Ray Liotta’s All-Time Classic Movie Is Streaming Right Now
Ray Liotta's GoodFellas is streaming at #10 on HBO Max.
Ray Liotta is burning up the charts on HBO Max. Even though GoodFellas first premiered in 1990, it is number 10 in the HBO Top 10 this week, according to FlixPatrol. If you haven’t seen it, this classic crime film is based on the true story of a half-Irish, half-Sicilian kid from Brooklyn who is taken under the wing of the Mafia.
Aside from Ray Liotta, GoodFellas is a veritable who’s who of Italian or part-Italian actors in Hollywood. The cast list includes Robert De Niro, Frank Sivero, Joe Pesci, Tony Darrow, Paul Sorvino, and Lorraine Bracco, just to name a few. Martin Scorsese both directed and co-wrote the film, which was produced by Irwin Winkler. It is based on a book called Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, who served as the film’s other co-writer.
Ray Liotta’s character, Henry Hill, is based on a real-life gangster with the same name who was associated with the infamous Lucchese crime family in New York City from 1955 to 1980. He was arrested on narcotics charges and then became an informant for the FBI, helping them to convict 50 of his former Mafia associates. He then went into the witness protection program but was later expelled from it, as he continued to commit crimes like bigamy and drug trafficking.
GoodFellas made its premiere at the 47th Venice International Film Festival before being released into theaters across North America on September 21, 1990. It took the top spot at the box office on its opening weekend and took the second spot the weekend after. Overall, it earned $46.8 million domestically and was considered a huge success.
Even today, Ray Liotta is still praised for his turn in GoodFellas, which has an average review rating of 9/10 on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus of the critics on that site is: “Hard-hitting and stylish, GoodFellas is a gangster classic—and arguably the high point of Martin Scorsese’s career.”
The film has also received high ratings on other sites as well and impressed even the notoriously hard-to-please reviewer Roger Ebert, who gave the movie top marks and wrote that it was even better than The Godfather. It consistently earned one of the top spots on all the “best films” lists in 1990 and has continued to serve as an inspiration for other organized crime films to this day.
While this wasn’t Ray Liotta’s first big film, it did make him more of a household name than he ever was before. He went on to star in numerous other big films, like Hannibal, Blow, John Q., The Many Saints of Newark, and even this year’s Cocaine Bear.
Ray Liotta also appeared in numerous television series as well, including ER, for which he earned a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama series, and Shades of Blue, in which he starred with Jennifer Lopez.
Unfortunately, the actor died in his sleep in 2022 at age 67 during the filming of another film titled Dangerous Waters. Ray Liotta received a posthumous star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 24, 2023, an honor his daughter received on his behalf.