Fast-Paced, Comedic, Scorsese: “Goodfellas” is so much better.

Kenna McBean

Another day, another argument with Saige. Again, she is choosing the popular side of the opinion as opposed to forming an opinion not based on the majority. 

In no way am I trying to say that The Godfather is a bad movie. I believe that the last scene is the best scene in all of film; the acting is amazing. It totally deserved the Oscar for Best Picture.

However, Goodfellas is the biggest Oscar blunder in history. This movie has a stacked cast, an acclaimed director, and amazing reviews. It lost to Dances to Wolves of all movies. Saige may choose to hide behind Oscar wins, AFI lists, and Rotten Tomato scores, but I think that it’s important to look beyond the statistics. 

Furthermore, Goodfellas was directed by Martin Scoresece–an amazing, highly reputable director. Can you name another movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the director of The Godfather? Exactly, you can’t. 

Other notable movies Scoresece has done include Taxi Driver, The Departed, and The Wolf of Wall Street, just to name a few. Francis Ford Coppola directed The Outsiders, which was required viewing in eighth grade. That’s it. That’s sad. 

The soundtrack for Goodfellas totally slaps. It does such a good job of setting the mood for the scene and time period. The Godfather soundtrack consists of “The Godfather theme” and then variations of said theme. That’s it. In using culturally relevant music specific, Goodfellas make for a more compelling viewing experience. It’s also just really fun when you are watching a movie and they play a song that you know. It can engage you more in the story and make you understand the movie better. 

You will  never be bored when watching Goodfellas. The fast pace of the plot keeps you glued to the screen. The Godfather, however, is another story. The wedding scene in the beginning drags on and on and seems like it’s never going to end. Saige argues that the buildup creates a better payoff for the explosive end scene. But for me, it was like something was finally happening after they had talked about it so much. 

But in Goodfellas, the backstory of Henry Hill, the main protagonist, is cleared up in the first twenty to thirty minutes. They don’t need a whole other movie to clear up his childhood (looking at you, Godfather Part II). 

It can be really stressful to watch a movie that isn’t funny. The Godfather is not funny in the slightest, nor is it supposed to be. It isn’t inherently bad that it lacks humor, but it can create a tense viewing experience for the entire two hour and fifty five minute run-time. Goodfellas manages to seamlessly tie in humor with the seriousness of mob life. The characters are funny without trying to be funny, which makes it more entertaining and natural. Joe Pesci, who plays Tommy Devito, one of the antagonists in Goodfellas, is a talented actor who can play both funny and serious characters (think Home Alone: Harry Lime). 

These effortless pockets of humor are what make Goodfellas excel where The Godfather falls short.

— Kenna McBean

These effortless pockets of humor are what make Goodfellas excel where The Godfather falls short. It is not very rewatchable because it is like a slow train to the climax the entire time. There is nothing funny to relieve the viewer of all the tragedies being thrown at them left and right. 

Both of these movies are very accomplished and excellent, with The Godfather being a good jumping off point for Goodfellas. However, if you want a movie that is fast-paced, action packed, tragic, comedic, romantic, and life-changing, then you should watch Goodfellas. Then, if you want to officially call yourself a movie person, watch The Godfather (but mostly to avoid judgement from Saige).


Do you prefer "The Godfather" or "Goodfellas"?


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