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The Best of the Best: A Look At Martin Scorsese’s Most Brilliant Movies

If you don’t know who Martin Scorsese is, where have you been? But to answer the question: he is one of America’s most successful film directors and is famous for his violent depictions of American culture. This cult director works with big budgets and some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. 

Scorsese studied film at university and started making films as a student in the 1960s. From there, he has gone on to make hugely successful films such as “Taxi Driver”, which many regard as his best film; “Raging Bull”; “Cape Fear”; “Casino” and more. Below is a look at some of Scorsese’s most famous and brilliant movies to grace the world alongside other unique modern films such as Parasite, who’s main star Song Kang Ho is set to make his debut in the online series debut – Deadline. 

Taxi Driver (1976)

“Taxi Driver,” which came out in 1976, was hugely successful and, since it was a departure from more conventional early Scorsese movies, shocked audiences. Despite the nature of the film, this piece of cinema still won the Palme d’ Or at the Cannes Festival and received several Oscar nominations. Robert De Niro starred as a dangerously unhinged Vietnam vet in possibly his most memorable performance; Harvey Keitel as a pimp; and Jodie Foster as an extremely young prostitute who is working for Keitel. 

Free Macro Shot Photography of Taxi Lamp Stock Photo

Raging Bull (1980)

On “Raging Bull”, Scorsese teamed up once more with screenwriter, who he’d worked with to tremendous success on “Taxi Driver,” and again with Robert De Niro. The film tells the story of champion middleweight boxer Jake LaMotta (played by De Niro) and his personal life, a life which led to the boxer’s arrest, stand up comedy and prison sentences. The film also brings in Joe Pesci, who stars as the boxer’s brother, Joey LaMotta, and who would return to a Scorsese project later when he starred in “Goodfellas”.

Casino (1995)

You might consider “Casino” a modern classic. Best of all, it’s an original movie in its own right, rather than a rehash of “Goodfellas”. “Casino” is a three hour epic in which the protagonist, Sam “Ace” Rothstein is a casino operator trying to run the establishment on the straight and narrow, but soon the mafia get involved and the good fortunes of the casino change. The main characters of Sam, Nicky and Ginger are inspired respectively by the lives of Frank Rosenthal, who ran several casinos on behalf of the Chicago branch of the American mafia; mob enforcer Anthony Spilotro; and dancer and socialite Geri McGee.

Once again, Scorsese teams up with De Niro, who plays Rothstein, and Joe Pesci, who plays Nicky Santoro, a friend of Sam’s. Also joining them are Sharon Stone, who plays hustler and wife to Sam, Ginger, and James Woods, starring as con artist Lester Diamond, who is also long-time boyfriend to Ginger, which also complicates matters for the protagonist. 

Seeing “Casino” might well inspire you to try your own hand at the tables, but you don’t have to head to Vegas. Nor do you have to worry about the complications Sam and other characters in the movie face. You can just visit an online casino and play to your heart’s content. Why not give it a try?

Goodfellas (1990)

Some would consider “Goodfellas” the greatest mob movie ever made according to online newspapers. It’s funny, it’s fierce and it’s enthralling and is based on the book “Wiseguy”. The film narrates the rise and fall of mafia gangster Henry Hill and stars the late Ray Liotta, who plays the protagonist, supported by superb performances from Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci (who won an Oscar for his performance as psychotic Tommy DeVito). It’s an absorbing portrait of underworld treachery, vice and glamour.

Free Close-Up Photo of Man Drinking from Glass of Whiskey Stock Photo

Cape Fear (1991)

“Cape Fear” is Scorsese’s take on the original 1962 thriller about a convicted rapist who sets about terrorising the defence lawyer he blames for his imprisonment. De Niro is in fine form as the bitter, lean, tattooed and muscular convict Max Cady providing memorable scenes such as the loud, cackling and smoking of cigars in the cinema, much to the annoyance of the lawyer Sam Bowden (played by Nick Nolte) and his family (with Jessica Lange, starring as Sam’s wife, and Juliette Lewis as Bowden’s daughter). The film also stars Gregory Peck who appeared in the original feature film

“Cape Fear” was a huge commercial success. De Niro and Lewis won Oscar and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress respectively. The film is also memorable for Cady’s unwholesome pursuit of Bowden’s daughter, the apocalyptic final showdown on the boat when Cady tries to take his revenge and the haunting music.

There’s no doubt about it: Martin Scorsese is a most brilliant director and has directed some highly engrossing movies. Other big hits you might wish to see, if you’ve not already seen them and liked the movies above, include “The Departed”, “The Aviator”, “The Color of Money” and “The Irishman”.

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