The 5 Best Moments from the 'Goodfellas' Anniversary Reunion Screening

The 5 Best Moments from the 'Goodfellas' Anniversary Reunion Screening

Apr 27, 2015

One look around New York's Beacon Theatre this past Saturday night told you it wasn't just another night at the Beacon. To close the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival, much of the cast and crew of Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas reunited for a remastered screening of the film followed by a Q&A (hosted by The Daily Show's Jon Stewart) featuring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino and screenwriter Nick Pileggi. 

The Beacon was packed with fictional big-screen wiseguys, many of whom played a role in Goodfellas, as well as The Sopranos and other mob-related movies and TV shows that have filmed in New York over the years. The room was buzzing, and when Robert De Niro (who played wiseguy Jimmy Conway in the Scorsese classic) took the stage to introduce the film, the place went wild.


Here are the five best moments from the 25th anniversary screening and reunion.


1. Catching up with a bunch of Goodfellas

The main event of the night involved a post-screening Q&A with Liotta, De Niro, Bracco, Sorvino and Pileggi (Scorsese was in Asia filming and Joe Pesci couldn't make it), but they were just a fraction of the Goodfellas vets who were in attendance. One walk around the theater prior to the show revealed a number of additional cast members on hand, including Kevin Corrigan (Michael Hill), Tony Darrow (Sonny Bunz), Mike Starr (Frenchie), Debi Mazar (Samdy) and Chuck Low (Morris Kessler), pictured above. 

You remember Morrie, right? Who can forget Morrie?


2. Martin Scorsese's hilariously fascinating opening introduction

Pictured (left to right): Paul Sorvino, Debi Mazar, Robert De Niro, Lorraine Bracco and Kevin Corrigan

Goodfellas director Martin Scorsese is currently in Asia filming his next movie, Silence, and couldn't attend. However, you know Scorsese -- he wasn't going to sit this one out in any way. Prior to the start of the film, we watched close to a 10-minute opening introduction that Scorsese had taped specifically for the screening.

The director cracked jokes about how much time has passed since its original release, going on to tell random anecdotes about the film, some of its greatest scenes and his selection of music, saying he always preferred including songs over a score. The best story he told had to do with what he said was one of his favorite scenes to shoot: the dinner scene at Tommy's mom's house.

Though she plays Tommy's (Pesci) mom in the film, Catherine Scorsese is Scorsese's real-life mom, having appeared in several of his movies, and the director revealed that she really did do all the cooking for that scene. Not only that, but only a couple of lines in the scene were scripted with the rest all improvised. Scorsese said this was his favorite scene because of how natural it is; that this is actually what it was like to sit down for a meal with these guys.

He also mentioned that his mom had no idea what the context of the scene was and did not know the characters were in transit following the brutal murder of Billy Batts (Frank Vincent).

And speaking of that scene...


3. Robert De Niro's ketchup twist

To show you how authentic the cast and crew wanted this film to be, Robert De Niro revealed during the post-screening Q&A that he wanted to know everything about his character, right down to the way he used a ketchup bottle. 

De Niro noted that they put this scene on hold briefly so they could contact the real Henry Hill, who consulted on the film, in order to ask him about Jimmy's ketchup techniques. And it was Hill who said that Jimmy twisted the bottle of ketchup instead of tapping the bottom, which is what De Niro wound up doing in the movie.

Watch the scene above. 


4.The origin story for the "You think I'm funny?" scene

It's one of the most quotable scenes in the movie -- and of all time, really -- and it's what helped turn Joe Pesci's Tommy into such a fan favorite among the massive ensemble cast. But just how did this scene play out? Was it scripted? Was it improvised? (Watch the entire scene here -- note it is NSFW.)

During the post-screening Q&A, Jon Stewart asked Ray Liotta about this scene and how it came about, with the actor admitting that it was originally improvised in rehearsals. "Joe just kept telling this story that he made up, and we thought it was hilarious," he recalled. It was out of those improvised sessions that the final scene was crafted, scripted and then shot inside a place called Hawaii Kai (named The Bamboo Lounge in the film), which closed down in 1989.

Fun Fact: Also during the Q&A, Robert De Niro revealed that he was the one who recommended Ray Liotta to Scorsese, and that Liotta was the first person they met for the role. However, it took an entire year for him to actually land the part, and he did so in a pretty amusing way. “I think what sealed it is – I did a movie called Dominick and Eugene, which was at the Venice Film Festival," Liotta said. "Marty was there with The Last Temptation of the Christ, walking across the lobby of the hotel. I went to him and said 'Hey Marty, it’s me! I wanted to say hello!' “The way I said hello…it just seemed to happen.”


5. The celebrity-filled after party at Tavern on the Green

The night concluded with a swanky after party at New York's iconic Tavern on the Green, which opened all its rooms to accommodate partygoers.

The Goodfellas cast were all there, with De Niro, Liotta, and Sorvino posing for pictures and chatting with guests. Other celebs we spotted include Jeremy Renner, who was tucked in a back corner enjoying the festivities.

Good times with a bunch of goodfellas, and the perfect way to wrap up another great year at the Tribeca Film Festival. 

Categories: Features, Film Festival
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