Love is like a fruit. It may look good, but you shouldn't bite in it until it's ripe.Nick Hertl
- Directed by Martin Scorsese. Written by Nicholas Pileggi and Martin Scorsese, based on Pileggi's book, Wiseguy: Life in a Mafia Family.
- As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. To me, being a gangster was better than being President of the United States.
- Hundreds of guys depended on Paulie and he got a piece of everything they made. And it was tribute, just like in the old country, except they were doing it here in America. And all they got from Paulie was protection from other guys looking to rip them off. And that's what it's all about. That's what the FBI could never understand. That what Paulie and the organization does is offer protection for people who can't go to the cops. That's it. That's all it is. They're like the police department for wiseguys.
- For us to live any other way was nuts. Uh, to us, those goody-good people who worked shitty jobs for bum paychecks and took the subway to work every day and worried about their bills were dead. I mean they were suckers. They had no balls. If we wanted something, we just took it. If anyone complained twice they got hit so bad, believe me, they never complained again.
- For most of the guys, killings got to be accepted. Murder was the only way that everybody stayed in line. You got out of line, you got whacked. Everybody knew the rules. But sometimes, even if people didn't get out of line, they got whacked. I mean, hits just became a habit for some of the guys. Guys would get into arguments over nothing and before you knew it, one of them was dead. And they were shooting each other all the time. Shooting people was a normal thing. It was no big deal.
- You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you said to, uh, somebody, "You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a goodfella. He's one of us." You understand? We were goodfellas. Wiseguys. But Jimmy and I could never be made because we had Irish blood. It didn't even matter that my mother was Sicilian. To become a member of a crew you've got to be one hundred per cent Italian so they can trace all your relatives back to the old country. See, it's the highest honor they can give you. It means you belong to a family and crew.
- If you're part of a crew, nobody ever tells you that they're going to kill you. It doesn't happen that way. There weren't any arguments or curses like in the movies. So your murderers come with smiles. They come as your friends, the people who have cared for you all of your life, and they always seem to come at a time when you're at your weakest and most in need of their help.
- We had it all, just for the asking. Our wives, mothers, kids, everybody rode along. I had paper bags filled with jewelry stashed in the kitchen. I had a sugar bowl full of coke next to the bed. Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hideout flats all over the city. I'd bet twenty, thirty grand over a weekend and then I'd either blow the winnings in a week or go to the sharks to pay back the bookies. Didn't matter. It didn't mean anything. When I was broke I would go out and rob some more. We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking. And now it's all over. And that's the hardest part. Today, everything is different. There's no action. I have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food. Right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.
- Sure, Mom, I settle down with a nice girl every night. Then I'm free the next morning.
- 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.
- It was like he had two families. The first time I was introduced to all of them at once, it was crazy. Paulie and his brothers had lots of sons and nephews. And almost all of them were named Peter or Paul. It was unbelievable. There must have been two dozen Peters and Pauls at the wedding. Plus, they were all married to girls named Marie. And they named all their daughters Marie. By the time I finished meeting everybody, I thought I was drunk.
- But still I couldn't hurt him. How could I hurt him? I couldn't even bring myself to leave him. The truth was that no matter how bad I felt, I was still very attracted to him. Why should I give him to someone else? Why should she win?
- Henry: You're a pistol! You're really funny. You're really funny!
- Tommy: What do you mean I'm funny?
- Henry: It's funny, you know. It's a good story, it's funny, you're a funny guy!
- Tommy: [dangerously] What do you mean? You mean the way I talk?
- [Everyone becomes quiet]
- Henry: It's just, you know, you're just funny. It's funny, the way you tell the story and everything.
- Tommy: Funny how? What's funny about it?
- Anthony: Tommy, no, you got it all wrong —
- Tommy: Oh, no, Anthony. He's a big boy, he knows what he said. [to Henry] What did ya say? Funny how?
- Henry: Just —
- Tommy: What?
- Henry: Just, ya know, you're funny.
- Tommy: You mean, let me understand this, 'cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how? I mean funny like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny? Funny how? How am I funny?
- Henry: Just... you know, how you tell the story, y'know —
- Tommy: No, no, I don't know. You said it! How do I know? You said I'm funny. How the fuck am I funny? What the fuck is so funny about me?! Tell me, tell me what's funny!
- [Long pause]
- Henry: Get the fuck out of here, Tommy!
- [Everyone laughs]
- Tommy: Ya motherfucker! I almost had him, I almost had him! You stuttering prick, you! Frankie, was he shaking? I wonder about you sometimes, Henry. You may fold under questioning.
- Three Decades of Life in the Mafia.
- "As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster." -- Henry Hill, Brooklyn, N.Y. 1955.
- Murderers come with smiles.
- Shooting people was 'No big deal'.
- In a world that's powered by violence, on the streets where the violent have power, a new generation carries on an old tradition.
- Robert De Niro - Jimmy Conway
- Ray Liotta - Henry Hill
- Joe Pesci - Tommy DeVito
- Lorraine Bracco - Karen Hill
- Paul Sorvino - Paul Cicero
- Chuck Low - Morris 'Morrie' Kessler
- Christopher Serrone - Young Henry Hill
- Frank Sivero - Frankie Carbone
- Tony Darrow - Sonny Bunz
- Frank Vincent - Billy Batts
- Frank Adonis - Anthony Stabile
- Catherine Scorsese - Mrs. DeVito, Tommy's Mother
- Gina Mastrogiacomo - Janice Rossi
- Suzanne Shepherd - Karen's Mother
- Debi Mazar - Sandy
- Kevin Corrigan - Michael Hill
- Charles Scorsese - Vinnie
- Michael Imperioli - Spider
- Tony Sirico - Tony Stacks
- Samuel L. Jackson - Stacks Edwards
- Vincent Pastore - Man with Coat Rack
- Jerry Vale - Himself
- Henny Youngman - Himself