Goodfellas

New this month Question: When Tommy was shot, Henry said they shot him in the face so his mother couldn't give him an open casket. Why would they care about that?

raph

New this month Answer: Family, and respect for the family, is deeply ingrained in Mafia culture (and in Sicilian culture). Denying Tommy a funeral wherein his family can pay their last respects (the purpose of the open casket) shows the extent to which Tommy angered and alienated his bosses and cohorts.

Question: In the scene where Tommy believes he is being made, right after he walks into the room you hear him say "Oh no!" right before he is shot. Tommy obviously realizes that he was set up. However, what is it that he sees in the room that tips him off?

Chosen answer: He was expecting a crowded room full of friends congratulating him. Also it was common knowledge among the mafia that being walked into an empty room when you were due to be made meant you were about to be executed, so Tommy likely knew he'd met his end just moments before the shot.

William Bergquist

Answer: Either the fact that the room was empty (being made is a big ceremonial event with many people) or he felt the gun pressed against the back of his head right before they shot him.

Question: What is the song being played during the scene when Henry is being chased by the helicopter towards the end? It starts when he puts the bags in the trunk of his car before going to pick up his brother, but it's not on the soundtrack and I can't see it listed in the end credits.

Stacey

Chosen answer: The song is called "Jump Into The Fire" by Harry Nilsson, and is not on the original motion picture soundtrack.

Question: When Jimmy and Henry torture the man into giving them money for a gambling dept he owes to Paulie, we then find out he had a sister who was an FBI informant. Henry says "She gave up everyone. Jimmy, me, even her brother." What did her brother do that was illegal? I thought he was just the victim.

raph

Chosen answer: Gambling, especially with a mobster bookie was and is still illegal in the US.

Question: Why did Jimmy tell Henry he wasn't going to kill Morrie, only to then have him killed?

raph

Answer: Well, for starters, I think Jimmy, despite being a complete sociopath cared a bit about Henry's mental state and well-being and just wanted him to calm down, enjoy his night and we can see it worked. Second, Jimmy might, just might at that moment feel like it wasn't the right night to kill Maurie since he was more of an annoying nuisance than a real threat, he was without being asked given the Chance to just forget the money and let it go, symbolizing Jimmy's murderous greed. Third...WHY should he tell Henry Hill that he will kill him? He benefits nothing, it puts him in a vulnerable position and Jimmy, more than likely has noticed Henry's tics, excessive sweat and bug eyes, pretty sure the guy is hooked on coke, meaning as Tommy jokingly but in nice foreshadow says "You may fold under questioning." Telling Henry he will spare Morrie becomes his Teflon armor at this point cause Henry at this point would never even suspect a good fella like Jimmy to lie to him "of all people" about something like that...That is my take on it anyway.

Question: Why didn't Henry wear a prison uniform?

raph

Chosen answer: Most probably due to mass corruption within the prison. Guards on the mafia payroll would let them wear their own clothes in the same way they didn't eat the prison food but got to have their own superior food brought in.

The_Iceman

Question: Tommy was executed for killing Billy Batts - but Jimmy and Henry tried to help cover the killing up. How come they'd didn't get punished for that?

Chosen answer: Tommy was the only one who actively participated in Billy Batts' murder, so although Henry and Jimmy were accessories to the murder, they were probably overlooked given Tommy's reputation and because Tommy was "above" them within the hierarchy of their family. It's also implied within Henry's voiceover that Tommy was basically handed over by his family to Batts' family because Batts was a made man, ie. untouchable, and Tommy was not "made" to avoid further violence between the families and possible full-blown gang war; Jimmy and Henry's involvement was either unknown to or overlooked by Batts' people.

zendaddy621

Question: How did Billy survive a bullet in the mouth?

raph

Chosen answer: Tommy doesn't actually shoot him...he's viciously pistol-whipping him and at the end of the beating does aim the gun at Billy's mouth and say he's going to shoot him, but Jimmy, pulling him off, says "We're done." Tommy then winds up and gives Billy a final whack, so hard the chamber dislodges and the bullets spray out. The noise that sounds like a gunshot is the chamber slamming into the hardwood floor.

Question: Why does Henry ask the taxi driver to take him to jail? Aren't the police supposed to take you immediately after the sentencing hearing? Why could he make his own way to jail when he wanted, and why didn't he just run away?

raph

Chosen answer: Convicted criminals aren't always taken immediately to prison upon their sentencing, especially when they're free on bail pending their trial and sentencing hearings. As is often the case in such instances, he was probably given a short time (usually a week) to get his affairs in order before reporting for his incarceration voluntarily; had he not reported on time, police would have been sent to procure him.

zendaddy621

Question: If the real Henry Hill wrote a book and co-wrote the screenplay (with Martin Scorsese), how is it that the Mob never found him? Or did they, and we (the viewers/general public) were never told about that?

Chosen answer: He went into the witness protection programme along with his family under assumed names, however was expelled from that programme after being arrested for drugs offences in Seattle in the late 1980s. Since then he apparently lived quite openly, including a number of media appearances, although he continued to have problems with the law, mostly due to a long battle with alcoholism. He lived in Malibu up until his death in 2012. As to why the Mob appeared to be disinterested in pursuing him, you'd have to ask them.

Tailkinker Premium member

By his own loud admission on Howard Stern, he had no idea why he was able to live such an incredibly long time for his circumstances.

dizzyd

Question: I read that Jimmy was arrested and jailed for the murder of a man called Richard Eaton. Why not for the murder of Billy Batts, Morrie, any of the Lufthansa murders or any of his other many serious crimes? If it's because there wasn't enough evidence, how was there enough evidence to write a book and movie on it?

Chosen answer: The level of evidence needed for a court of law is much higher than an author requires.

Question: Why were the names of Paul Vario and Jimmy Burke changed for the movie to Paul Cicero and Jimmy Conway when no other names were changed? It's not as if someone's identity was being protected. I never understood that.

Chosen answer: Not sure why they changed Paul's, but Jimmy's was changed to Conway because his sister refused to allow it, Conway being his mother's maiden name.

New this month Answer: Tommy's name was changed as well. In the movie it is Tommy DeVito, in real life it was Tommy DeSimone.

ctown28 Premium member

Question: What was wrong with the store Jimmy told Karen to go into?

Ethan J. Rapmatters

Answer: There are a bunch of tough looking men in it which gave Karen the impression she would probably be killed.

Chosen answer: Nothing. But she knew Jimmy and Henry were on the outs and Henry was unpopular with the bosses due to his involvement in narcotics, so her paranoia meant she panicked when Jimmy sent her down an alleyway.

The_Iceman

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