Martin Scorsese: the top 10 of his best films

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What are the top ten films of the prolific Martin Scorsese? We tell you in our ranking

Italian emigrant grandparents whose surname was erroneously transcribed from Scots to Scorsese, in 1942 was born in a neighborhood of Queens Martin, the predestined of the family. Poor origins endangered his artistic birth, but after a failed experience as a priest Scorsese had a chance to show himself as a top-notch director. After the first successes since the 70s it has practically never stopped, continuing to churn out great successes with audiences and critics for half a century.

Obviously due to the very high number of high-level films signed by Martin Scorsese it is difficult to find the ten best. In this list let’s try to take into account the most significant for his career and the history of cinema.

10. Taxi Driver | Martin Scorsese best movies

One of the most significant and recognizable films in the history of cinema. The famous phrase “Are you talking like me?” is known by practically everyone in the world. robert de niro as Travis Bickle gives one of the best performances of his career. In this film Scorsese explores human loneliness through a introspective journey of the protagonist, a veteran of Vietnam, unable to integrate into society and increasingly marginalized. Suffering from insomnia, Travis gets hired as a taxi driver on the night shift, coming to terms with his dark side and with that of the city of New York.

The film, which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, received 4 Oscar nominations, without winning any: Best Film, Best Actor Robert de Niro, Best Supporting Actress, Newcomer Jodie Foster, Best Score, performed by Bernard Hermann. Despite remaining empty-handed, Taxi Driver is one of Scorsese’s most successful and celebrated films, a source of inspiration for many films to come and consecration for the director after the critical success of Mean Streets in 1973. Scorsese himself also appears in a Taxi Driver cameos.

9. Raging Bull | Martin Scorsese best movies

Once again Robert de Niro as the protagonist, who in this case takes home the Academy statuette by virtue of an immense interpretation. Indeed, for the role DeNiro learned to box (with fights that are among the most realistic ever filmed) and for the second half of Jake LaMotta’s life, he put on several pounds. The film also marks the beginning of the collaboration of another Scorsese fetish actor, Joe Pesci.

The story concerns the Italian American boxer Jake LaMotta which is told through the use of the black and white, perhaps to underline the duality of the protagonist. LaMotta, middleweight boxing stars and stripes, completes the classic rise and fall of the hero, going from being the champion of his category to a state of paranoia that will alienate him from all his loved ones. Fallen from grace, he also ends up in prison on charges of exploiting prostitution. Reduced to the streets and visibly fattened, he will find himself forced to perform in clubs with cabaret numbers.

8. Cape Fear | Martin Scorsese best movies

Remake of the 1962 film of the same name, starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum (who appear here in small parts), based on a novel by John D. MacDonald, the film is a story of revenge but, in this case, the positive protagonist suffers the villain’s desire for revenge. Robert De Niro as Max Cady, a criminal who is released from the penitentiary where he was serving his sentence after 14 years in prison, sets out in search of lawyer Sam Bowden, played by Nick Nolte: in fact, he had been his defender in a rape trial in 1977 but, according to Cady, the lawyer hadn’t done all he could to clear him. The ex-convict’s sights turn towards Bowden’s underage daughter played by Juliette Lewis and his wife, who has the face of Jassica Lange. Forced to flee Bowden and family will retire to the town of Cape Fear, where the final act of this dark and gripping thriller will take place.

De Niro, to prepare for the role, spent 5,000 dollars to have his teeth ruined and at the end of filming, he spent another 20,000 to have them fixed. This and other physical sacrifices in preparation for the role earned De Niro another Oscar nomination, along with that for Juliette Lewis, but neither of them took home the coveted statuette. Famous is the introduction of the character of Cady, then also taken from The Simpsons for the character of Sideshow Bob.

7. Goodfellas | Martin Scorsese best movies

Henry Hill, played by the late Ray Liotta, is the protagonist of the gangster epic who goes through his criminal career, from the young boy in the pay of the mafia to a real gangster. Based on the novel Il delitto paga bene by Nicholas Pileggi, who also wrote the screenplay for the film, here too we are grappling with a parable of rise and fall, and the protagonist, cornered by the FBI, will find himself forced into betrayal for survival.

This film, over the years has undergone various criticisms as guilty, according to some, of being too lenient towards organized crime. Following the evolution of the characters, and their end, we understand how the message of the film is that crime does not pay. In addition to Ray Liotta in the film we find the two associates Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, interpreters of Henry’s gangster partners in crime. The film received 6 Oscar nominations (Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay) bringing home only one statuette, the one for Joe Pesci as best supporting actor.

6. The Irishman The best movies of Martin Scorsese

Frank Sheeran is a World War II veteran and a truck driver when he meets the man of destiny, Russell Bufalino, mob boss in Philadelphia, who sees in him the main trait of a good officer: reliability. Russell is so proud of Frank that he introduces him to Jimmy Hoffa, the head of the truckers’ union, more popular than Elvis and the Beatles combined. Hoffa is volcanic and brilliant, calculating and strategist, but also affectionate and seductive. Frank is not immune to his charisma and becomes his bodyguard, his adviser and, perhaps, his best friend.

Il journey of these three characters through the United States and American history represents the swan song of the director, who puts forty years of experience into this film. That Scorsese’s intent was to build an anti Goodfellas is stated right from the first, magnificent sequence shot, in which the camera enters the corridors of a rest home until it tracks down Frank, now elderly and confined to a wheelchair, who begins his story in a voiceover to explain his story to us and to himself. Again the portane theme is the ups and downs of a gangster’s careerthrough the setting of a casino, where greed, deceit and money reign supreme, making the film an allegory on man’s desire for wealth.

5. King for a night | Martin Scorsese best movies

Greeted at the beginning and re-evaluated later, the film originally titled The King of Comedy represents a satire, ever more topical, on the world of celebrities and on the relationship with the public. The usual Robert De Niro plays Rupert Pupkin, aspiring comedian, fan of the presenter Jerry Langford played by Jerry Lewis, who once met his idol will sink into a spiral of jealousy for the success of the presenter, culminating in an act of violence .

What makes the ending unacceptable for the time is the fact that the act of violence perpetrated by Pupkin, instead of condemning him, will make him a celebrity. The film and its brogliaccio have been taken up over time by several other works, including The Joker by Todd Phillips.

4. Gangs of New York | Martin Scorsese best movies

With this film begins the collaboration with Scorsese with Leonardo DiCaprio, heir to Robert De Niro. The film tells the story of the birth of New York through the feud between rival gangs in the Five Points neighborhood. However, it is not DiCaprio who towers over this film, but Daniel Day Lewis, who plays Bill “the Butcher” Cutting, villain of the film. Gangs of New York in fact revolves around the charisma of the Irish actor.

A story of revenge, in this case more ordinary, which received 11 Oscar nominations, including for best director, fourth for Scorsese, however remaining sensationally dry of wins.

3. The Aviator | The best movies of Martin Scorsese

Second collaboration with DiCaprio and fifth nomination for best director for Scorsese, again without victory. The Aviator tells the story of Howard Hughesplayboy, director, producer and aviator, one of the most influential men of his time. Cate Blanchett plays the actress Katharine Hepburn, companion of Hughes, and her extraordinary performance is awarded the golden statuette. Among the other women conquered by the playboy are Ava Gardner (played by Kate Beckinsale) e Jean Harlow (Gwen Stefani). The cast is enriched by Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, William Dafoe and John C. Reilly.

The film which is a journey into the head of one of the great minds of the twentieth century, starting from the achievement of success to get to folly that pervaded Howard Hughes in the last years of his life, lived in total isolation and annihilated by a heavy germophobia. As with the previous Gangs of New York, the film received 11 nominations, but in this case the victories were 5 (best supporting actress, best cinematography, best art direction, best costumes and best editing).

2. The Wolf of Wall Street | Martin Scorsese best movies

Based on the true story of Jordan Belford, The Wolf of Wall Street is an irreverent portrait of the unbridled capitalism of the 80s. A film that despite the three hours of duration never gets tired, thanks to a pressing rhythm and a series of absurd situations in which the protagonists slip repeatedly thanks to the consumption of innumerable types of drugs.

Leonardo Dicaprio is the undisputed protagonist with an exceptional performance, flanked by Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, and a Margot Robbie to lose your mind. Another great success for Scorsese who gets 5 Oscar nominations but once again with zero wins, including one for DiCaprio for the leading role and for the best…