The Graduate- Sarah Harlan

After almost two decades of hard work and studying, the average graduate would come home, relax, and put all of their worries aside. This isn’t the case for Benjamin Braddock. From being a loner, to having an affair with a married woman, then to stalking young college girls, the young man doesn’t plan on ‘relaxing’ anytime soon.

After Braddock graduates from college and returns back to his upper-middles class home in the suburbs of California, he soon becomes disinterested in everything. Having been studious and very busy for such a long time, the kid needed rest. There was nothing that anybody could say or do to spark any interest in this newly graduated young man. “His family and their social circle demand that he perform in the role of Successful Young Upward-Venturing Clean-Cut All-American College Grad. At the end of two weeks Benjamin is driven to such a pitch of desperation that he demonstrates a new scuba outfit (birthday present from proud dad) by standing on the bottom of the family pool: Alone at last.”(Roger Ebert Review)That is, until a longtime family friend of his parents, Mrs. Robinson, urges him with an offer of casual sex “under the table.” Although this sneaky woman is married with children, this affair seems to bring Benjamin to a certain level of contentment. This unspoken relationship soon develops problems when the young man begins to develop feelings for the Robinson’s daughter, Elaine. Even after becoming banned from seeing Elaine or having any associations with her, Benjamin does everything in his power to save the only important thing left to him.

As far as the visual aspects go, the movie was very engaging. Even though there was far less technology back then, the producers do a very fine job. I’d have to say that some of my favorite scenes are the underwater ones. The movie does a good job of putting the viewers in the actor’s shoes. It allows for a very realistic effect and brings life to the movie experience. Although the visual aspects were very strong, the movie had one hell of a plot. The movie kept me on my toes all the way to the end. The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols, is a classic, must see. Almost anyone can find humor is this fantastic movie. 


Genre Analysis – Rodomista

The gangster genre is one of the most popular sub-genres in the history of film. Classics like Scarface, Goodfellas, The Godfather, and Mean Streets owe their popularity to the pre-established tropes and motifs from the multitude of gangster flicks before them. For the purpose of my examination, Goodfellas and The Godfather: Part I will be compared. Both movies showcase a rise and fall, and both emphasize trust as the most important component of any gang. 

In both films, there is a showcase of a rise and a fall. In Goodfellas, we see that Henry Hill rises as well as falls, ending up in his ultimate fate in witness protection. In The Godfather, we see the rise of Michael Corleone, with the fall of Vito (culminating in Vito’s death). This trope exists to show that crime doesnt pay, even if it seems cool for a bit. It can be seen in many gangster movies. 

Another theme that is showcased in both movies is that of trustworthiness. In Goodfellas, it’s trust that ultimately causes the downfall of Henry’s crime family. In The Godfather, trust gets Michael’s wife killed, and culminates in the elimination of gang members across New York (baptism scene). 


Goodfellas review – Rodomista

Goodfellas is perhaps the quintessential gangster movie of the 20th century. It tells the story of a man named Henry Hill, and his journey through the ranks of the Italian mafia. Henry’s story is centered around him and his two mobster friends, Tommy and Jimmy, as they lie, cheat, kill, and steal their way to the top. The rise and eventual downfall of Henry’s crime family is the backdrop to the movie as a whole, and provides interesting insight on what happens when things go wrong.

Scorsese does an excellent job making the movie visually appealing, with his obsessive attention to detail in editing and camerawork. The movie, though it sits at almost three hours long, moves briskly with intricate cinematography and snappy editing. The acting is stellar, with performances by Joe Pesci and Robert De Niro ultimately stealing the show. 

This combination of superior elements earn Goodfellas a well deserved 9/10.





Goodfellas tells the true story of the life of former gangster Henry Hill. Ever since Hill could remember he wanted to be a gangster. He envied the fame and perks that came with the lifestyle. As a result, Hill got a small part time job as a valet boy for one of the gangsters and was shortly able to work his way up to become a significant member of the gang. As a late teenager, Hill was introduced to Tommy DeVito, a short-tempered violent up-and-coming gangster and Jimmy Conway, a mid-twenty year old star in the mobster community. The three quickly became partners and begin doing all of their work as a team. All seems to be going well between the group until Tommy’s anger gets the best of him and ends up murdering a well-known boss (or leader) of a gang. The three take responsibility of the body and bury the body in a construction yard. At this scene, there is drastic shift in the film; the movie goes from an appealing care-free environment to a dangerous and unstable feel.

Although Goodfellas is nearly three hours in length, it does not have a second of dullness. The story structure and narrators presence keep the audience engaged at all times; and Martin Scorsese’s brilliant directing keep the complex script easy to follow. Without such a talented director like Scorsese, Goodfellas would have been a bust.

Overall Goodfellas is an amazing film that everyone should see. 

Gangster Genre Milani


From The Departed to Scarface, gangster films have been some of the most critically acclaimed films in history. However, if you were to ask anyone what the two best gangster films in history are or even what are the two best movies in history are, a lot of people would say Goodfellas directed by Martin Scorsese and The Godfather directed by Francis Ford Coppola. These two are the most popular gangster films because they both have unique and complex story structures. Neither film solely focuses on action; both movies have romance like Henry Hill and his relationship with Karen in Goodfellas, and Michael Corleone and his relationship with Kay Adams and Apollonia in The Godfather. Also both movies have comedy like Joe Pesci’s role in Goodfellas and a number of characters in The Godfather.

However, much of the appeal of these two gangster films has to do with the idea of a “blue color celebrity”. Gangsters are not normal “celebrities”, although, everyone in their respective areas knows who they are and treats them like royalty, they are criminals who work their way up to become untouchable to all aspects of normal society. They can do or say anything they want without basically any repercussion from the police. Although the police aren’t a huge worry for gangsters, there still is fear of getting wacked (killed) by another gangster if you act out of line or disrespect a superior mobster. Although this disciplinary system isn’t as conventional as most of us normal people deal with, still, who wouldn’t want to be a gangster?


Genre Analysis/The Cats Last Life – Meow

     The gangster Genre is one that has produced some of the most critically acclaimed films to come out in the twentieth century. Two of the best Ganster films are; Goodfellas, directed by Martin Scorsese, and The Godfather, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Gangster genres have many things that separate themselves from other films. Foreshadowing is a major technique used by gangster films. In Goodfellas there is a lot of foreshadowing used. Once, when Henry went through his first trial his older peers told him he did well because he kept his mouth shut. Later in the film the rest of Henry’s mob was worried he would rat them out. Foreshadowing is used again when tommy shoots the teenage waiter then later in the movie he offs a head gang member for another gang which gets him in trouble. 

     Another way that The Godfather and Goodfellas classify the gangster genre is how the films portray family. In both movies almost every scene has some sort of gathering of family where they are eating or drinking together. These scenes are used to portray a sense of family and togetherness as well as a sense of privacy. This sense of privacy in the family is shown especially in the Godfather since the Don doesn’t talk to anyone outside the family and when he does it is in a very secure private setting. This sense of privacy gives the viewer an idea of what it is like to be part of a mob family and what kind of trust the others have in each other.
     Goodfellas does a good job at avoiding the generic gangster genre cliche. An example of this is when Henry starts selling cocaine, after a while he starts doing cocaine. The drug use causes Henry to lose his brain and stop thinking straightly. This is different than normal gangster movies because Henry blatantly disobeys his boss Paulie to sell cocaine. Henry is just too fixated on making money and forgets about respecting his elders and respecting the family. These two films placed gangster genre films into a highly respected group of films

Genre Analysis- Peter

Peter Curtis

Ms. Niehus

Intermediate Film-F


GoodFellas/Godfather Genre Analysis

            GoodFellas and The Godfather are widely known as one of the best gangster films of all time. To call either of these films just gangster films is true but a lot more must be said about them when addressing them. Even though they both played on the gangster genre’s clichés, there were also new ways to innovate and stand out from other gangster films.

The clichés that GoodFellas had were obvious from the beginning; it was based off a book, it was about gangsters doing gangster things, and it was going to film noir. Although, despite it being based off a true story can be seen as a limitation, it helped the film stand out. With all the violent actions and threats in this film, the audience was surprised that this happened and people actually died that simple. Also, no other gangster film played on the main character going insane, as Henry Hill did when his drug addiction drives him paranoid and kind of off the wall insane. The female lead is also very relevant, whereas most female characters in other gangster films are either there to look pretty or to talk the men out of what they’re doing, Henry’s wife Karen is relevant and interesting even without being a “femme fatale”. She does play along but she narrates at some scenes, stands independent against Henry, and even threatens to kill him at one point. “Goodfellas” had many innovations like this and the fact that it was all true really worked as one of the films greatest strengths.

“The Godfather” was different than “GoodFellas” however; it didn’t make very many innovations compared to “GoodFellas”. It was a classic tale of the mafia, family, and loyalty. So classic that it is almost impossible to hate and acting so superb that it felt real. Most people know the mafia story of a man who returns from war to join the family business, after “The Godfather” a lot of different films and shows used that idea. The movie showed some innovation when Don Vito Corleone losing sight of the world as the world turned its back on the old ways, this gave his son Michael Corleone a huge reason to step in. But what makes this film stand out are the actors who both portrayed them. Marlon Brando was an excellent choice to represent Don Vito’s loss of confidence, his passion for the family business, and eventually his demise. Al Pacino was also perfect to show how Michael was conflicted from his family and his desires, how he must be loyal to his family, and eventually his rise to becoming Don. This story became one of the biggest classics in American film history and has always been seen as one of the best.

The differences between each film are pretty big but it is not like that there are very many. Both films were successful for different reasons. The Godfather was more character driven and GoodFellas was more innovative. The way each film represents film noir is exactly the way film noir should be, they both had the appropriate amount of violence along with other crimes, great music, an ominous atmosphere with a shadowy setting, and more importantly the cynical lead characters. If anyone had pulled off making a movie all about film noir with enough innovations, those people would be Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola.

Genre Analysis – Robyn Krieger

The Godfather was an intense thrill ride through the dark asylum, known as “gangster politics”. Although it did not include as much action as Goodfellas, it managed to capture the audience and envelope them in the politics involved with the life of a gangster. The movie, in the beginning, looks as if it’s going to follow the life of notorious gangster, Don Vito. However, when Don Vito is gunned down and hospitalized, the audience is left lost and struggling to find a substitute main character. That is when Don Vito’s son, Michael. Michael finds out Don Vito was the only mob leader standing in the way of the rest of the families from getting involved with the drug trade. The story goes on to follow Michael’s life as he avoids being whacked by the other families, clings onto hopes of his father recuperating from his injuries, and decides what he should do in response to this aggressive action.

The movie fits perfectly into the gangster genre of films. It shows the luxury involved in the life of a gangster when Don Vito is at his daughter’s wedding. Then, after Don Vito is gunned down and released from the hospital, he tells Michael that he wishes Michael never got involved with the mob. This is the fall of Don Vito, for it shows in the end, he does not want the gangster life anymore. The violent and dark politics show the darker side of it. This “join or die” mentality helps the audience see the paranoid, merciless attitude that fuels the gangster lifestyle. The director puts emphasis on this dark mentality by utilizing dim lighting techniques to make even the happiest scenes seem dark and miserable.

Goodfellas also portrays a luxurious, yet paranoid side to the gangster life. At first, Henry Hill, the main character, makes money and spends it generously. He wears nice suits, drives nice cars, and has strong connections with the owners of fancy night clubs. After he gets involved in the drug trade and, in turn, begins using drugs, he becomes a paranoid, nervous wreck that ultimately makes him a burden for his bosses, Paulie Cicero and Jimmy Conway. He finds he cannot trust even his closest friends in the crime family and believes he will be wacked soon. Henry’s extreme paranoia leads him to make life changing decisions he never thought he would come to. Goodfellas has the perfect mix of making the mob life look good and making it look straight up terrifying. This is what makes it one of the greatest gangster films ever produced.

Both The Godfather and Goodfellas portray the gangster life in two different ways. The Godfather gives it more of a dark, political skin, while Goodfellas gives it a more “trust no one”, money driven skin. Surprisingly, both films manage to avoid predictable endings. The Godfather employs Don Vito as a peacemaker instead of a war wager. After he is gunned down and one of his sons are killed, he does not respond by going to war with the other families. He negotiates in order to avoid any more bloodshed. Goodfellas uses Henry Hill’s paranoia to have him choose a life he used to criticize and never thought he would take up. The unpredictability and controversial depictions of the gangster life in these films make them monuments of the gangster genre. 

Genre analysis- William

Goodfellas and The Godfather are two great gangsta films. They both show the good and bad of the gangsta life. Gangstas gained attention as a result of Prohibition. They would control the distribution of alcohol, and they earned respect and made a ton of money. They would pay off and control the police and judges, so they would be able to do whatever they wanted. When watching movies everyone wants the good guy to come out victorious in the end, but in gangsta movies there are no good guys, only the better guy.

Those two movies definitely fit the gangsta film genre. They both do a great job of showing how the gangstas control the police, have respect, kill anyone who disrespects them, and have money. To avoid cliché and predictability, filmmakers have to add creative ideas in their films. The filmmakers have to throw a curveball in the film that will surprise the audience. In Goodfellas they did it when Tommy killed Billy Bates who was a made man. This was a turning point in the film as everything started going downhill from that moment. In The Godfather they did it towards the end when Michael orders the killings of the other New York dons. In both movies those creative ideas added to the effect of the gangsta life, but also was unpredictable.

These two films are examples of the revisionist stage of the genre and they are different from the classic examples of gangsta films. They are similar to the classics because it focuses on one main gangsta and follow him through his rise and fall in the mob. This is a really good movie that everyone should see.


Genre Analysis- Sarahh

ImageThere was a time where no one could be trusted. You couldn’t trust your best friend… your uncle. No one. You looked over your shoulder as you walk down your driveway  to get the morning paper.  The fear of turning around and having a gun pointed  right between your eyes was always alive. All  you work for was power and wealth. That is, if you were a gangster.


   The gangster life was surely an interesting one. This may be the reason why classic gangster films such as  Scarface, Public Enemy, and Little Caesar became so popular. The classic gangster genre follows  a mobster’s journey and their search for power and wealth. These mobsters are depicted as both a hero and a criminal to society. Although   they break laws and will shoot anyone who gives them a dirty look, they are respected and supported by the people living around them. This could be a mixture of both the comfort of being protected and also the fear of being killed. Often times in the classical gangster genre, they hero reaches top status and power, but he ironically falls to his doom soon after.


   In Coppola’s film, The Godfather,  the classic gangster genre is shown but also has a deeper meaning to the movie. This 1972 film is very slow moving and dramatic.  The characters are stereotypical in a way that their personality wouldn’t surprise you. In the classic gangster genre, the films are mostly revolved around the mafia  life. This is not the entire case in The Godfather. Although there are many shootouts and violence, the real story is in the family. Rather than being crushed about someone getting shot, the real pain is of Vito Corleone on hearing the news. It’s the angst of a father who wants nothing more but to see his children doing better than he could have ever did.  It’s the inevitability of a son following in his father’s footsteps. This is the core of the God father


   On the other hand, Goodfellas truly follows the life of a gangster. It shows the struggles and  mere luck of an average mobster  who isn’t even part of a real or even extended mob family. Rather, he is part of a huge fight for money and power. There is a sense of trust to some degree in this movie, but ultimately, no one is trusted. Henry Hill wanted to be a gangster all his life. Perhaps the one personified in the Godfather. He soon learns that this stereotype doesn’t exist, and come into terms with the fact that this simple dreams was actually a harsh reality. Hence, his ultimate downfall. The viewer is shown both the up and downs of the gangster life. Although this movie is more recent, it really does follow the classic  genre that was originally established.


   While both movies still have relations to the classic gangster genre, they are able to keep things new and fresh. What really allows them to not become cliché is how they stick to their time period. When the movies were both made, they were new and recent. They didn’t appear to be made 30 years prior to their release date. There are simple things such as plot twist and different types of character development that allowed these films to continue to be both interesting and engaging.


   The gangster life continues to be and outstanding  and interesting genre in films today. With the invention of new machines and software, the visual aspect of this genre will just continue to become better. As far as the content goes, no gangster movie will ever be boring or cliché to me.