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10+ 'Goodfellas' Behind The Scenes Secrets Fans Didn't Know

Goodfellas was released back in 1972 and continues to be one of the most iconic mafia films of all time. The director, Martin Scorsese, did NOT have to go that hard for us, but he did. He gave us an absolute classic.

But there is plenty that fans don't know about the movie, but luckily we are here to help with that!

1. Martin Scorsese had to negotiate the number of times Batts got stabbed.

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During a test screening of the film, audience members were so disturbed, they walked out after the first scene when Joe Pesci's character stabbed Billy Batts seven times.

Martin Scorsese ultimately decided to cut down the number of stabs from seven to four instead, to appease squeamish viewers.

2. Henry Hill was a real person.

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Goodfellas is based off of a biographical book called Wiseguy, written by Nicholas Pileggi. It recounts the life of Henry Hill, an associate for the Lucchese crime family before becoming an informant for the FBI.

While the movie definitely embellished certain details, it was generally based on the true story of Henry Hill.

3. Martin Scorsese had already imagined what the soundtrack would be like before the movie was made.

Goodfellas has an incredibly memorable and eclectic soundtrack that fits perfectly in each scene, and according to the film's music editor, Christopher Brooks, Martin had a clear vision of what he wanted for the soundtrack from the get-go.

He had songs chosen three years in advance, and was willing to jump through hoops to attain the necessary licensing — no matter the cost.

4. Robert De Niro was in close contact with the real-life Henry Hill while filming.

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It's no secret that Robert De Niro is an incredibly talented, committed actor, and with that comes research!

While he was developing his character, Jimmy Conway, he called Henry Hill up to eight times a day, making sure he had every detail memorized right down to the way he poured ketchup.

5. The wardrobe team on the set of the movie made sure to make Robert De Niro look *especially* over-the-top.

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While watching, you might have noticed that Robert's character always looked especially flashy in comparison to everybody else. This was done intentionally by the team in charge of the wardrobe!

The pinky ring and watch were an absolute must.

6. Robert De Niro carried around wads of his own cash while filming.

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As I mentioned, Robert De Niro is impressively dedicated to his career. He literally spares no expense when it comes to committing to his roles.

While filming Goodfellas, in an effort to truly get into the mindset of a mobster, he carried around $5000 of his own money in his pocket at all times.

7. Martin Scorsese took from his own experience to paint Henry's childhood in the film.

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At the start of the movie, Henry as a child, looking out of his window at the gangsters below, on his street — a scene Martin is personally connected to.

As a kid, he was forced to spend a lot of time in his home due to health complications. He would pass time staring out his window, people-watching.

8. Martin Scorsese had to help Ray Liotta tie his tie properly.

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There are plenty of people that don't know the right way to tie a tie, and Ray Liotta was one of those people.

Thankfully, Martin was around to show him the ropes.

9. The iconic "How am I funny?" scene was inspired by a real event.

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Before Joe Pesci became an actor, he was a waiter. He recalled a time when he called a patron funny and received a sour response to his comment.

Martin loved Joe's anecdote so much that he decided to incorporate it into the film.

"And Joe was telling me a story about what happened to him in Queens or wherever it was and he said to some guy," Ray Liotta said in a making-of documentary.

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"The guy said something who happened to be a connected guy and he said 'Well ... you think I'm funny?'"

10. Martin Scorsese intentionally tried to create tension between the cast mates.

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In the scene where Sonny asks Paulie to take control of the restaurant, Martin told Tony Darrow, who played Sonny, to improvise more, but failed to also tell Paul Sorvino, who played Paulie, about the last-minute change.

This evoked genuine frustration and confusion between the two, ultimately, bringing real emotion to the scene.

11. Ray Liotta's mother passed away during production of the film.

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Unfortunately, amid filming Goodfellas, Ray Liotta's mother passed away from breast cancer.

Instead of leaving the movie during what was arguably one of the hardest periods of his life, he chose to gear his emotion into his work.

12. Martin Scorsese's mom made a brief appearance in the film.

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Martin's mom, Catherine, played the role of Tommy's mother in the movie. What's even better than that, is that the scene she was in was almost entirely improvised.

Evidently, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree! Catherine was a natural!

13. The attorney who helped get the real-life Henry Hill convicted, appeared in the movie.

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Ed McDonald, a prosecutor who had a hand in putting the real-life Henry Hill behind bars and then helping get him into witness protection, played himself in the film.