Goodfellas is one of Cinema’s greatest ever achievements. A film that is rightly classified a “masterpiece”. While the film has many memorable moments, its a simple scene where just a bit of dialogue and the acting talents of Joe Pesci and Ray Liotta that most fans remember,
The scene of Tommy asking Henry “You Think I’m funny” is one of the most scariest non horror scenes ever filmed. Henry knows how dangerous Tommy can be and sits there and squirms, struggling to reply, like he knows at that particular moment his life is in danger.
Ironically the scene wasn’t originally in the script, only added when Joe Pesci told the story to director Martin Scorsese, who thought it was so good, he included it in the film.
When asked the question of how the scene came about at the 25th Anniversary Tribeca Film Festival , Liotta replied with this:
“And Joe was telling me a story about what happened to him in Queens or wherever it was and he said to some guy … the guy said something who happened to be a connected guy and he said ‘Well … you think I’m funny?’”
Its crazy to think that such an iconic scene came from a real life situation.
Henry: You’re a pisser. Really funny. You’re really funny.
Tommy: What do you mean I’m funny?
Henry: It’s funny. You know, your, uh… your story, it’s funny. You’re a funny guy.
Tommy: You mean the way I talk? What?
Henry: It’s just… you know… you… it’s… you’re just funny. It’s… funny… you know, the way you tell the story and everything.
Tommy: Funny how? I mean what’s funny about it?
Anthony: Tommy, no, you got it all wrong.
Tommy: Whoa, whoa, Anthony. He’s a big boy. He knows what he said. What’d you say? Funny how?
Henry: Ju… just… you know, you’re… you’re funny.
Tommy: You mean . . . let me understand this, ‘cause I dunno, maybe it’s me, I’m a little fucked up maybe. But I’m funny how? I mean, funny like I’m a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? What do you mean, funny? Funny how? How’m I funny?
Henry: …Just, you know, how you tell the story. What?
Tommy: No. No. I don’t know. You said it. How do I know? You said I’m funny. (Furiously) How the fuck am I funny? What the fuck is so funny about me? Tell me! Tell me what’s funny!
There is an uncomfortable pause…..
Henry: Get the fuck outta here Tommy. (Starts to laugh.)
Tommy: You motherfucker. (They all laugh.) I almost had ‘im! I almost had ‘im! You stutterin’ prick, ya! Frankie, was he shaking? I wonder about you sometimes, Henry. You may fold under questioning! (Hysterical laughter, Henry)