​GoodFellas Is Now On Netflix For An Education In Gangster Film

There may be a lot of movies and TV shows to sift through on Netflix, but thankfully we can tell you to stop scrolling - the search is over... we've found you the one.

Forget all the other fish in the streaming service sea, you want to get yourself straight over to GoodFellas, the Martin Scorsese gangster epic that's just been added online for Netflix users to either revisit a classic or to receive an education in cinema.

For anyone who's not seen it (if that's you, then you should jump straight onto Netflix after reading this), the 1990 film follows the rise and fall of Henry Hill, whose savvy ways in the criminal underground caught the attention of top mobsters - and, later, the FBI.

Adapted from on 1985 non-fiction book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi - which details the true story of mafia boss-turned FBI informant Henry Hill - the movie features an all-star cast including Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco and Paul Sorvino, many of whom Scorsese regularly collaborates with.

While there are many moments that will make you laugh and others that will make you squirm, technically the film is also a cinematic feat. Just take that famous one-take scene in the Copacabana club, which reflected Hill's new status as a respected mobster, as staff dance around the room to arrange the perfect spot for him and his missus.

Saying how the sequence was 'choreographed like a ballet', Scorsese told ShortList the shoot took a whole day to complete.

"All of [the scene] was extraordinarily difficult, but I had a great assistant director, Joseph Ready, and a determined and enthusiastic cinematographer, Michael Ballhaus, and a terrific crew," he said.

"We start the shot outside, when Ray Liotta gives the keys to the parking attendant, then we cross the street, and we go past the line of people waiting to get in then go inside. It took all day.

The famous scene took a whole day to shoot. Credit: Warner Bros
The famous scene took a whole day to shoot. Credit: Warner Bros

"First in the morning we did one shot with Bobby, the singer, and there was a song when the Champagne is sent. Then we laid out the different places where little vignettes would take place, where certain people would be, the people he's constantly giving money to, until he finally makes his way through the kitchen and it opens up into another world.

"The maître d' is there, in a blue jacket - he was the actual maître d' of the Copa in the late 60s - and he just beckons them over. At that point, the camera was to pan to the table, on the wave of the maître d', and it was all choreographed like a ballet.

"The camera had to hit the table at the right time and at the right speed, and then we followed the table into this inner sanctum, the holy of holies, at which point we see them sit and we see all the people, all the denizens of that world."

I mean, it's worth watching for that scene alone - but rest assured it's packed with plenty more like it.

Go on, whack it on after that roast dinner later. You won't regret it, wise guy.

Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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