The Godfather vs. Goodfellas The Godfather vs. Goodfellas
Four writers discuss the old question "The Godfather vs. Goodfellas". Which one of those classic gangster movies held up better? The Godfather vs. Goodfellas

Forget “Marvel vs. DC”- there is a discussion that has been going on for years that is much more intriguing to movie fans:

The Godfather (1972) by Francis Ford Coppola vs. Goodfellas (1990) by Martin Scorsese.

Due to the 25th anniversary of the latter, four Supernaughts- writers decided to heat the old debate up again and we pitted these two classics of the gangster genre against each other! Which movie will win?

Some notes in the beginning:

  • Nobody saw the contributions of the other writers beforehand, myself included. Parallels in the argumentation are unintended and coincidental.
  • It’s only a fun match: not to be taken too seriously.

 

The Godfather/Goodfellas

IAB: 1/1

“Can’t we all just get along?” I know it’s a worn out cliche – a punchline, even. But that’s the first thing that I think, whenever the two movies are pitted against each other. You see – I like to think that they have both pretty much earned their place in the selected club of “Classic Films”.

True, they have some similarities; both are adapted from books (Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Nicholas Pileggi’s Wiseguy), both are dealing with organized crime, both tell a story of one man rising in the ranks, and both were directed by men that had something to prove. Yes, Francis Ford Coppola had won an Oscar for the screenplay of Patton, but his directing career was NOT going so hot: his two previous films as director – The Rain People and Finian’s Rainbow – were both massive flops. And Scorsese was just coming off the massive public backlash of  The Last Temptation of Christ. And that’s pretty much where the similarities end.

The Godfather is a work of fiction, Goodfellas is based on a true story. The Godfather is a family chronicle at heart, the Mafia- thing is pretty much just a backdrop. And the man in the spotlight is Michael Corleone – the “good son”, who slowly accepts his fate as the only true future head of the family. In Goodfellas, Henry Hill is really an outsider who is just observing the dealings of the organized crime. As neither he nor Jimmy Conway are Italian Americans, they can never really BE part of the “family”. Only Tommy can – and look how well that works out for him!

And then there’s the completely opposite styles in which these films are made. Whereas Coppola made The Godfather in a very restrained, almost classical Old Hollywood- style of static shots, long takes, operatic melodrama that’s occasionally shocked by sudden bursts of violence – with Goodfellas, Scorsese went almost rogue. The film is like a rollercoaster- ride of music, fast-paced editing (slow-motion, jump-cuts, continuity occasionally all but disregarded), zipping camera-shots, performances of heightened energy and pent-up violence and a kick-ass soundtrack.

And that’s as good as an analogy I can come up with, actually: The Godfather is classical music, Goodfellas is Rock’ n’ Roll. And as anyone who loves ALL music like me (well, almost all), there’s a time when you wanna listen to classical and a time to listen Rock’ n’ Roll. But you love both just as much. Same applies to these two films.

IAB

The Godfather

Scott: 0/1

There’s no reason to draw this out, I think Goodfellas is a far superior film to The Godfather. Okay, maybe not superior, but a better film. On the surface, and given my bias for movies from the 70’s you would think The Godfather would come out on top.

After all, The Godfather has an all-star (though relatively unknown then) cast, a score people still remember, based on a bestselling novel, and some of pop culture’s most enduring icons (well, okay one icon, Brando’s Godfather). It has everything I love about 70’s cinema, but it has one fatal flaw.

The Godfather is one of the most boring movies about the Mafia ever made. That goes for the sequel, and I won’t even talk about the abortion that was Godfather III.  They’re overlong, with a lot of stilted direction, and some dialogue that would be too cheesy for comics of the time. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure why it gets all the adoration it does, as it’s really average. I can think of several other movies that are far more interesting, and better made.

That includes Goodfellas. If The Godfather was a Quaalude, then Goodfellas would be crystal meth. Goodfellas picks you up by the collar, shakes you like a baby and never lets go. The Godfather is your 90-year-old grandfather telling you the same story you’ve heard over and over and over again. That doesn’t necessarily make it bad, at least not the first time. However, as the movie(s) drag on, you lose interest in the characters.

Goodfellas has such an iconic opening, with an incredible array of characters that you get hooked from the get go. Certainly the Godfather has its own classic scenes, the wedding, the horses head, etc., but they’re so far in between one another, you could have a power nap and not miss anything. For me, with Goodfellas, there’s simply not one wasted scene. In spite of its running length of almost three hours, Goodfellas certainly feels like it’s half that time.
And while The Godfather has the classic line, “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse,” Goodfellas has, “How am I funny?”  I also think Joe Pesce’s character would kick the shit out of Marlon Brando’s Don Corleone. The dialogue in Goodfellas is smarter, funnier, grittier, and sounds more realistic to my ears while the Godfather’s is more formal and theatrical. Much of that can be laid at the feet of Mario Puzo who wrote the novel. The book is a bestseller because of the story, not because it was well written. Puzo has never been a good writer, but at times he has been a good storyteller.

And then there’re the directors: Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. I think it’s safe to say that Coppola has been far more hit and miss with his work than Scorsese. Outside of The Godfather, and possibly Bram Stoker’s Dracula, naming classic Coppola- movies is a bit of a head- scratcher. With Scorsese, it’s a matter of which of his movies you want to mention, as he’s had very few bad movies. Even his misfires are still interesting to watch where with Coppola, his misfires are nearly unbearable.

At the end of the day, both movies deserve their place in the mobster genre as the pinnacle of achievement, but Goodfellas is simply a movie that is hard to beat in any genre.

Scott

les-affranchis

Dee: 0/1

Is there a point in comparing those two movies? Two undisputable classics of the gangster movie genre that can very much stand on their own? Anyway, if I had to decide, I’d rank Goodfellas over Godfather any day. Don’t get me wrong, I do like The Godfather (especially the sequel), but only “like”, not “love”. Goodfellas made a much bigger impact on me and with each revisiting, the margin between those two is steadily increasing.

There is the old adage that The Godfather is opera and Goodfellas is Rock n’ Roll, and it’s a pretty astute assessment I guess, but occasionally, Coppola’s opera is more of the soapy kind. Yeah, the Mafia as it is portrayed in Godfather is pretty much a romanticized projection by writer Mario Puzo, while the blue collar gangster organization in Goodfellas is based on the authentic accounts of a former member, Henry Hill. Now there is nothing wrong with some romanticizing and Goodfellas is, with Scorsese’s larger-than-life approach and considering the braggard nature of Hill, who was probably not a 100% reliable narrator, surely not a completely accurate depiction of reality. But The Godfather has a few melodramatic and pompous bits, especially when it comes to the “code of honour” of the Cosa Nostra, that are a bit hard to digest for me when I watch it now, not least because they are made-up bullshit. When gangsters talk in Goodfellas, the words may still be shaped into pointed dialogue, bit sound far more believable and the dime novel- feeling that pervades the verbal exchanges in The Godfather at times. Another thing that puts Goodfellas ahead of The Godfather is its relentless pacing, which results in a greater rewatchability. I know, these are not necessarily fair, objective arguments, but it is what it is.

Is it daring to claim that Goodfellas’ impact on cinema is at least as big as The Godfather’s?
Let’s take a closer look. Without a doubt, The Godfather resurrected the gangster epic and elevated it onto a new artistic level. It was also one of the movies that strengthened the rise of the director-driven “New Hollywood” era with its hitherto unmatched success- for a few years, it was the most successful movie ever made. Marlon Brando’s comeback might be one of the greatest comebacks ever. There are lots of classic scenes, like Brando’s death scene and of course, the triple montage at the end. Not to speak of the sensational structure of The Godfather II.

But Goodfellas can easily live up to that. Scorsese’s film pretty much defined the look of 90s movies, with its marvellous cinematography, the energetic editing and the pitch-perfect production design. The way Goodfellas depicts the fashion and look of the different decades shall be studied forever, another area where it is again confidently walking the fine line between stylization and plausibility. The careful costume choices for each character for example are almost an examination of bygone fashion eras, while still upholding a sense of believability: We can still believe that those characters actually wore those clothes and it does not turn into a ridiculous, condescending retro fashion show like the derivative American Hustle.

How would the films of Tarantino or Wes and Paul Thomas Anderson look if Goodfellas would not exist? Vastly different, I guess. Even Scorsese’s friend De Palma, himself responsible for a verified classic of the gangster movie genre, was definitively influenced by the film when he made the underrated Carlito’s Way. Furthermore, you can find traces of the impact of Goodfellas in the works of Guy Ritchie, Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, David O. Russell etc., etc.

One of the most influential and most copied parts of Goodfellas might be in the last third, when the lead character’s drug fueled frenzy that will lead to his downfall is ingeniously depicted in a restless, seemingly endless montage that has you sitting on the edge of your seat. How often did movies try to replicate that scene? Boogie Nights did it, apart from all the other elements it copied, like applying the same storytelling rhythm for the lead character’s journey. Darren Aronofsky’s movies regularly start igniting this “maelstrom montage” (as I call it) at some point, sometimes already halfway in, mostly for glossing over that they are hollow and trite with some directorial shenanigans (sorry, could not resist). And there is the big difference, the visuals of Goodfellas were slick, stylish and modern, but they never screamed “superficial MTV imagery” like some of its lesser imitators.

Coming to the directors: I always felt that Goodfellas was a very personal work by Scorsese, while the Godfather movies don’t reflect the same passion Coppola put into his two best films, The Conversation and Apocalypse Now!. Sure, there is some fine movie artistry on display, but they are a little more manufactured, impersonal and stiffer than the aforementioned two, as if they were more of a demonstration of flawless craftsmanship than an actual labour of heart. Even his lesser regarded (and underrated, if you ask me) films Dracula and Rumble Fish strike me as more heartfelt.

My final resume: The Godfather I+II are great entries into the genre that should be seen by anyone who is interested in movies. Some parts are timeless, other parts did not age that well, but they are verified classics that deserve their status in film history. Goodfellas on the other hand is a movie that will always feel fresh, inspiring and exciting every time I watch it – and I am sure I am not the only one who feels that way.

You can jump into the fire, but you’ll never be free…

Dee

a6960d50-6bc3-11e4-_803973b

Stalkeye: 0/1

Although The Godfather is the “Godfather” of epic gangster (re: Mafia) cinema, I have to give it up for Goodfellas which was not only a brilliant coming of age tale, but was also actually based on true events.

Aside from that what really stood out besides Joe Pesci’s amazing performance is how Marty (Scorsese) implemented various songs within high impact scenes. One of which stood out was when Tommy (Played by Pesci) retaliated against made man Billy Bats for humiliating him previously. Bats got stomped and pistol whipped while “Down by the Ocean” was playing in the background. Then of course there’s that infamous scene whereas several bodies of those who participated in the Lufthansa Airport heist were discovered accompanied by the instrumental version of Eric Clapton’s “Layla”. It was a haunting scene, yet poetic thanks to Clapton’s piece which also served as the ending credits of the film.

Goodfellas was not only some Mobster Film, but in certain ways, a dark comedy. I couldn’t help but laugh after Spider was killed and Jimmy (played by Robert De Niro) berated Tommy for it. Another thing that really stood out about Goodfellas is during the  3rd and final act when Henry Hill (played so brilliantly by Ray Liotta) testified against his former Mob associates Jimmy and Paulie, out of nowhere there was Hill in a charismatic fashion breaking the forth wall. “Everything was for the taking…”
Goddamn if that wasn’t the cherry on top of this sundae!

Now you know why stalks has chosen Goodfellas over The Godfather.

And knowing is half the battle!

Stalkeye

Goodfellas2


 

Result:

The Godfather: 1, Goodfellas: 4

***

What do you think of the result? How would you have voted? Let us know in the comments!

-Dee

Author Image

DetectiveDee

Detective Dee reviews movies and sometimes TV-series. He likes to indulge in the Asian cinema, exploitation flicks and the horror genre but is no stranger to Blockbuster culture either. He writes whatever he wants, but always aims to entertain.

  • I call foul on IAB, for not picking a side. This isn’t Sweden. ????????

  • I_am_better

    I’m half swedish-speaking

  • Tarmac492.1

    Great article guys. I love them all, as well. I think Godfather and Godfather II are two of the best looking films ever. I think The Royal Tennenbaums in that department, too. I like Goodfellas better. I would gather it is much more realistic. So many quotable lines and full of great secondary and tertiary characters. It is also probably the most influential flick of the last 25 years, as well. Sometimes, to my great annoyance. Even Scorcese himself, apes it too much. He has a right to, I guess. The book Wiseguy was crazy entertaining.

  • Tarmac492.1

    And yeah Coppola’s Dracula is way underrated.

  • I_am_better

    Yes. I’m sure one day we’ll get into that one in some way.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Also Carlito’s Way IS DePalma’s gangster classic. Also, maybe it is proof that JJ can write one decent flick as that hack Koepp actually did the screenplay for Carlito.

  • Tarmac492.1

    I dont get all the love for American Hustle. JJ gets ripped, rightfully so, for Super 8 being the retarded cousin locked in the basement to ET and CE3K and Russell gets Oscar Noms for AH? Did they think that wearing 70’s outfits and hairdos, putting in some cool classic rock, would a good movie make?

  • Tarmac492.1

    Very entertaining lines about the GF Scott and I can’t disagree.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Henry Hill also learned a valuable lesson about corporate America. You are never as valuable to them as you think you are. I love when he gets the 3K from Paulie–who then turns his back on him because HH broke one of his Cardinal Rules– and is pissed off.

  • I_am_better

    Such a great scene. Sorvino says so much in that film without even saying anything

  • Tarmac492.1

    Also love the look of death Sorvino gives that guy that suggests they whack Tommy. Talk about stink eye.

  • I_am_better

    I can actually get even MORE controversial: I didn’t hate “American Hustle”

  • Tarmac492.1

    I liked his The Fighter. better. I got excited when Amy Adams when after one of those troll sisters on the porch.

  • I_am_better
  • I_am_better

    One of those sisters is Conan O’Briens sister

  • Tarmac492.1

    Which flick had the better looking food? THAT is a tough question. I have to say the scene in GF which Michael kills the police captain and Solazzo is great. How the camera just stays focused on his face as he is mustering up the courage and anger to kill those two.

  • I_am_better

    A LOT of food in both, actually. The Clemenza’s meatball Sauce-recipe in Godfather, the cannolis, the cutting carlic with a razorblade in Goodfellas. And much much more

  • Tarmac492.1

    Abe Vigoda was only 84 years old in The Godfather.

  • Tarmac492.1

    the garlic scene makes my mouth water.

  • I_am_better

    After the Apocalypse, Abe Vigoda and Keith Richards are left to roam the scorched Earth.

  • I_am_better
  • KilliK

    Goodfellas is for entertainment cinema, Godfather is for arthouse cinema.

  • just_my_opinion

    the godfather was fictitious and not a real movie in the sense of real people but the point was of an informative nature and it did represent the mob to a point.
    goodfellas was a real life story indeed

  • International Assassin Zissou

    Godfather 2 > Goodfellas > Godfather 1

  • Don’t put too many onions in the sauce.

  • And to think he almost bowed out, because he couldn’t wrap his head around the character.

  • I may have been a bit more harsh on it than I meant, but I can’t take any of it back. Though I did neglect to mention apocalypse now.

  • I_am_better

    It’s a great story about when he had finally found the character and looked in the mirror, he scared himself.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Scorcese definitely has more classic flicks than Coppola. Hands down. Coppola did make the first two GF flicks gorgeous classics. Goodfellas is definitely the go to.

  • Scopedog

    Tough choice…but if I had a gun held to my head, I’d pick Goodfellas.

    Now go home and get your f*@!ing shine box….

  • Tarmac492.1

    I don;t know this Merle. I dont know what he does for a living…… Ahhhhh love that for some reason.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Hendry got pinched.

  • Phillyflopper

    It’s blasphemy to many, but I’ve always had a hard time getting into The Godfather. It just doesn’t easily resonate. But Goodfellas is hands down an easy watch.

  • Phillyflopper

    And Betty White will be the love interest. XD

  • CoolHandJuke

    I like movies about women with cavernous vaginas, so Godfather gets my vote, even though it doesn’t really come up in the movie…

  • Wasn’t that a subplot about Sonny and his super-sized member? Tells you how highbrow the material actually is.

  • Cannot really agree to that. Both movies blurred the lines between entertainment and art. Under the arty surface, Godfather is not that deep- pretty much a straightforward melodrama.

  • But you are still right. Coppola was an exceptional director in his prime. But it’s only a few great and some good movies, the rest is crap.

  • Koepp can be good if he wants to.

  • You say half of the stuff you say in Swedish?

  • KilliK

    it lacks content but artistically it’s a better movie. GOD2 on the other hand, succeeds in both so a more fit comparison should be between GOD2 and GF.

  • I_am_better
  • The book really reads like a masculine Jackie Collins tale.

  • Toruk_Makto

    Had I not witnessed the real life spaz that was Henry Hill being clowned repeatedly on the Stern show for so many years his cool factor may have remained in-tact giving the film based on his life more…oomph. Unfortunately his reality renders the perceived menace of everyone involved in that tale…highly suspect.

    You have not (nor will you ever) see Vito Corleone being the butt of some shock-jocks joke for the amusement of millions of listeners.

    As it stands, in my eyes there is no way in fucking Tartarus that spaghetti sauce peddler (and by extension his film) can be seen as better or cooler than the Godfather mofos.

    No way.

    No how.

  • Can’t we all get along?

  • Well… comparing the real life characters with fictitious ones is not fair… we shall leave it at comparing the movies.

  • Sacripanta!

  • Godfather was a entertainment blockbuster movie. that it has high artistic values is another matter. The movie was not made to be art-house, it was made to be a commercial film.

  • “Both movies blurred the lines between entertainment and art.”

    That’s what good movies do.

  • Tarmac492.1

    He was a great guest on Stern–a barely functional alcoholic, drug addict with a crazy laugh. Linus Roache has a great line of dialogue about the mob in Lumet’s Find Me Guilty in which he wonders and challenges the public’s romantic notion on the mob. I always loved it but cant put all the words together correctly. I will try and dig it up.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Do not put such faith into these trinkets of deceit.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Not sure I can agree to that. Taking into account possible Spielberg interference, The Lost World screenplay is almost an abomination. Jurassic park screenplay is not much better. Yes, there is Crichton involvement and the characters in the novel werent neccessarily vibrant either(it has been 25 years since I have read it). However, Carl Gottlieb took Benchley’s rather bland novel of Jaws(except for the great scenes with the shark) and helped breath real humanity into the characters and made the movie, IMO, a fuck ton better than the book. Yes, I know there were many others that helped with the screenplay. My point is Koepp didnt do this at all. Again, big differences in the way things were between ’75 and ’93 and ’97, including a director who had nothing more to prove. That being said, the films that he has written and directed are nothing above mediocre from what I have seen. I havent seen Secret Window. Trigger Effect was bad. I enjoyed Premium Rush somewhat and Stir of Echoes was his best–working from the novel of a brilliant author. For me, he has ruined more films than JJ ever will. As long as they both keep making movies.

  • okay, you might be right

  • Pussy!!

  • Tarmac492.1

    I love when Moe Green gets it right in the eye. And when the Don smacks a whining Johnny Fontaine around. Watching Duvall get a kick out of that was great.

  • Tarmac492.1

    The quiet menace Pacino brought to Michael Corleone was powerful. Love how he regards Carlo after he knows he set Sonny up.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Jack Woltz was a creepy old man. I am glad that broad left him for Johnny Fontaine.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Am I crazy in thinking Piscopo should have had a role in Goodfellas?

  • Tarmac492.1

    Love when DeNiro is strangling Maury with the phone cord and the toupee is coming off and watching Liotta trying, unsuccessfully, to hold in the laughter.

  • Stalkeye

    Another classic moment.

  • Stalkeye

  • Stalkeye

    Some Asshole once called me “Stinkeye”.
    “Once”!

  • Stalkeye

    Was that you who called in the Stern show and berated Hill for being a “Rat”?

  • Not a fair comparison at all. Hill wasn’t even a made guy, you can’t even compare him to Corleone. If you were going to compare someone it would be Pauly. No way Pauly would have been on Stern either.

  • Toruk_Makto

    Too late. What is seen cannot be unseen.

    But let me search my memory for a time before I learned more about Henry Hill… No. I still didn’t place Goodfellas above the Godfather. Brando, Pacino, Duvall…Caan as Sonny?? The rise of Michael fucking Corleone?? Too many legendary characters, too many awesome movie moments (the hospital scene?! The restaurant scene?!?!)

    Fuggedaboutit, I could never do it.

    As far as I’m concerned Goodfellas ranks among other descendant mob movies like “A Bronx Tale”, “Casino”, and “Donny Brasco” etc.

    But they all look up to the motherfuckin Godfather. As well they should.

  • Toruk_Makto

    I told him his pasta sauce sucked too.

  • Toruk_Makto

    Took me years to realize he wasn’t considered a wackpacker.
    “Carmel Macchiato..”

  • Toruk_Makto

    Made or not made the story was told from his perspective. Based on a book about this yahoo’s life. They’re couldn’t be anything more damaging.

    If it was a“Pauly tale” it might be a different story but it is what it is. A “tell-all” from a guy who turned out to absolutely, positively, need attention…of any type or variety.

    Up against the Godfather?? Disqualified!

  • Toruk_Makto

    Pacino was on a whole other level in those films. Absolutely spectacular.

  • Agree to disagree!

  • But seriously, I would just repeat my points from the article when arguing. So let’s keep it at a respectful disagreement.

  • Didn’t expect The Godfather to lose so decisively, but it’s deserved.

  • Also, Scott sums up how I feel about The Godfather almost perfectly…

    “The Godfather is one of the most boring movies about the Mafia ever made. That goes for the sequel, and I won’t even talk about the abortion that was Godfather III. They’re overlong, with a lot of stilted direction, and some dialogue that would be too cheesy for comics of the time. I’ll be honest, I’m not sure why it gets all the adoration it does, as it’s really average. I can think of several other movies that are far more interesting, and better made.”

    …only difference being that I do like The Godfather II quite a lot, mostly thanks to the flashback section with Robert De Niro.

  • Stalkeye

    He’s being pragmatic.

  • I_am_better

    Or I’m just the smartest person around

  • Conspiracyin559

    Agreed.

  • Conspiracyin559

    I just can’t compare the two. Other than being about the Mob they are like blondes and brunettes…and fuck if I don’t love them both.

  • Phillyflopper

    I shared this link elsewhere and it is causing quite the discussion. Nicely done! 😀

  • Phillyflopper

    You Khan, be right! 🙂

  • Phillyflopper

    Damn, that is some inspired casting. Seriously. On a different note, anyone else love that film of his called Dead Heat?

  • Phillyflopper

    This week’s tale guest starring George Kennedy (Last I checked he was alive currently at 90 years old).

  • Tarmac492.1

    Saw it in the theaters way back in the day!!! Entertaining b-flick.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Or anal and vaginal sex. Different stokes (ahem) for different folks.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    This is like asking someone to choose between a good steak or a good pasta dish. Both are equally delicious but different. The comparison should have been between Goodfellas and Casino, instead.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    The Godfather is literature; Goodfellas is a terrific pulp novel. Godfather is Shakespeare and Goodfellas is James M. Cain.

    I love Goodfellas, but I believe The Godfather is a more timeless movie. The story, its themes and elements could be set in a different context and still work. Goodfellas is more imitated because it’s more closely tied to its genre. It’s the trendy choice but not quite, in my opinion, the correct one.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Coppola transcended those limitations and injected it with personal themes and “high art” elements. And even more so with the sequel.

    Watch the DVD documentaries: that was his intention, and he had the ability to pull it off.

  • Phillyflopper

    I haven’t seen it in years, but I remember watching it late at night on HBO. I remember how it was a very short movie, and the ending was kinda “Huh?” Otherwise, I seem to remember being fond of it. Not Let’s Get Harry fond, but still partial in some way.

  • Phillyflopper

    Casino will lose, with extreme prejudice. I can’t get into that movie the way I can with Goodfellas. As far as violent flicks go, it’s still a fun ride. Casino was interesting and not terrible, but I just don’t see it as easily re-watchable.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    One could argue Goodfellas also lacks depth: it basically ends with a sneering black joke. At the time, It was notable for upending the previous gangster conventions in pop culture, but it is also quite a glib movie. Its human drama is more flashy but less universal, mature and deeply felt than The Godfather’s, which owes more to Greek tragedy or the golden age of Russian literature.

    I’d classify Goodfellas as smart, but The Godfather as intelligent. There’s a degree of difference between the two appellations.

  • Tarmac492.1

    What about The Wraith with Charlie Sheen? Man, I dont know how many times I watched that? Also Cherry 2000, obviously.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    Yep, Godfather 1 still has traces of an Old Hollywood studio film within it. Godfather 2 has none.

    Because it still contains a few limiting, old-fashioned qualities here and there, there may be some cause for arguing that the first Godfather is inferior to Goodfellas, but I don’t think Goodfellas can stand any comparison to the sequel as a work of art. GF 2 is one of the five best American movie ever made IMO, and one of the few comparable to a great novel onscreen in terms of depth and scope.

    Entertainment is another matter. Pesci’s profane outbursts are probably more “fun” than a solemn Al Pacino with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

  • KilliK

    it’s like Beethoven and Mozart. Both master composers, but the style of the former transcends all eras while the style of the latter is confined in one period.

  • I_am_better

    Link to the discussion? I’m curious

  • KilliK

    well said.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    I find it endlessly rewatchable, even more so than Goodfellas. And it may just be the superior of the two.

    At the time, Casino was criticized for being a retread of Goodfellas, but those comparisons were short-sighted and superficial. They exhibit the same cinematic aesthetic, but the stories told in each couldn’t be more different. Goodfellas is a black comedy; Casino is an operatic tragedy. It’s a much bleaker movie, and the main character’s POV is very different to the punkish Henry Hill.

  • KilliK

    I prefer GF and never liked Casino, but in recent years I have come to appreciate it more. I think the critics got confused by the similar journey, a nobody becomes a hot shot to end up being a nobody.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Loved the use of Sunshine of Your Love in Goodfellas. It almost seemed like ominous music in a horror film the way it was used.

  • Phillyflopper

    I haven’t watched it in some time. Perhaps I’ll revisit it soon to see if my stance changes.

  • Phillyflopper

    It was a private online discussion amongst some people that I personally know. But it isn’t so heated, but still it’s nice to see it provoke thought. Not as deep as here (I actually like that it has been civil here). But still nice to be able to share some love of this site to others.

  • Phillyflopper

    I watched both. But don’t remember that much about The Wraith. Although Cherry 2000. I own that movie. I can still watch it without issue. It’s a great cheesy flick.

    On a different, different note. I have mad love for Just One Of The Guys. The chica’s brother answering the phone after having pizza is one of my all time favorite scenes.

    “Mom says ‘Hi’!” xD

  • Phillyflopper

    Did you ever watch Solar Babies? I remember very little about that film. But I seem to remember liking it.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Just One of the Guys is a certified cable classic, for sure. Love that flick. Yeah, that is a great scene. That chick had a nice rack when she showed them off at the end.

  • Tarmac492.1

    Yes, I dont remember much from it either. Lots of roller skating.

  • Phillyflopper

    I own that movie and it is such a great flick. Something for everyone. And I agree, they make such a nice couple near the end. xD

  • It’s either be civil here, or get banned. It’s really the only rule we have.

  • Phillyflopper
  • I’ll give you the flashback with DeNiro. That was awesome.

  • Yeah, that’s why I wrote that it’s more of a fun match.

  • I still stand by my opinion of course.
    But it’s an old debate- yet I have never seen it as an article, so I thought it was worth a shot.

  • Why? Both are great! Two good movies do not a bad one make.

  • I worship at the altar of Godfather Part 2.

  • I chose both movies. As it should.

  • Turd Has Escaped The Gravy

    You can’t reasonably compare them or make a judgement as to which is the better of the two. Both are gangster movies, but completely different in their stories and approaches, and both fulfill their intentions to the fullest.

  • Phillyflopper

    Ah, I guess I haven’t seen the wrath of that here.

  • Well it hasn’t happened. We’ve been very fortunate to have the kind of readers and listeners who don’t take things personally. When we started the site, that was a big priority to keep it friendly.

  • Phillyflopper

    Yeah, I kind of phased out of the talkbacker site and then by some process, found out about this site and so far. I think the conversations have been pretty healthy. And I do especially love being able to go on a nostalgic fest here with films that most people tend to not know about (at other places). 🙂

  • Phillyflopper

    Nevertheless, keep up the great work!

  • Glad you found your way here! We’re all about the nostalgia lol.

  • Well, that goes without saying.

  • Bop

    I watched The Wraith a lot of times. Fucking love that movie and fucking love that car.

  • Ollie

    Another great scene!

  • Ollie

    Charlie faced the “Wraith” alright. /:

  • The long tracking shot following Henry into the night club, has far more genius, ingenuity, beauty and character than the entire godfather trilogy. There I said it (after having watched goodfellas again last night).

  • Toruk_Makto

    I’ve found that I’ve re-watched Casino almost twice as much as I’ve seen Goodfellas. So I would probably have to say I think it’s a better film.

  • Stalkeye

    Damn! I forgot to include that scene.
    Marty was Fucking robbed at the Oscars!!!!! The Academy Awards lost all cred in my eye afterwards. Even overlooking Pulp Fiction? Screw those Faux elitists Pricks!

  • G925

    Wow one of the most boring mob movies ever? The shit taste is strong on this website

    Scott shame on you.

    It deserves all the praise it gets, you are just too stupid to realize how great it is