For decades now, Martin Scorsese has truly built up a reputation as a quality filmmaker. He has become known for such work as 'Goodfellas' and 'Casino,' making himself a master of the modern gangster cinema. Scorsese is also known for working particular actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Originally hailing from New York City, he has become a veteran in the act and looked up to by a number of other directors. He was born in 1942 and while he is one of the oldest directors in the business, he continues to crank out the hits with 'The Wolf of Wall Street' set to be released later this year on November 15. He is also working on a biography film about Frank Sinatra. He was nominated for best director by a number of his films before finally being recognized for his work on 'The Departed,' his hit drama from 2006 with an excellent ensemble cast.
Scorsese's work has varied greatly over the years, but his most well-known work seems to be his action-packed films and especially those early on in his career. His most recent film 'Hugo' was also much different from his previous films, which starred a young kid and had elements of fantasy in it. Like so many of his other films, this one also got nominated for best picture and best director Oscars, although did not win for either.
We shall now take a look at some of his greatest work, spanning across his long career and some of my favorites of his. For this first part, I will just focus on five of Scorsese's earliest films, which all featured Robert De Niro. After this era, he started working with Leonardo DiCaprio much of the time and making more of a variety of types of films.
10. Mean Streets- This film centers around Tony and Michael, owning a neighborhood bar and making deals in the mean streets of New York City's Little Italy. As they struggle through a failed attempt to escape, they simply move closer to a bitter future filled with crime. Charlie's future is less clearly defined and becomes more of a star in the film. The film stars Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.
9. Taxi Driver- Robert De Niro plays Travis Bickle, the main character in this film, who is an ex-marine and Vietnam War veteran living in New York City. He works as a night-time taxi driver where he is able to feed his urge for violent action and attempts to help a young prostitute in the process. Jodie Foster plays the teenage prostitute in one of her first roles in a film that has become a classic.
8. Raging Bull- This film tells the true story of boxer Jake LaMotta, played by Robert De Niro in his rise to fame in the ring. Jake is emotionally unstable and while his violence and wild temper quickly leads him to the top in the ring, it also destroys the family and friends that has outside of the ring. The film also stars Cathy Moriarty and Joe Pesci.
7. Goodfellas- Henry is a small time gangster who is involved in a robbery with Jimmy and Tommy, two other gangsters who have set their sights even higher. The film chronicles Henry's life from his teenage years up until the time that he is put in jail as he gets heavily involved with the mob and wrecks the family that he has made in the process. The film stars Ray Liotta as Henry with Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as Jimmy and Tommy, respectively.
6. Casino- This film pairs Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci as best friends in the mob who slowly start competing due to their rising greed, money and power. This results to murder and deception and even the trophy wife that they are each involved with, played by Sharon Stone. The mobster life that rules Las Vegas in this film is filled with glamour but also a very brutal and cruel side.