Part 5 – Exercise 1: The Goodfellas scene

The first exercise of this section required us to watch a scene of Goodfellas, a movie by Martin Scorsese (1), and answer the following questions:

  • What does this scene tell you about the main character?

The main character is a well-connected, resourceful person. Is also somebody that does not want to play by the rules, that gets whatever he wants when he wants it. He is smart and subtle in his pursuits. He does not care about money, but he cares about privilege and enjoyment, about making the most of it, about being in the limelight, being in front. Nobody says no to him.

  • How does it do this? List the ‘clues’.

Throughout the scene the main  character tips and bribes a number of people in order to 1) park his car quickly 2) jump the long queue at the nightclub by entering through a service door 3) get a table at the front of the show. But the money is not the only clue. He is charming and takes the time to greet and engage with numerous people throughout the scene, calling them by their names or teasing them. The people he greets come from all walks of life, from waiters and cooks to bodyguards and guests at the restaurant. Everybody seems to know him and he charms everybody, managing to get free gifts from some of them (a bottle of champagne). It is the combination of streetwise knowledge (knowing how to park, how to get in through the back door), charm and generosity that helps him being popular and liked.


  1. YouTube. 2018. The Long Take: Goodfellas – YouTube. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 20 June 2018].

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