Thorough out the course of cinematic history, countless films have been released about the Italian mafia. Two films in particular have had a significant impact on the way the mafia is perceived through the eyes of American audiences. Those films are Goodfellas and The Godfather (the trilogy). Both movies are widely considered two of the greatest of all time, garnering many Academy Award nominations and wins. Although there is no denying the popularity of both of these films, we have speculated that they may not be the most accurate depictions of how the mafia operates. Violence is definitely a part of the mafia’s history, but not in the way it has been portrayed in film. In Goodfellas and The Godfather, it seems like every time a problem …show more content…
One of the most violent scenes is when Michael (youngest Corleone son) is sent to kill the leader of the rival family and the police officer who accompanies him. The scene is very graphic and very bloody. An examples of a scene that contains unnecessary fighting is when Sonny (oldest Corleone son) learns that his sister’s husband beats her. He goes out of his way to find him in the street and beat him to a bloody pulp. In another outrageously violent scene, Sonny is murdered point blank by multiple gangsters firing guns at him from all angles. The ending is another example of excessive violence. When Michael becomes the new Don, his first act is to murder the leaders of some of the biggest crime families in the city. The sequence is very dark and very violent. It’s no wonder that this film is not allowed to be viewed in some Italian households; it’s these particular scenes that account for the Italian’s perception of this film: that it is an inaccurate depiction of the mafia that uses violence to real in audiences. To American audiences, however, these scenes have become iconic in the film industry and helped The Godfather receive the reputation of one of the greatest films in …show more content…
It tells the story of a teenager who has always wanted to be a gangster. One day, he finds his way in. As the years pass, he works his way up higher and higher into the organization and life couldn’t be better for him, until things begin to go downhill. The film was nominated for Best Picture in 1991, so a lot of time has passed since The Godfather and yet the similarities are uncanny. Both films have been compared to one another, with many film critics being split between which is the better film. Goodfellas was directed by Martin Scorsese in 1990. He was born November 17th, 1942 in Queens, New York. Like Coppola, he was raised in an Italian-American household. Both his paternal and maternal grandparents emigrated from Palermo. He graduated from New York University with a degree in film and immediately solidified himself into the film industry as a director to watch. Many critics consider Goodfellas to be his greatest work. In my opinion, Goodfellas is significantly more violent than The Godfather, but it doesn’t get as bad of a reputation with Italian families. Why is that? I believe it’s because Goodfellas focuses on more on an American type of family, unlike The
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Italian Americana 9, no. 2 (1991): 271–78. http://www.jstor.org/stable/29776100. This source is an article that gives a synopsis of the 1990 film, Goodfellas. The article summarizes a lot of the timeline and plot of the movie before beginning to analyze Goodfellas against the other films the director, Martin Scorsese, had previously produced.
Roman Colleton Mrs. Manatos English II 21 May 2023 How the Chicago Mafias Impacted the 1900s Culture and Society of America "Mafia is a process, not a thing. Mafia is a form of clan - cooperation to which it's individual members pledge lifelong loyalty.... Friendship, connections, family ties, trust, loyalty, obedience - this was the glue that held us together." ~ Joseph Bonanno, aka (Joe Bananas) , is a notorious mobster known for his hard-headed personality. The mafia is a prestigious organized crime group, that has close ties with political figures and “elites”.
The films Gangs of New York and Goodfellas both directed by Martin Scorsese and are based in New York, the former in the 1860's and the latter in 1960's. Scorsese is known for directing gangster films with an historical accuracy. Gangs of New York was based on an era rather than a specific person's story. He took some artistic liberties with dates and personalities but based the story around characters known in the gang rings in the 1860's. Goodfellas however is based on a true life story of Henry Hill who was a member of a New York based branch of the Mafia.
“Never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut” (Quotes from Goodfellas, n.d.). This quote from the 1990 critically acclaimed film Goodfellas encompasses some of the main foundations the American Mafia is built upon. And although this film was a major motion picture created in Hollywood, it was based on a true story and kept most of the key aspects of the Mafia’s culture. The role that family played in each individual sect across the country was unified in the sense that it was, by far, the most important to every member of the American Mafia. In the Mafia’s prime (approximately 1920-1985), it shared enough values with the dominant American culture, while maintaining a good amount of differences, to be considered a U.S. co-culture.
Al Capone was one of the most notorious gangsters of the first half of the 20th century. Based mainly in Chicago, Capone made hundreds of millions of dollars in various illegal businesses such as bootlegging, gambling, prostitution, racketeering, and various other mob activities. Although also a philanthropist, Capone was a ruthless killer who believed in eliminating his competition. A true understanding of this crime czar’s career can be gained from studying his beginnings after sixth grade in New York, his relocation to Chicago, the growth of his empire, his arrests, and prison time, and his deathbed in Florida. Beginnings Mr. Capone started his career in violence at a very young age.
It did have guns, violence, expensive Cadillac cars and nice suits, however the way Scorsese told the story was something new. We got to a personal level with the protagonist, we heard his thoughts and emotions, witnessed his weak moments. This was not explored in the genre as in depth as it was in Goodfellas. The audience doesn’t get the immediate sense of a rise of power because the protagonist is doomed never to reach nobility as we do see in such films as Scarface and Public Enemy. The Protagonist, Henry Hill, would have never been a leader or boss of the mob family due to his Irish inheritance.
The characterization in the film Goodfellas by director Martin Scorsese is based on a true story of the Italian mafia, and the commonality the director Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby (20013) share is an organized crime theme. Both film directors express the unique composition of mise-en-scène. The sets, costumes in the films are realistic to each time period in which they are set. The films elements of mise-en-scene influence the viewer’s a psychological sentiment in relation with the film.
Throughout the course of cinematic history one of the most popular genres of film has been “gangster” or “crime”, in particular a focus on the Mafia. A couple of the most popular films have been The Godfather, The Godfather Part ii, and Goodfellas. Some of the similar characteristics that the audience notices after watching these movies are: violence, power, family, etc. Of course those examples of films come from the perspective of the American directors who made them. Films like La Siciliana Ribelle (The Sicilian Girl) and I Cento Passi (One Hundred Steps) offer a perspective from Italian filmmakers.
The director Martin Scorsese’s characterizes the New York mafia in the film Goodfellas on the basis of a true story, and the commonality that Scorsese has with the director Baz Luhrmann’s film, The Great Gatsby (2013), is that they share a depiction of characters in New York organized crime which creates the cinematic mood reflecting different eras. The cinematic language of both directors’ communicates to viewers by way of their artistic use of mise-en-scène, staging and design, as well as composition in a drama genre. The film Goodfellas departs from the consistent violence of a gangster film genre through the way Scorsese portrays the characters. For example, the scene where Henry’s (Ray Liotta) voice-over point of view shifts to his wife Karen (Lorraine Bracco), she describes her average lifestyle, and later the film depicts mise-en-scène in the expensive parties, family gatherings, poker gambling games, and restaurant/night club gatherings.
It follows the Corleone family between 1945-55, the passage of power in the face of huge changes and the longevity of family. Winner of 3 Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay, Picture and Actor for Brando from the 10 it was nominated for, it isn't hard to see why it's now a formula to follow for filmmaking and narrative.
Prohibition Prohibition was a major part of the 1920s, “Prohibition created more crime. It destroyed legal jobs and created a black market in which criminals violently fought over” (Hanson). The 18th amendment was mainly created to help stop problems and abuse that was occurring in families because of alcoholic husbands. The amendment also promised to lower crime and violence rates, but instead, it increased them. Prohibition had the intention to do good but, it ended up creating many more problems for the U.S. to handle both economically and socially.
In both stories, the tone is different one is more of an old time tone while the other is more of a modern tone. In Godfather Death, they are in the 1800s so the way that things were done then are more of a mid-evil kind of way things happened. In this story, there was a man who had twelve children and
What Scorsese did differently was that he made male protagonists vulnerable again, just like they were in the old mobster movie days, but in a bit more realistic way Scorsese produces movies in a way that, according to Kolker, he „Determines our point of view and our emotional and intellectual attachment to the film. We are therefore, scarcely allowed any separation from what the central character is seeing. “ (218). He even does this directly by breaking the fourth wall twice in Goodfellas, and therefore making us feel as though we are the acomplices in all the things that were happening in the film. And we all know that it is very hard to judge ourselves effectively.
The Godfather (1972) is said to be one of the greatest films ever made. When this movie was released in 1972, it was nominated for Ten Academy Awards and it won three: Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film was adapted from the book with the same name written by award winning author of mafia fiction, Mario Puzo. This film takes place in a span of ten years following the life of Don Corleone, the head of the Corleone Crime Family. It was a film that changed the history of cinema, introducing a very talented filmmaker and several acting legends in the telling of a story of a Sicilian Crime Family.