"Irishman" cinematic inspirations
Movies that influenced Scorsese to film "The Irishman."
The Young and the Damned
A group of juvenile delinquents lives a criminal, violent life in the festering slums of Mexico City, among them the young Pedro, whose morality is gradually corrupted and destroyed by the others.
Martin Scorsese lists his 12 favorite films of all time
The Flowers of St. Francis
In a series of simple and joyous vignettes, director Roberto Rossellini and co-writer Federico Fellini lovingly convey the universal teachings of the People’s Saint: humility, compassion, faith, and sacrifice. Gorgeously photographed to evoke the medieval paintings of Saint Francis’s time, and cast with monks from the Nocera Inferiore Monastery, The Flowers of St. Francis is a timeless and moving portrait of the search for spiritual enlightenment.
Middle-aged suburban husband Richard abruptly tells his wife, Maria, that he wants a divorce. As Richard takes up with a younger woman, Maria enjoys a night on the town with her friends and meets a younger man. As the couple and those around them confront a seemingly futile search for what they've lost -- love, excitement, passion -- this classic American independent film explores themes of aging and alienation.
[Director John] Cassavetes went to Hollywood to shoot films like A Child is Waiting and Too Late Blues, and after Too Late Blues he became disenchanted. Those of us in the New York scene, we kept asking, ‘What’s Cassavetes doing? What’s he up to?’ And he was shooting this film in his house in L.A. with his wife Gena Rowlands and his friends. And when Faces showed at the New York Film Festival, it absolutely trumped everything that was shown at the time. Cassavetes is the person who ultimately exemplifies independence in film.
A wealthy, self-absorbed Rome socialite is tacked by guilt over the death of her young son. As a way of dealing with her grief and finding meaning in her life, she decides to devote her time and money to the city’s poor and sick. Her newfound, single-minded activism leads to conflicts with her husband and questions about her sanity.
After making The Flowers of St. Francis, Rossellini asked, what would a modern-day saint be like? I think they based it on Simone Weil, and Ingrid Bergman played the part. It really takes everything we’re dealing with today, whether it’s revolutions in other countries or people trying to change their lifestyles, and it’s all there in that film. The character tries everything, because she has a tragedy in her family that really changes her, so she tries politics and even working in a factory, and in the end it has a very moving resolution.
Dial M for Murder
An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to have his wife murdered after discovering she is having an affair, and assumes she will soon leave him for the other man anyway. When things go wrong, he improvises a new plan—to frame her for murder instead.
When discussing the creation of Hugo, Scorsese referred to this Hitchcock film as an example of other directors who have tangled with 3-D over the years. In its original release most theaters only showed it in 2-D; now the 3-D version pops up in theaters from time to time.
Newspaper magnate, Charles Foster Kane is taken from his mother as a boy and made the ward of a rich industrialist. As a result, every well-meaning, tyrannical or self-destructive move he makes for the rest of his life appears in some way to be a reaction to that deeply wounding event.
Orson Welles was a force of nature, who just came in and wiped the slate clean. And Citizen Kane is the greatest risk-taking of all time in film. I don’t think anything had even seen anything quite like it. The photography was also unlike anything we’d seen. The odd coldness of the filmmaker towards the character reflects his own egomania and power, and yet a powerful empathy for all of them–it’s very interesting. It still holds up, and it’s still shocking. It takes storytelling and throws it up in the air.
It was Leonora Eames' childhood dream come true. She had married Smith Ohlrig, a man worth millions. But her innocent dream became a nightmare once she realizes the truth about her husband - he is power mad and insane! Since he will not grant her a divorce, she leaves her life of luxury on Long Island and goes to work as a receptionist in an impoverished doctor's office in NYC's lower east side. After Smith deceives her into a temporary reconciliation, Leonora becomes pregnant. By the time she realizes she is expecting, she and one of the doctors, Larry Quinada (James Mason), have fallen in love. But she is again lured backed to her wealthy husband to give her child financial security. Her sadistic husband is hell-bent on keeping her and her child prisoner. What will happen to Leonora?
There are certain styles I had trouble with at first, like some of Max Ophuls’ films. It took me till I was into my thirties to get The Earrings of Madame de…, for example. But I didn’t have trouble with this one, which I saw in a theater and which is kind of based on Howard Hughes [protagonist of The Aviator].
After years of separation, Irina and her minister brother, Paul, reunite in New Orleans in this erotic tale of the supernatural. When zoologists capture a wild panther, Irina is drawn to the cat -- and the zoo curator is drawn to her. Soon, Irina's brother will have to reveal the family secret: that when sexually aroused, they turn into predatory jungle cats.
Journey to the End of the Night
Louis-Ferdinand Celine's revulsion and anger at what he considered the idiocy and hypocrisy of society explodes from nearly every page of this novel. Filled with slang and obscenities and written in raw, colloquial language, Journey to the End of the Night is a literary symphony of violence, cruelty and obscene nihilism. This book shocked most critics when it was first published in France in 1932, but quickly became a success with the reading public in Europe, and later in America where it was first published by New Directions in 1952. The story of the improbable yet convincingly described travels of the petit-bourgeois (and largely autobiographical) antihero, Bardamu, from the trenches of World War I, to the African jungle, to New York and Detroit, and finally to life as a failed doctor in Paris, takes the readers by the scruff and hurtles them toward the novel's inevitable, sad conclusion.
Shifting away from cinema, Scorsese specifically called out Louis-Ferdinand Céline’s book Journey to the End of the Night and the feeling of experience and regret a life of crime leads to. “I always talk about there’s a quote towards the end where the main character gets killed, he’s talking with his girlfriend. She says, ‘What happened to you?’ He says, ‘What happened to me is a whole life has happened to me’ and she shoots him. It’s a tough book. It’s ugly. When he says that, it hit me, he’s right. A whole life. Something I can never explain to you. You had to live it with me. You had to be me. That’s what we were trying to go for in the film.”
I Heard You Paint Houses
The inspiration for the major motion picture, THE IRISHMAN, directed by Academy Award® winner Martin Scorsese, starring Academy Award® winners Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Anna Paquin, and Academy Award® nominee Harvey Keitel, and written by Academy Award® winner Steven Zaillian. “Sheeran’s confession that he killed Hoffa in the manner described in the book is supported by the forensic evidence, is entirely credible, and solves the Hoffa mystery.” — Michael Baden M.D., former Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York“Charles Brandt has solved the Hoffa mystery.” —Professor Arthur Sloane, author of Hoffa“It’s all true.” — New York Police Department organized crime homicide detective Joseph CoffeyIncludes an Epilogue and a Conclusion that detail substantial post-publication corroboration of Frank Sheeran's revelations about the killings of Jimmy Hoffa, Joey Gallo and JFK."I heard you paint houses" are the first words Jimmy Hoffa ever spoke to Frank "the Irishman" Sheeran. To paint a house is to kill a man. The paint is the blood that splatters on the walls and floors. In the course of nearly five years of recorded interviews, Frank Sheeran confessed to Charles Brandt that he handled more than twenty-five hits for the mob, and for his friend Hoffa. Sheeran learned to kill in the U.S. Army, where he saw an astonishing 411 days of active combat duty in Italy during World War II. After returning home he became a hustler and hit man, working for legendary crime boss Russell Bufalino. Eventually Sheeran would rise to a position of such prominence that in a RICO suit the US government would name him as one of only two non-Italians in conspiracy with the Commission of La Cosa Nostra, alongside the likes of Anthony "Tony Pro" Provenzano and Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno.When Bufalino ordered Sheeran to kill Hoffa, the Irishman did the deed, knowing that if he had refused he would have been killed himself. Charles Brandt's page-turner has become a true crime classic.
Brandt’s book is great, but perhaps – given that he is a lawyer – it goes in all sorts of directions. It must have been hard to adapt? "There are so many wonderful things in the book, but I had to get it down to him [Frank Sheeran], to find my way with him, not Charles Brandt’s. "
Then He Kissed Me
Jumping Jack Flash
“Mean Streets” wasn’t just Robert De Niro‘s breakout, but was Scorsese’s, and great as Harvey Keitel is, it feels like this jangly moment, unpolished as it is in comparison with Scorcese’s later films, is the crucible in which both their individual careers and an indelible cinematic partnership were instantly forged.
Be My Baby
By lacing the opening titles of his breakthrough picture with home movie-style footage and a nostalgic pop hit, Scorsese immediately establishes affection for his characters. The ecstatic early-1960s sound of The Ronettes’ ‘Be My Baby’ blares out as our small-time gangster hero Charlie (Harvey Keitel) – in grainy 8mm – goofs off with friends in bustling Little Italy