Happy Birthday Martin Scorsese: The Oscar-winning Director's 10 Best Films
Born November 17, 1942, Martin Scorsese is often considered to be one of the major figures and most influential directors of the New Hollywood era and in cinematic history. Having debuted in filmmaking with the 1967 Who's That Knocking at My Door, Scorsese was destined for greatness with his very first film being accepted into the Chicago Film Festival.
Known for his repeated collaborations with actors Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio and film editor Thelma Schoonmaker, Scorsese has given such memorable cinematic geniuses as Goodfellas, Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, The Departed, The Last Temptation of Christ and the romantic drama The Age of Innocence.
On the director's birthday, here's looking at 10 of his films one must revisit.
Taxi Driver (1976)
The psychological thriller starred Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster in pivotal roles. The film say De Niro in the role of a lonely taxi driver Travis Bickle who slowly becomes insane as he plots to assassinate two people -- the presidential candidate for whom the woman he is infatuated with, works and the pimp of an underage prostitute (played by Foster) who he had become friends with.
Raging Bull (1980)
A sports drama, this too starred Robert De Niro as an Italian-American boxer Jake LaMotta whose self-destructive and obsessive rage paired with sexual jealousy destroyed his family and relationships. The film shows the lead character at his absolute best before chronicling his collapse from a great height -- a motif that is found in several other films by him. The film was nominated for eight Oscars at the 53rd Academy Awards.
The King of Comedy (1982)
Robert De Niro's fifth collaboration with Scorsese saw him essaying the role of Rupert Pupkin, a delusional and aspiring stand-up comedian. The film is a thematic portrayal of celebrity worship and how people model their personality on the basis of famous people they might have just met once in their lives.
The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
An adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis' controversial novel of the same name, the film depicted the life of Jesus Christ and the various temptations he struggled with in life. The film had Willem Dafoe essay the role of Christ, while Harvey Keitel played Judas Iscariot and Barbara Hershey essayed the role of Mary Magdalene. The film faced a lot of controversy at the time of its release.
The film premiered at the 47th Venice International Film Festival earning Scorsese the Silver Lion for Best Director. Widely regarded as one of the best cinema ever made, it narrates the rise and fall of mob associate Henry Hill along with his friends and family. The film chronicles Hi9ll's journey from being a small-time mobster into one of the biggest Mafia players. Ray Liotta plays the role of Hill, while Robert De Niro essays the role of Jimmy Conway, the man Hill starts his career with.
Cape Fear (1991)
The film got Robert De Niro an Academy Award and is actually a remake of the 1962 film of the same name, which in turn is based on the 1957 novel The Executioners by John D MacDonald. The film saw De Niro play Max Cady, a convicted rapist seeking vengeance against a former public defender, whom he blames for his imprisonment.
Gangs of New York (2002)
Apparently the film took Scorsese 20 years to develop and starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Cameron Diaz. It is based on Catholic–Protestant feuds that turn violent as an Irish immigrant group is protesting the low wages caused by an influx of freed slaves.
The Departed (2006)
Another remake by Scorsese, the film starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, and Jack Nicholson in lead roles. The film also saw Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Ray Winstone, Vera Farmiga, and Alec Baldwin in various roles as well. A critical and commercial success, it is full of plot twists that keeps the viewer at the edge of their seats.
The Adventure drama film is based on a 2007 novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and recounts the story of a boy from the 1930s who lives in the Gare Montparnasse railway station in Paris all alone. He becomes embroiled in a mystery surrounding filmmaker Georges Méliès and his late father's automaton.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The black comedy recounts the journey of Jordan Belfort a stockbroker in New York City and his firm Stratton Oakmon which gets engaged in massive corruption and fraud on Wall Street leading to its downfall.