Goodfellas appeared earlier this week, and it reminded me of one of those great stories-by-interviews that GQ does from time to time, reconstructing an event and then allowing people's words to create the narrative. The October issue did just that with Martin Scorsese's masterpiece, and the full story is worth the read.
The article contains interviews with virtually every big name associated with the film, including Nicholas Pileggi, whose Wiseguy book was the source material for the film. He's included in the GQ story, and remembers, in particular, the tough audience feedback that was received.
“They had the screening in Southern California for an
audience of Orange County, white, conservative people,” Pileggi recalled. “They started
seeing people getting shot in the trunks of cars and guys stabbed and
about seventy people walked out. The Warner Bros. bosses were sitting
there, they said, 'Holy shit. We've got a bad movie. We've got
Thankfully, smarter heads prevailed, and few cuts were made to the film. But the question remains: To what batch of moviegoers do we put the blame on fucking with Scorsese's head? Big Newport? The then-AMC 10 in Fullerton? Inquiring minds want to know!