Way back to I can keep in mind, I at all times wished to be a gangster.
So says Ray Liotta, taking part in mid-level wiseguy Henry Hill in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas (1990). The digicam pushes in and freezes on his face as “Rags to Riches” by Tony Bennett fills our ears. Thus begins one of many best movies ever printed on celluloid.
Goodfellas went from an unheralded theatrical mob flick from a director who hadn’t struck gold for the reason that Nineteen Seventies to an absolute smash on house video. First it turned a cult basic. Now it is simply basic.
The forged (Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Paul Sorvino, and Joe Pesci) and director (Martin Scorsese) of Goodfellas. Picture, Warner Bros.
Goodfellas gave Liotta main-character vitality after his tear-jerking supporting flip as Shoeless Joe Jackson in Subject of Desires (1989) reverse Kevin Costner. By Hill – a mobster-turned-FBI-informant – he narrates Scorsese’s action-packed, foul-mouthed, infinitely rewatchable tour of the world of the New York and New Jersey mob scene. He is there for the tradition, the meals, the cash, the medicine … and the watches. All through the movie, Hill wears solely gold timepieces – although one specific blue-chip Swiss piece makes a shock look.
Why We’re Watching
Final Friday, tragic information hit the wires that Ray Liotta handed away unexpectedly, in his sleep, whereas on location for an upcoming movie. For sure, the larger moviegoing public was shocked. At age 67, he was nonetheless very a lot a working actor. Most lately, he appeared within the Sopranos prequel movie, The Many Saints of Newark, as twins Sally and “Hollywood Dick” Moltisanti. However he’ll at all times be remembered for his position as Henry Hill. When it got here to a film to function this week, and an actor to honor, this was a no brainer.
Goodfellas follows Hill and his cohorts Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) as they rise by the ranks within the larger mob world, pulling off heists and falling deeper into the darkish, coke-soaked depths of life in crime.
Tommy DeVito (Pesci), Henry Hill (Liotta), and Jimmy Conway (De Niro) test on a rating in Goodfellas. Picture, Warner Bros.
It takes place, predominantly, within the ’70s – when all people wore some form of watch, and just about each gangster in each scene is sporting one. Hill’s character seems to be a real fanatic (he would’ve been throughout our remark part @KarensHusband), sporting what seems to be to be three completely different timepieces on his proper wrist – all in gangsterish yellow gold.
Hill (Liotta) together with his Seiko and Karen (Lorraine Bracco) sky-gazing for FBI choppers in Goodfellas. Picture, Warner Bros.
For almost all of the film, Hill seems to put on an offbeat gold-toned Seiko on an equally gold bracelet. This seems to be to be the Seiko Quartz SQ (presumably the mannequin 7813) with white dial and Seiko SQ branding close to six o’clock. It’s laborious to inform if this watch has the SQ day-date complication however it seems to be like Liotta is sporting this on a gold bracelet that’s completely different from the OEM choice. That is the form of watch born throughout what many discuss with because the Quartz Disaster. It is a wearable, set-it-and-forget-it piece that does not break the financial institution however lets you stunt simply sufficient in entrance of your pals with out elevating the suspicions of the FBI.
Hill (Liotta) and Karen (Bracco) have a good time Christmas with the costliest tree, and his stable gold Rolex in Goodfellas. Picture, Warner Bros.
However everybody will get sloppy typically. Close to the top of the movie we see Hill briefly sporting a Rolex Day-Date in yellow gold. It is principally a “blink and also you miss it” second. This watch, unmistakable with its fluted bezel and iconic President bracelet, seems shortly after Hill and his friends have gotten deep into the cocaine recreation. I wish to suppose it was bought in a second of weak point, when Hill was actually feeling himself, watching the cash pour in.
Related, although barely older, Rolex Day-Date to the one worn by Ray Liotta in Goodfellas.
As for the third watch, it is a sq. gold timepiece with a champagne dial on a leather-based strap that Hill wears for many of the first and second act. In the event you suppose you’ll be able to spot this one, let me know within the feedback.
When We’re Watching
As talked about, the Day-Date’s display time is transient, however its scene is pivotal: In a celebratory second backed by Darlene Love’s “Christmas,” we see Conway slip Hill a bit extra cash from the notorious Lufthansa Heist. We then reduce to Hill at house with “the costliest” faux Christmas tree. As he hugs and kisses his spouse, Karen (Lorraine Bracco), we get a fast close-up of this particular Rolex Day-Date. If solely it acquired the Scorsese freeze-frame.
Picture, Warner Bros.
The ultimate half-hour of Goodfellas is a coked-up anxiousness journey as we comply with a-day-in-the-life of a paranoid Henry Hill simply earlier than being busted by the feds. We hear as he narrates and watch as he goes about his day – cooking up a batch of ziti, driving round suburbia, and searching skyward for a helicopter he believes is following him. The soundtrack modifications songs continually to match the frenetic tempo. In a very drugged-out, helicopter-gazing second (with Harry Nilsson blasting on the stereo), we see Hill cruising in his Coupe de Ville. His arms are on the wheel and we get a view of what seems to be to be the Seiko SQ 7813. Who is aware of what turned of the Rolex? Perhaps he took it off whereas cooking. In any case, you’ll be able to’t get crimson sauce on the President.
Picture, Warner Bros.
Goodfellas (starring Ray Liotta) is directed by Martin Scorsese with props by Robert Griffon Jr. It’s accessible to hire or purchase on iTunes and Amazon.
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HODINKEE is a certified retailer of Seiko watches; and the HODINKEE Store encompasses a collection of pre-owned and classic Rolex timepieces.