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Goodfellas

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A True American Crime Story – GoodFellas When talking about a true American crime story, one can start and end the discussion with one of the most powerful and influential true stories ever told: GoodFellas. Based on the incredible true story, the film follows the rise and fall of Lucchese crime family associates Henry Hill and his friends throughout the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 1980s.

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Scorsese delights in the technical possibilities of filmmaking. There are flash cuts, freeze frames, crash zooms, montage, the most systematic, brilliant use of score both over and under the action in cinema and an audacious voiceover (often the sign of lazy storytelling — here an integral part of the movie).

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What finally got to me after seeing this film - what makes it a great film - is that I understood Henry Hill's feelings. Just as his wife Karen grew so completely absorbed by the Mafia inner life that its values became her own, so did the film weave a seductive spell.

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Lopate, Phillip. American movie critics: An anthology from the silents until now. New York: The Library of America, 2006.

Mamer, Bruce. Film production technique: Creating the accomplished image. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning, 2008.

Nochimson, Martha. Dying to belong: Gangster movies in Hollywood and Hong Kong. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007.

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Essay sample
Goodfellas
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