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clearly not a nice man. but, god, what a movie.
Hill used to go on Stern for years. He was so much more of a scumbag in real life than Liotta's character in the movie.
yeah when you listen to him on Stern you really realized how scummy he really was.
Also when you read "Wise Guy," one of the greatest beach or airplane books of all time. Jimmy Burke and Tommy DeSimone were legitimate sociopaths...and in the case of DeSimone most likely a psychopath.
It's weird to think the Joe Pesci character was actually a watered DOWN version of the real guy, but if you believe Hill and Pileggi he was.
John Boorman criticized Scorsese for not having the necessary moral detachment from the subject--the loving details, the thinly sliced garlic, the music--to create the proper sense of horror and evil of these guys.
I always thought that two shots, the one of Henry reacting to the beating of Billy Bats and his reaction to Spider's death ("He's dead," which drew "No shit" from the audience each of the five times I saw it in the theater), tried to make Henry look apart from Tommy and Jimmy, as if he had a shred of decency in there. Perhaps this was because he was the lead and Scorsese wanted to make him a little sympathetic but even Jimmy and Tommy, as twisted as they are, aren't unlikable in the movie.
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