Books and Movies Reviews

goodfellas

Martin Scorcese's GoodFellas, a 1990 film based on Nicholas Pileggi's Wiseguys, follows Henry Hill through his life in organised crime. The movie begins when hefirst enters the neighbourhood organised crime branch in Brooklyn, New York, and finishes when he leaves it to go into the FBI's witness protection program. Henryfirst becomes associated with the Mafia when he gets an after school job at the cabs office across the road, which happens to be run by the Mafia. Hisfirst run-in with the law is when he is caught selling cigarettes out of the boot of a car. This incident taught him two important lessons leading to his graduation into a true part of the Mafia: never tell on your friends and always keep your mouth shut. Even though Henry was now a part of the Mafia, he could never be "made." That was the highest honour; you must be one hundred percent Italian to become a true member of the family. The way they worked was that the boss, Paul Sorvino (Paulie), would start a business or join a business as a partner and buy things on store credit, but never pay for it. They would sell everything they bought out the back door at a discount. Once they had borrowed all the money from the bank they could and were out of money they would burn the place down for the insurance. It did not matter that they sold products for less than they bought them for since it was all profit because they never paid for anything. The police never caused them any real trouble because the Mafia bribed them. Henry's main partners and closest friends are Tommy DeVito and Jimmy Conway, and they all work for Paulie. Everyone in the neighbourhood knew who they were and gave them respect. They never waited in lines and always got the best seats wherever they went. Violence surrounded them and people were killed just for saying the wrong thing. Tommy had a violent temper and often lost it after verbal arguments, which ended in brutal beat…