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Martin Scorsese’s pile-driving Mafia epic GoodFellas sees him working again with Robert De Niro for the 1 first time since 1982’s King ofComedy, reviving the creative partnership responsible for some of the most visceral and disturbing work to come out of the American commercial cinema in the past two decades. Trevor Johnston goes reeling through the years to assess just what makes the terrible twosome tick.


lam! Blam! Blam! It’s the sound of boxing gloves crunching into facial flesh and blood spraying the canvas as De Niro‘s bestial pugilist Jake La Motta demolishes another opponent in Raging Bull. It’s the sound of gunfire as De Niro‘s knight-errant cabbie Travis Bickle bursts into a New York tenement to blast away fingers. ears. heads. in the psychotic quest that is Taxi Driver. Above all. it‘s the sound ofdireetor Martin Scorsese at work. Good Fellas, his latest. doesn‘t exactly pull its punches either. A lengthy chronicle ofthe everyday madness of New York‘s organised

crime underworld. it begins with four men in a car speeding through the dusky New Jersey night. A typical movie opening perhaps, exceptthat only ; three and a halfofour characters are alive. i Ray Liotta plays Henry Hill. the real-life figure whose experiences, as told to journalist Nicholas Pileggi in the startling bestseller Wiseguy. provide the basis for the film‘s thrusting central narrative. Beside him are Robert De Niro‘s Jimmy Conway and Joe Pesci's Tommy DeVito. Hill’s two closest associates in over two decades oftheft, extortion, smuggling and murder. And the other guy? He’s travelling in the back, in the boot to be precise. He’s another Mafia type who

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