Martin Scorsese: New York and Power

Feature Image Source: Hollywood Reporter

One my favorite directors of all time, Martin Scorsese demonstrates unique elements to all his films, such as; hiring Leonardo DiCaprio or Robert De Niro, if DiCaprio is not available, use Italian stereotypes, a script directly from a book, glorifying crime, wealth, food (my favorite element), freeze frames, voice-overs, and an absurd amount of swear words. For this post, I will only mention a few items that make each Scorsese film, a Rolling Stone filled classic.

Scorsese pictures are not simply films, each is a visual work of art. I am not referring to a student art house piece. I’m talking about something artistic enough to be intelligent, but also mainstream. The first element of a Scorsese film is the cast. Scorsese always uses the same two actors: Leonardo DiCaprio or Robert De Niro.

Scorsese films starting DiCaprio

  • Gangs of New York (2002)
  • The Aviator (2004)
  • The Departed (2006)
  • Shutter Island (2010)
  • The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)  
  • The Audition (2015)

Scorsese films staring De Niro

  • Mean Streets (1973)
  • Taxi Driver (1976)
  • New York, New York (1977)
  • Raging Bull (1980)
  • The King of Comedy (1982)
  • Goodfellas (1900) (My absolute favorite Scorsese film.)
  • Cape Fear (1991)
  • Casino (1995)
  • The Audition (2015) 

Both actors can look and act like anyone. Scorsese almost always uses actor Joe Pesci as supporting actor or, in other words, an “Italian regular.”


Image Source: acmi

Scorsese films also typically use a female, blonde leading character, which are interchangeable, so I won’t name them individually. But what I adore most about a Scorsese film is his parents. Scorsese always tries to incorporate his parents whenever he can. I especially love his mother’s role in Goodfellas (1990), because she reminds me so much of my mom.

 Image Credit and Source: USA Today and NY Daily News

When it comes to the script, the ambiguous term “original content” is an gets thrown around a lot these days. The plot of a lot of Scorsese films derives directly from the pages from various narratives.

Screenplay based from books

(Scorsese film = Book)

  • The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013) =  The Wolf of Wall Street: How Money Destroyed A Wall Street Superman by Jordan Belfort
  • Goodfellas (1990) = Wise Guy by Nicholas Pileggi
  • Casino (1995) = Casino by Nicholas Pileggi
  • The Aviator (2004)Howard Hughes: The Secret Life by Charles Higham

Two major components in every Martin Scorsese film (which he is notorious known for) is the glorification of crime and the use of controversial Italian stereotypes.

Lastly, some Scorsese stereotypes that can be found in every film: characters that posse hot tempers, renown culinary skills, kisses “Godfather” style, and religious. Implements domestic violence, drug use, people being shot at point blank range, and the constant use of the F word. All reasons I love Martin Scorsese films and make him one of my favorite directors of all time.


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