A young man grows up in the mob and works very hard to advance himself through the ranks. He enjoys his life of money and luxury, but is oblivious to the horror that he causes. A drug addiction and a few mistakes ultimately unravel his climb to the top. Based on the book “Wiseguy” by Nicholas Pileggi.
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. To me, being a gangster was better than being President of the United States.
So says Henry Hill in the opening moments of Martin Scorsese’s “GoodFellas,” a movie about the tradecraft and culture of organized crime in New York. That he narrates his own story–and is later joined by his wife, narrating hers–is crucial to the movie’s success. This is not an outsider’s view, but a point-of-view movie based on nostalgia for the lifestyle. “They were blue-collar guys,” Hill’s wife explains. “The only way they could make extra money, real extra money, was to go out and cut a few corners.” Their power was intoxicating. “If we wanted something, we just took it,” Henry says. “If anyone complained twice they got hit so bad, believe me, they never complained again.”