Celebrating 30 years since the premiere of Martin Scorsese's signature film, this chronicle of the making and afterlife of the film that introduced America to the real modern gangster features interviews with the film's major players and scene-by-scene analysis that seeks to understand the film's magic.
... reductions have led to the film’s mischaracterization, in certain circles, as a 'bro' movie—a masturbatory ode to guy’s behaving badly. Thankfully, critic Glenn Kenny’s extraordinary Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas offers a great deal more nuance than that on the film’s 30th anniversary ... Kenny displays a shrewd grasp of detail here. He doesn’t reduce Scorsese, De Niro, actor Joe Pesci, producer Barbara De Fina, Wiseguy author Nicholas Pileggi, real-life prosecutor Ed McDonald, and the various real-life mobsters that appeared in Goodfellas to the status of legend-hood. Rather, he portrays them as gifted, tormented human beings, centering on their professional processes. Along the way, Kenny foregrounds an oft-neglected element of Goodfellas’s greatness: its microscopic, docudramatic sense of atmosphere and character behavior ... Honoring fact as well as fiction, Kenny mounts an ambitious mixture of cinephilic essay and true-crime exposé ... Made Men has a fluid, intuitive structure that recalls, yes, Goodfellas, as Kenny merges an intricate analysis of the production with off-kilter anecdotes about Hill and the gangsters in his and the film’s orbit ... Kenny’s painstakingly reveals the rich, bottomless precision of Goodfellas ... Kenny doesn’t entirely grapple with...contradiction, though he brings Goodfellas down to Earth with his own unforgettable rendering of Hill as an over-the-hill schemer. No one else has seen this magnificent, agonizing, unmooring movie with such piercing clarity.
... a thorough and highly entertaining look at the creation and legacy of what many consider one of the best mob movies of all time ... Every aside, every reference to something as simple as why the coda to Eric Clapton’s 'Layla' was used in one scene grows into a fascinating behind-the-scenes exploration. Using original interviews, existing criticism, and even the DVD commentary track, Kenny leaves no thread unpulled, no stone unturned.
Film critic and journalist Kenny knocks one out of the park with this thorough, well-documented, sharply written book about the 1990 Martin Scorsese film Goodfellas. More than your typical making-of book, this also offers a critical investigation into the film’s history ... The author also provides an insightful scene-by-scene breakdown of the film and even some trivia (example: one of the bit-part actors was an NYPD detective who later became a hit man for the Mob). A wonderful analysis of, and tribute to, a classic film.