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Roger Davidson

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Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci reteamed ten years after Raging Bull to make this in-your-face adaptation of Nicholas Pileggi's novel, about big-time hood Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and his thirty years in the mob underworld. During these years, he is mentored by the paranoid Irish mobster Jimmy Conway (De Niro) and the hot-blooded killer Tommy DeVito (Pesci). His relationship with his wife (Lorraine Bracco) is strained, mostly because she despises his lifestyle while at the same time seems to relish in it.

Only Scorsese could make such unsympathetic characters such as Liotta, Pesci and Co. so damned fascinating. The camera-work, art direction and editing are razor sharp, capturing the cold-blooded underworld in its glory days during the 50's and 60's, as well as the downward spiral many of it's members took in the narcissistic 70's and 80's. Pesci offers the stand-out performance, as the at times strangely charming, mostly viscous killer. The best scene in the film (after Liotta has laughed and told him he's a "really funny guy", to which Pesci angrily demands Liotta to tell him "How am I funny?!!"), will possibly go down in history as the most quotable scene from a Scorsese picture, since De Niro uttered the phrase "You talkin' to me?" in Scorsese's violent classic Taxi Driver.

My Rating = Four Stars

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