In 1990,Goodfellaswas released worldwide and instantly became a mobster classic. Martin Scorsese served as the director of the film and also co-wrote the script with Nicholas Pileggi.
Goodfellasis an adapted screenplay from Pileggi’s novel,Wiseguys, which is based on the true story of Henry Hill and his mob associates. Since the story was based on real-life subjects, the script had to be written through a historical lens, with specific verbiage. Through extraordinary talent and well-developed research, Scorsese was able to deliver an excellent film, one that has become an icon of the gangster genre.
In this article, we’re going to look at the best quotes from Goodfellas and briefly explain the context and importance of each.
Famous Goodfellas Quotes
16.“Jimmy and I could never be made because we had Irish blood, didn’t even matter that my Mother was Sicilian.”
Goodfellas - Layla Scene
This quote is especially pertinent in the wake of the recently releasedThe Irishman. Most of Scorsese’s gangster pictures are about the Italian Mafia, which is something the Irish can never be a part of. No matter how strong or smart you may be, there’s a ceiling on how high you can go in the Italian mob if you’re Irish.
Joe Pesci Goodfellas Quotes
15.“I need this knife Ma’. I’m gonna’ take this, is that okay?”
Goodfellas- Tommy’s Mother’s House
Here is a prime example ofdramatic irony. Tommy tells his Mother that he needs a knife to cut off the hooves of a deer he struck (he says that it’s a Sin if he doesn’t.) But we as the audience know that he intends to use the knife as a weapon and as a tool to dispose of Billy Batts.
Famous Goodfellas Quotes
14.“I’m gonna’ go get the papers, get the papers.”
Goodfellas- Meet the Crew
Sometimes a supporting character can be explained in just a single sentence. For Jimmy Two-Times, that’s exactly the case. Jimmy Two-Times says everything twice because that’s his schtick.
Goodfellas Quotes Ray Liotta
13.“Jimmy was the kind of guy who rooted for the bad guy in movies.”
Goodfellas- Jimmy Conway
How do you characterize two people without any action? One way to do so is to have a character narrate about the other. That’s exactly what Liotta’s Henry Hill does in this scene.
Goodfellas Painting Quote
12.“Did Tommy ever tell you about my painting”
Goodfellas- Tommy’s Mother’s House
God Bless Tommy’s sweet Mother for cooking up dinner when her son, Henry and Jimmy show up for supplies to bury a body. It’s a strange scene yet filled with so much of that indescribable charm that Scorsese often evokes, much like the painting of two dogs and a man, “One facing East, the other facing West.”
Jimmy Conway Quotes in Goodfellas
11.“What did you say? Are you being a fucking wiseguy with me?”
Goodfellas- Christmas Party
There’s one thing you don’t want to be if you’re going to make it as a mobster and that is a wiseguy. A wiseguy is a person who thinks they’re smarter than they really are, and fails to show proper respect to their Mafia superiors.Wiseguyalso happens to be the name of Pileggi’s book which is a fun allusion within the movie.
Best Henry Hill Goodfellas Quotes
10.“Everybody else in the joint was doing real time, mixed together living like pigs. But we lived alone, we owned the joint.”
The benefits of being a prominent mobster don’t stop when you go to prison. That’s shown inGoodfellaswhen many of the character go to prison at the same time. Although locked up, the men still live like kings, smuggling in food, alcohol and drugs.
Best Karen Goodfellas Quotes
9.“You want her to visit you? Good! Let her stay up all night crying and writing letters to the parole board.”
Goodfellas- Prison Scene
Henry’s wife Karen gets the short end of the stick when he goes to prison. She’s the one that has to take care of the kids both emotionally and financially. On top of that, she also feels like she needs to smuggle contraband into the prison for Henry to use.
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Joe Pesci Goodfellas Quotes
8.“Alright, I’ll tell ya’ something, go fuck your mother.”
Goodfellas- Laughing Scene
Joe Pesci’s character Tommy is how should I say, short tempered. When he feels disrespected, he strikes back like an uncoiled viper. The man on the receiving end of Tommy’s insult should just be thankful that the bite wasn’t as venomous as a gunshot wound to the head.
Best Goodfellas Quotes Ray Liotta
7.“We were treated like movie stars with muscle. We had it all just for the asking.”
Goodfellasshows the highest highs and lowest lows of gangster life. Henry Hill is a man who experienced it all, and loved every minute of it. No matter the questionable morality of his actions, Henry knew that the world was at his fingertips for two reasons: fear and money.
Famous Goodfellas Quotes
6.“Now go home and get your fucking shine box.”
Goodfellas- Bar Scene
With this quote, made mobster Billy Batts made a critical mistake, and that isdon’t mess with Tommy DeVitio. Although he says he was just “busting his balls,” Tommy didn’t see it that way. In telling Tommy to go home and get his shine box, Billy Batts signed his own death warrant.
Best Goodfellas Quote
5.“We always called each other good fellas.”
Goodfellas- Layla Scene
Ah yes, the old “say the name of the movie” trick. Sometimes this will make the audience scoff and say,oh no don’t say it. But here, it actually adds some strong emotional resonance. Even though these men are heartless with their actions, they still believe in friendship.
Best Goodfellas Quotes Henry Hill
4.“I’m an average nobody, I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.”
Henry Hill always dreamed of being a gangster, but even that dream eventually turned into a nightmare. After selling out his friends and entering Witness Protection, Henry is forced to be something he never wanted to be, an average nobody.
Joe Pesci Goodfellas Quotes
3. “You think I’m funny? Funny how? Funny like a clown? Do I amuse you?”
Goodfellas- Laughing Scene
This famous scene fromGoodfellasis one of the films very best. While at a restaurant. Pesci and Liotta trade jabs at one another over an elaborate joke, prompting Pesci to ask “what’s so funny?” From there, tension builds as the audience is left questioning whether Pesci was ever joking at all.
Goodfellas Movie Quotes Ray Liotta
2. “As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.”
Goodfellas- Opening Scene
Here’s the setup forGoodfellas: who’s Henry Hill? A gangster. What has he wanted to be his entire life? A gangster. There, that’s pretty much it. Credit to Pileggi and Scorsese for communicating Hill’s character in so few words.
Jimmy Conway Goodfellas Quotes
1.“Never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.”
Goodfellas- Henry gets pinched
These are the two golden rules of being a mobster; don’t rat on your friends and keep your mouth shut. Jimmy Conway tells Henry these rules as his mentor, elder and superior. But in the end, the lesson is lost as Henry rats Jimmy out in an act of irony.
Goodfellas Script Breakdown
Did these quotes amuse you? There's more to theGoodfellasscript than these iconic quotes—the characters, locations, and drama give us a complete story and a blueprint for one of the best movies ever.
Up Next: Goodfellas Script →
- 1) “I'm funny how? ...
- 2) “F*** you, pay me.” – ...
- 3) “I like this one. ...
- 4) “We always called each other Goodfellas.” – ...
- 5) “Why don't you go f*** yourself, Tommy?” – ...
- 6) “I got to admit the truth.
- "They Even Shot Tommy In The Face, So His Mother Couldn't Give Him An Open Coffin At The Funeral.” ...
- "I'm An Average Nobody. ...
- "Paulie May Have Moved Slow, But It Was Only Because Paulie Didn't Have To Move For Anybody." ...
- "When We Wanted Something, We Just Took It!"
Karen : [narrating] I know there are women, like my best friends, who would have gotten out of there the minute their boyfriend gave them a gun to hide. But I didn't. I got to admit the truth. It turned me on.What does Ray Liotta say at the end of Goodfellas? ›
I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook” following the ratting out of his mobster friends and entering witness protection program. And in the helicopter scene, Liotta also proved he was no ordinary actor.What movie line do I amuse you? ›
In 1990, Goodfellas was released worldwide and instantly became a mobster classic. Martin Scorsese served as the director of the film and also co-wrote the script with Nicholas Pileggi.What is the most famous line of all time? ›
|1||"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."||1939|
|2||"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."||1972|
|3||"You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."||1954|
|4||"Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."||1939|
'GoodFellas' (1990): "As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.”What is the sauce quote in Goodfellas? ›
Quotes. Henry Hill : [narrating] I felt he used too many onions, but it was still a very good sauce. Paul Cicero : Vinnie, don't put too many onions in the sauce.What is the garlic quote in Goodfellas? ›
He was doing a year for contempt, and he had this wonderful system for doing the garlic. He used a razor, and he used to slice it so thin that he used to liquefy in the pan with just a little oil.How many times does Goodfellas say the F word? ›
Joe Pesci's psychotic mobster Tommy DeVito is the cause of most of the profanity, not least in the unforgettable “funny how?” sequence. There are 300 uses of f**k and its variants over the course of the film, and nearly as many gallons of blood shed.
One dog goes one way, and the other dog goes the other way.What is the greatest scene from Goodfellas? ›
The Copacabana tracking shot
There's no question that the most iconic moment in Goodfellas is the long tracking shot that follows Henry as he takes Karen to the Copacabana nightclub. They arrive at the club and there's a long line of customers coming out of the door.
There's nothing worse than working with somebody who doesn't know what they're doing, especially if you've had experience.What are the 2 rules in life Goodfellas? ›
You learned the two greatest thing in life, never rat on your friends, and always keep your mouth shut.Did Henry rat out Paulie and Jimmy? ›
Convinced that he and his family are marked for death, Henry decides to become an informant for the FBI. He and his family enter the federal Witness Protection Program, disappearing into anonymity to save their lives, but not before he testifies against Paulie and Jimmy in court.What is the most said line in movies? ›
- "Sit down and shut up." ...
- "There's a storm coming." ...
- "Don't do anything stupid." ...
- "Tell ____ I love him/her/them." ...
- "I wouldn't do that if I were you." ...
- "Yeah, you better run!"
What Is the Most Famous Line in a Movie Ever? According to the American Film Institute, the most famous line in a movie is “Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn”. This is spoken by actor Clark Gable who plays the role of Rhett Butler in the 1939 American Civil War epic, "Gone with the Wind".Who said as far back as I can remember? ›
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster, said Ray Liotta, and the rest has become legend.What are 5 famous quotes? ›
|That's one small step for a man, a giant leap for mankind.||Neil Armstrong||English|
|The love of money is the root of all evil.||the Bible||Greek|
|The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.||Franklin D. Roosevelt||English|
|The truth will set you free.||the Bible||Greek|
If you're walking down the right path and you're willing to keep walking, eventually you'll make progress.
Henry Hill : [narrating] And then there was Jimmy Two Times, who got that nickname because he said everything twice, like: Jimmy Two Times : I'm gonna go get the papers, get the papers.What does Henry Hill say at the end of Goodfellas? ›
In the final scene of the film, before title cards and credits roll, Henry ends his narration saying "I'm an average nobody. Get to live the rest of my life like a schnook." He then enters the home the FBI placed him in and closes its door on the viewers.What are the top 10 movie quotes? ›
- “ May the Force be with you.” - Star Wars, 1977.
- “ There's no place like home.” - The Wizard of Oz, 1939.
- “ I'm the king of the world!” - ...
- “ Carpe diem. ...
- “ Elementary, my dear Watson.” - ...
- “ It's alive! ...
- “ My mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. ...
- “ I'll be back.” -
The sheriffs rave that it is the best barbecue they have ever had, and in answer to the question about why it's so good, are told by the cook at The Whistle Stop that “the secret's in the sauce.” This became the tag line of the movie.What are the green drinks in Goodfellas? ›
Crème de menthe (pronounced [kʁɛm də mɑ̃t], French for "mint cream") is a sweet, mint-flavored alcoholic beverage. It is available commercially in a colorless version (called "white") and a green version (colored by the mint leaves or by added coloring if made from extract instead of leaves).What is the bar in Goodfellas? ›
Neir's Tavern, Queens bar featured in 'Goodfellas,' honors life of Ray Liotta | PIX11.What was Tommy's nickname in Goodfellas? ›
Biography. Tommy DeVito was first employed as a shoe-shine boy to the neighborhood mobsters, earning the nickname "Spitshine Tommy" - an alias that he came to despise as he grew older.What is the famous painting in Goodfellas? ›
The Irish origin of the "One dog goes one way and the other goes the other" painting in the movie 'Goodfellas'. The painting was by Goodfellas co-writer Nicholas Pileggi's mother. It was a recreation of a photo of a man named John Weaving who lived on a houseboat on the River Shannon.What is Paulie in Goodfellas? ›
Paul "Paulie" Cicero (born July 9, 1914) is the anti-villainous overarching antagonist of the 1990 film Goodfellas. He is based on the late real-life mob boss Paul Vario. He was portrayed by the late Paul Sorvino, who also portrayed Alphonse Perrier du von Scheck in Hey Arnold!What was the first curse word in a movie? ›
Little by little, the gates opened a little wider, but swear words were basically limited to dramas. Then in 1970, Robert Altman's comedy M*A*S*H became the first major studio film to use the f-word, a passing comment during a football scene.
Analysing over 3,500 film scripts, the study found that The Wolf of Wall Street contained the most swear-words, with a staggering 715 in total, with the film's supporting actor Jonah Hill taking the prize for the biggest potty-mouth in modern movies.What movie has the most swear words in history? ›
- Fury (David Ayer, 2014) – 489.
- Straight Outta Compton (F. ...
- Summer of Sam (Spike Lee, 1999) – 467.
- Nil By Mouth (Gary Oldman, 1997) – 432.
- Reservoir Dogs (Quentin Tarantino, 1992) – 418.
- Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (Mike Judge, 1996) – 414.
"No matter how little money and how few possessions you own, having a dog makes you rich."What is the quote to sit with a dog on a hillside? ›
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.”What is the dog and snake quote? ›
Motivational Quotes 👑 on Instagram: “A dog will look down when they've done wrong, but a snake will look you right in the eyes.”Which is better Scarface or Goodfellas? ›
Goodfellas is unimpeachably great, but some might say Scarface is even more influential. After Al Pacino's drug lord Tony Montana shook up the neon-lit underworld of 1980s Miami, the Brian De Palma-directed flick went on to inspire culture, style and swagger for decades to come.Who snitches in Goodfellas? ›
Henry Hill Jr.
|Unit||82nd Airborne Division|
Goodfellas received widespread acclaim upon release: the critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes calls it "arguably the high point of Martin Scorsese's career". The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, with Pesci winning for Best Supporting Actor.What did Robert De Niro say about Ray Liotta's death? ›
During the interview, De Niro was asked about his co-star Liotta's passing to which he replied by admitting that he had not been in touch with the actor after their brief engagement while filming the 1990 crime drama and he also confessed that he in fact did not personally know Liotta but emphasized that he loved his ...What are 3 famous quotes from Hitchcock about filmmaking? ›
“For me, the cinema is not a slice of life, but a piece of cake.” “Self-plagiarism is style.” “The only way to get rid of my fears is to make films about them.” “There is no terror in the bang, only in the anticipation of it.”
Like Hill, his character in GoodFellas (Jimmy Conway) is very much based on a real person and his true story. In 1980, Hill was arrested on drug trafficking charges. To get out of trouble, Hill testified against those involved in the Lufthansa heist and was subsequently placed in the Witness Protection Program.Why is it called Goodfellas? ›
So, according to Henry's narration, "goodfella" is a term of endearment, a way to mark someone as one of your own.Are there any inappropriate scenes in Goodfellas? ›
Several scenes show passionate kissing and touching as foreplay to sexual intercourse. Oral sex is implied but not actually in full view. Adultery is shown to be part of the gangster lifestyle.Did Paulie get Tommy killed? ›
In real life, it's believed that Paul Vario (Cicero in Goodfellas) told the Gambino family that Tommy killed Batts, as Tommy had caused too many problems for him and his crew and because Tommy tried to rape Henry's wife, Karen, while Henry was in prison and Paul was having an affair with her.Does Paulie become a rat? ›
Another popular anecdote floating around for years is that Sirico agreed to do the series as long as Paulie never became a “rat,” aka government informant, as the actor had a criminal past and took the issue seriously. It seems that is most likely accurate, as Schirripa noted that Sirico said, “I'll never play a rat.”Did Jimmy like Tommy more than Henry? ›
He was closer to Tommy, they knew each other longer. Plus he did not expect that to happen. Henry was a liability to Jimmy because he was arrested for Drugs. Jimmy had to get rid of Henry.What is the famous mobster line? ›
- 5 "Leave the Gun.
- 6 “Either You're Somebody, or You Ain't Nobody.” - American Gangster. ...
- 7 “For Guys Like Me, Las Vegas Washes Away Your Sins. ...
- 8 “You've Got Nothing. ...
- 9 “I Like the Stink of the Streets. ...
- 10 “You a Gangster Now. ...
|Menace II Society||1993||300|
Upon his death from a torturous, four-day bout with pneumonia in 1932, Frank McErlane was described by Chicago Police as the “toughest gangster of them all.” His ruthless bootlegging peers in the Windy City feared him so much they reportedly paid him a “pension” of hundreds of dollars a week just to stay out of town.Who is the biggest female gangster? ›
- Ma Barker. Kate Barker, also known as Ma Barker, was a prominent and influential figure during the notorious “public enemy era” of the 1930s. ...
- Bonnie Elizabeth Parker. ...
- Sara Aldrete. ...
- Tilly Devine. ...
- Kate Leigh. ...
- Bessie Starkman. ...
- Lola la Chata. ...
- Renae Lawrence.
“Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.” – “Taxi Driver” (1976) – Another great line from “Taxi Driver,” this early voice-over monologue showcases Travis Bickle's scary sense of morality.