De Niro’s heavily-annotated shooting script from The Deer Hunter (1978). Image courtesy of The Robert De Niro Collection, The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Previously on Cinephilia and Beyond:
Makeup stills from Raging Bull. Test polaroids of De Niro as he tries to perfect La Motta’s look by stuffing cotton in his nostrils. This page is one of dozens of make-up tests, all of which attest to De Niro’s obsessive devotion to minute details. Images courtesy of The Robert De Niro Collection, The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
Martin Scorsese’s influential filmmaking legacy is the focus of a new exhibition, aptly titled Martin Scorsese, at the Deutsche Kinemathek—Museum für Film und Fernsehen in Berlin. The exhibition, which opened in January and runs through May 12, purports to examine “the rich spectrum of Scorsese’s oeuvre,” including his sources of inspiration, working methods, and lasting contributions to American cinema. The Ransom Center loaned 19 items from the Robert De Niro and Paul Schrader archives to supplement materials from Scorsese’s private collection. Together, they constitute the first international exhibition about Scorsese.
- Paul Schrader’s outline for Raging Bull
- Raging Bull screenplay
- Robert De Niro’s Raging Bull: The history of a performance and a performance of history
Catherine Scorsese on the set of Taxi Driver with Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro.
Previously on Cinephilia & Beyond:
Martin Scorsese interviews his mother and father about their life in New York and the family history back in Sicily. These are two people who have lived together for a long time and know each other very well. They have retained individual identities and differing opinions, yet have found a way to live with each other. Both Catherine and Charles Scorsese are fascinating storytellers. There idiosyncrasies are endearing. As they talk, mom makes meatballs and we get the recipe as part of the end credits.
The essential documentaries on Martin Scorsese, including The Scorsese Machine (1990), My Voyage to Italy (1999), American Masters: Martin Scorsese Directs (1990), A Decade Under the Influence (2003), Italianamerican (1974), American Boy: A Profile of: Steven Prince (Martin Scorsese, 1978), Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts (2007), and The Real Goodfella (2006).
John Cazale, Christopher Walken and Robert De Niro on the set of The Deer Hunter.
Previously on Cinephilia & Beyond:
- The Deer Hunter — Michael Cimino Commentary Track
- Here’s to one of the greatest actor’s of a generation. Still missed and a gift to all who’ve seen him, here’s to the great, John Cazale
Sergio Leone, standing behind Tuesday Weld, sets up a shot on the set of Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Robert De Niro talks about Once Upon a Time in America.
‘Sergio Leone and the Construction of Myth’ by Peter Babiak. This article (from CineAction, March 2007) analyses the film’s use of cultural myths. Some good pictures too. (PDF)
‘Once Upon A Time In America’ by Dana Knowles. A lengthy critical essay from AboutFilm.com
‘Once Upon A Time In America’ by Rob Edelman and Audrey E. Kupferberg. An interpretation from film-reference.com which focuses on how the characters can “can never really escape their roots.” Also contains an extensive bibliography of books and articles.
An ebook of ‘The Hoods’ by Harry Grey: PDF
Sergio Leone meets Noodles While in New York in 1968, Leone met with Harry Grey, author of The Hoods. Here is the account of the meeting given by Christopher Frayling in his biography Sergio Leone: Something to do with Death. (PDF)
Wikipedia article. Discusses differences between the film and the source-novel, unfilmed and deleted scenes, and alternative versions. (PDF)
‘How 85 Minutes Disappeared, Once Upon a Time’ by Alex Abramovich. An article from the New York Times, June 8, 2003, on the occasion of the film’s release on DVD. The article mainly discusses the way the film was cut by the studio in its initial U.S. theatrical release, and contains an interview with James Woods. (PDF)
Soundtrack liner notes by Jon Burlingame. From the 1998 re-release of the soundtrack on Rykodisc CD. (PDF)
Locations by Malcolm Barber (PDF). A list of which scenes were filmed where. The same information, along with photos of the locations, can be found here.
Once Upon a Time in America - The Restoration
Ennio Morricone – Once Upon A Time In America (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack).
Robert De Niro reflects on 40 years of acting, says ‘You Gotta Be Part Gangster.’
De Niro on consistently working for 40 years:
I enjoy it. I like it. And especially when you get older, you start realizing you don’t have that much time. And you look back and say, “The last 15 years, it went by kind of quickly.” You don’t really know it until you get there and look back and say, “Geez, where did that time go?” I know I’ve gotta account for every day, every moment, every this, every that, but it still went, that time went. So now I have the next whatever, hopefully 15, 20 years if I’m lucky, and I think what to use that time for.
On the difficulty of directing and financing a film:
It takes a long time to get it done, to get the financing, no matter who’s in it. It’s very, very arduous, a daunting, uphill battle. I have so much respect for people like Marty, or any director who only directs — all the battles over this and that, everybody giving their opinion. And you gotta listen to them. Because they paid for it. I’ve been through it, and it’s a real fight. There’s a quote: You gotta be part gangster. You’ve got to fight for what you want. You’ve got to listen to everybody’s opinion, then finally at the end of the day, you have to do what you feel is right.
On personal filmmaking in the 1970s and now:
That’s what everybody says, the ’70s, that was that period [for personal filmmaking]. I didn’t look at it that way. We’re lucky we were able to do those movies and get some money to do them. There are more personal movies in some ways being made now, more opportunities for actors to me.
Cinéma cinémas: “De Niro - Un après-midi de chien” (1990).
Rare “King of Comedy” set footage with Martin Scorsese, Michael Powell, Robert De Niro and Jerry Lewis. Scorsese being interviewed about Michael Powell.
A personal profile of Robert De Niro by Quentin Tarantino. In Part 1 he looks at “Mean Streets” and “The Godfather: Part 2”. (First shown on Cinefile, UK Channel 4, 1994).
PBS American Masters documentary featuring profile of Martin Scorsese including behind-the-scenes material shot during GOODFELLAS production.
The legendary Steadicam shot in Goodfellas through the nightclub kitchen was a happy accident – Scorsese had been denied permission to go in the front way and had to improvise an alternative.
By now you’ve heard the news that former gangster-turned-mob informant Henry Hill passed away last Tuesday, leaving behind hundreds of thousands of moviegoers who’ve watched Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (itself based on the life of Henry Hill) and often wondered just how the guy managed to survive long enough to die at the age of 69 without being whacked by those he turned against. Clues to that mystery may be found in this documentary, called The Real Goodfella, which is one of the more fascinating docs on the real-life man behind the character Ray Liotta so memorably portrayed on screen. Featuring in-depth interviews with Hill, FBI agents, Martin Scorsese and more, the 47-minute doc uses dramatized reenactments to piece together what really happened versus what Scorsese chose to use for his film. You can watch the entire doc below, which dates back to 2006.
Interview with the real gangster behind GoodFellas, Henry Hill [PDF].
A Recipe For the Mouthwatering Prison Dinner From ‘Goodfellas’:
6 onions peeled and finely diced
75g Cotswold gold rapeseed oil or olive oil
A teaspoon of salt
300g minced beef
300g minced pork shoulder
300g diced English rose veal flank
30g Cotswold gold rapeseed oil or olive oil
250g beef or brown chicken stock
10 cloves garlic peeled
100ml white wine
150g tomato puree
750g ripe vine tomatoes (chopped) or equivalent weight of quality chopped tinned tomatoes
A pinch of salt
Good grind of black pepper
Just like the guys in Goodfellas, I like to serve this with a char grilled 34 day aged hanger steak cooked medium rare, a bottle of Chianti and good crunchy country bread ( to soak up all those wonderful juices and flavours).
Yes, indeed, The Godfather is masterful. The Sopranos? We never missed an episode. But you want to talk about a movie that leaves a mark? Twenty years after the release of GoodFellas, the good people behind it—Scorsese, Liotta, De Niro!—re-create the making of the truest, bloodiest, greatest gangster film of all time.