based the beginning of the movie in his Hollywood starts killing a man in the boot of a car. He brought up this scene so that the audience could watch to understand the reason that made them kill that person.  Martin Scorsese used a sequence to establish the characters, settings, the genre and the theme in the movie. When an audience watches the characters as they engage one another and go about their business, the audience gets to understand the setting that the characters have been placed and the themes that come out from their actions.

In the opening sequence of the movie, Goodfellas has used a tracking shot of a car that moves fast in an extremely dark lighting. This informs the audience that the opening of the movie happens at night. A plain text then shows informing the audience that the movie takes place in New York, in 1970. After this, Scorsese uses a medium shot taken at an angle where the audience can see the three main actors and their profiles, as displayed.  When Scorsese used the medium shot, he developed the film in a way that the audience could view the facial expression of the characters and analyze the mise and scene critically. For example, the audience can see clearly that the three characters have worn suits, which connote their importance in the society, and the higher status that they occupy in the society.

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When the audience looks at the faces of the three characters, they notice that they have a relaxed appearance, which changes to confusion as they hear a banging sound that leaves the actors and the audience perplexed. The audience can also notice that the actors have no facial tattoos, hair or make-up. Their hair has been combed backwards, and all of them have a smart appearance. Together with the suits that they have worn, they have jewelry, which depicts them as rich, businesspersons or respectable men in the society. However, the shovel that Joe Pesci held at the back seat makes the audience think twice about all the status they give the three characters based on their dressing and appearance (LoBrutto 386).

The movie then cuts into a long shot that shows the three actors reassuring each other and standing behind the car in a place that appears like woodland. The audience can now see the full profile of the characters. It then cuts to a medium close in the car boot, which shows the importance towards it. The red lights bought out by the brake lights depict danger and violence. The scene has no sound track. It has diegetic and non-diegetic sounds, for instance, the sound of cars passing and the banging noise.

Throughout the scenes in the movie, zooming and panning occur constantly. For instance in the opening scene, the audience notice that the banging sound in the boot of the car comes from a person. A high angle has been used to show that those standing outside the car have a high and superior status. At this point, the audience does not understand what has happened to the person in the boot, but later they understand from the explanation later (LoBrutto 385).

In the opening scene, the director has identified Pesci as a merciless and aggressive character. The audience also learns that Robert de Niro has a merciless character as his partner when he reaches his back pocket as Pesci shouts insults. The scene informs the audience that the three characters are gangsters.

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Goodfellas brings in a rich form of cinematography and editing. The movie consists of many fast moving camera shots. Many straight cuts used all through the movie confirm this. The lightning in the movie consists of dim lights that make the scenery dark. The lighting consists of artificial lighting. In certain scenes, it becomes obvious that the movie made use of red filters.

Technically, Goodfellas presents a tour de force exhilarating cinematography that has a dynamic editing and a soundtrack of classic pop tunes hat blend the story in the movie over the hearty year arc. Michael Ballhaus supervised the camera use in the Goodfellas movie. Ballhaus ensured that the camera captured al the significant moments in the film that helped bring out the themes, setting and the character roles of the participants in the play. The cameras captured all the sequences in the play including the famous four-minute shot that followed hill and Karen as they moved to the prime seats in Copacabana nightclub, in New York, through the service entrance and a series of corridors.

The camera shots ensured that they gave the correct lighting to scenes. Therefore, the audience could differentiate days from nights and when the characters operated inside buildings or in the open air. Scorsese maintained a static camera that kept the canvas fluid. For instance, the audience gets to view the disorienting shot involving Henry and jimmy facing each other at dinner, across the table. They appear to remain static as the background moves (Nyce 22).

The editing came out perfectly because at no point do the audience notice merging of two different scenes or settings. The movie glides smoothly from one scene to the next and from one setting to the other.

Scorsese presented the Goodfellas movie with a clear sound use and management. The audience gets to hear the conversation between characters in the play and any other sounds, such as the sound of cars passing, banging sounds and screams. These sounds became helpful by helping the audience understand the flow of the movie. It helped bring emotions and mod variations in the movie. Being a gangster type of movie, the audience would expect that it would depict different moods. Scorsese achieved these using sound effects. The classical, pop songs that Scorsese used helped to create relevant moods in the movie.

Martin Scorsese applied many techniques that helped create a rich effect in the movie. In the beginning of the movie, Scorsese decided to use at the beginning of the movie Scorsese decided to open the movie in the middle of the story to attract the attention of the audience. He later explains what happens at the beginning of the movie that captivates the audience. The still shots, long and medium shots that he used in cinematography gave the movie a rich taste. The sound tracks in the movie, the lighting and editing, ensured that Goodfellas offers an enjoyable experience for the audience. Scorsese also used a narrative play technique to explain all that went on in the play (Robbe 60).


Goodfellas offered the audience a rich movie experience that a gangster type of movie could. Scorsese used his experience with a variety of techniques to create a world class rated movie. The use of different camera angles and techniques that martin Scorsese used on the film proved him as a talented movie director. Scorsese brought out a reality of the New York City crime zone. He made Goodfellas appear a real experience.  The creation of the scenes flowing into the other, with setting and characters that fit in the movie, Scorsese bought out the themes in the movie clear for the audience to see.

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