Joe Pesci as Russell Bufalino, shrewd and pragmatic Mafia boss of northeast Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Christmas 1960
Film: The Irishman
Release Date: November 1, 2019
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Design: Sandy Powell & Christopher Peterson
Nearly 30 years after he and Daniel Stern embarked on their first foolhardy attempt to ruin Christmas for Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci was given the opportunity to redefine his yuletide association via a brief vignette in The Irishman, Martin Scorsese’s latest crime epic and the subject of frequent requests from BAMF Style readers.
It’s Christmas 1960, more than a month after Pennsylvania mob boss Russell Bufalino (Joe Pesci) cheered on John F. Kennedy’s win for the U.S. presidency. Russell and his pal Frank Sheeran (Robert De Niro) aren’t yet away of JFK’s plan to appoint his brother as United States Attorney General… and a particularly aggressive A.G. when it comes to organized crime. Ignorance being bliss in this instance, Russell and Frank enjoy a pleasant holiday evening at home with their families. Continue reading
Joe Pesci as Vincent LaGuardia “Vinny” Gambini, fledgling defense attorney
“Beechum County”, Alabama, January into February 1992
Film: My Cousin Vinny
Release Date: March 13, 1992
Director: Jonathan Lynn
Costume Designer: Carol Wood
Happy birthday to Joe Pesci! Though the 76-year-old actor has been mostly retired from acting over the last two decades, he’s occasionally stepped back into the camera lens for a few sporadic screen appearances, most recently a Google Assistant ad that played during Super Bowl LIII and his latest collaboration with Martin Scorsese, The Irishman, scheduled to be released this fall.
Following his notable Oscar win for Goodfellas—and his short, humble acceptance speech that consisted solely of “It’s my privilege, thank you”—Pesci had some fun parodying his excitable screen persona in comedies like Home Alone, the Lethal Weapon series, and My Cousin Vinny.
Joe Pesci as Tommy DeVito, volatile and violent Mafia associate
New York, Spring 1979
Release Date: September 19, 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
Costume Designer: Richard Bruno
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
We always called each other “good fellas.” Like you said to somebody, “You’re gonna like this guy. He’s all right. He’s a good fella. He’s one of us.” You understand? We were good fellas. Wiseguys.
The line may have been an afterthought to explain the new Goodfellas title after Scorsese was unable to use the book’s original Wiseguy title, but it provides the perfect context and framework for Tommy DeVito prepping for his “made man” ceremony, especially against the optimistic driving piano exit of Derek and the Dominoes’ “Layla”.
Of course, little does Tommy know that he’s in for the ultimate case of the [Mafia] Mondays… Continue reading