Goodfellas

Goodfellas quotes

67 total quotes (ID: 247)

Henry Hill
Jimmy Conway
Karen Hill
Multiple Characters
Paulie Cicero
Tommy DeVito


As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster. To me, being a gangster was better than being President of the United States.


Paulie may have moved slow, but it was only because Paulie didn't have to move for anybody.

Now the guy's got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with a bill, he can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie. But now the guy's got to come up with Paulie's money every week. No matter what. Business bad? **** you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? **** you, pay me. The place got hit by lightning, huh? **** you, pay me. Also, Paulie could do anything. Especially run up bills on the joint's credit. And why not? Nobody's gonna pay for it anyway. And as soon as the deliveries are made in the front door, you move the stuff out the back and sell it at a discount. You take a two hundred dollar case of booze and you sell it for a hundred. It doesn't matter. It's all profit. And then finally, when there's nothing left, when you can't borrow another buck from the bank or buy another case of booze, you bust the joint out. You light a match.

See, the hardest thing for me was leaving the life. I still love the life. And we were treated like movie stars with muscle. We had it all, just for the asking. Our wives, mothers, kids, everybody rode along. I had paper bags filled with jewelry stashed in the kitchen. I had a sugar bowl full of coke next to the bed. Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hideout flats all over the city. I'd bet twenty, thirty grand over a weekend and then I'd either blow the winnings in a week or go to the sharks to pay back the bookies. Didn't matter. It didn't mean anything. When I was broke I would go out and rob some more. We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking. And now it's all over. And that's the hardest part. Today, everything is different. There's no action. I have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food. Right after I got here I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody. I get to live the rest of my life like a schnook.

In this day and age, what the **** is this world coming to? I can't believe this, prejudice against--a Jew broad--prejudice against Italians.

Don't buy anything. Don't get anything. Nothing big. Didn't you hear what I said? You're going to get us all ****in' pinched, that's why. What are you, stupid?

We always did everything together and we always were in the same crowd. Anniversaries, christenings. We only went to each other's houses. The women played cards, and when the kids were born, Mickey and Jimmy were always the first at the hospital. And when we went to the Islands or Vegas to vacation, we always went together. No outsiders, ever. It got to be normal. It got to where I was even proud that I had the kind of husband who was willing to go out and risk his neck just to get us the little extras.

Karen's Mother: What kind of people are these? He's not Jewish. Did you know how these people live? You don't know where he is. You don't know who he's with. Normal people don't act like this!

Henry: You're a pisser, you're really funny. You're really funny.
Tommy: What do you mean I'm funny?
Henry: It's funny, you know. It's a good story, it's funny, you're a funny guy. [laughs]
Tommy: what do you mean, you mean the way I talk? What?
Henry: It's just, you know. You're just funny, it's funny, the way you tell the story and everything.
Tommy: [it becomes quiet] Funny how? What's funny about it?
Anthony: Tommy no, You got it all wrong.
Tommy: Oh, oh, Anthony. He's a big boy, he knows what he said. What did ya say? Funny how?
Henry: Just--
Tommy: What?
Henry: Just, ya know, you're funny.
Tommy: You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little ****ed 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 ****in' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am 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. How the **** am I funny, what the **** is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what's funny!
Henry: [long pause] Get the **** out of here, Tommy!
Tommy: [everyone laughs] Ya mother****er! I almost had him, I almost had him. Ya stuttering prick, ya. Frankie, was he shaking? I wonder about you sometimes, Henry. You may fold under questioning.

Karen: You've got some nerve standing me up. Nobody does that to me. Who the hell do you think you are, Frankie Vallie or some kind of big shot?
Henry: [narrating] I remember, her screaming on the street and I mean loud, but she looked good. She had these great eyes. Just like Liz Taylor's. At least that's what I thought.

Tommy: Just don't go busting my balls, Billy, okay?
Billy Batts: Hey, Tommy, if I was gonna break your balls, I'd tell you to go home and get your shine box. [to his friends] Now this kid, this kid was great. They, they used to call him Spit Shine Tommy.

Even before I first wandered into the cabstand for an after-school job, I knew I wanted to be a part of them. It was there that I knew that I belonged. To me, it meant being somebody in a neighborhood that was full of nobodies. They weren't like anybody else. I mean, they did whatever they wanted. They double-parked in front of a hydrant and nobody ever gave them a ticket. In the summer when they played cards all night, nobody ever called the cops.

I was the luckiest kid in the world. I could go anywhere. I could do anything. I knew everybody and everybody knew me. I was part of something. And I belonged. I was treated like a grown-up. Every day, I was learning to score. A dollar here. A dollar there. I was living a fantasy.

Hundreds of guys depended on Paulie and he got a piece of everything they made. And it was tribute, just like in the old country, except they were doing it here in America. And all they got from Paulie was protection from other guys looking to rip them off. And that's what it's all about. That's what the FBI could never understand. That what Paulie and the organization does is offer protection for people who can't go to the cops. That's it. That's all it is. They're like the police department for wise guys.

People looked at me differently and they knew I was with somebody. At thirteen, I was making more money than most of the grown-ups in the neighborhood. I mean, I had more money than I could spend. I had it all. One day the kids from the neighborhood carried my mother's groceries all the way home. You know why? It was out of respect.