Goodfellas is based on the life of Henry Hill, a member of an organized crime family of Italian descent that continues to have strong ties to Italy throughout the movie. As the movie begins, an old car drives down a highway as the bumper and New York license plates are shown. It seems as though the flickering streetlights are representative of the lights of a large city fading in the distance. Two men watch as a short man makes the observation that they need to finish killing a mutilated and bloody guy in the the trunk. Tommy, the short guy, stabs the man with a butcher knife mercilessly in a way that would make most viewers cringe. It becomes clear that this is a movie about street level gangsters in the ‘70s. The protagonist, Henry Hill begins by narrating his life as a teenager, stating that he “always wanted to be a gangster.”
During a flashback scene, a younger Henry admires the gang’s way of life and works for them at a cab stand in his working class, primarily Italian community in Brooklyn. In fact he spent so much time working at the cab stand and not in school, that he was beaten because this added to the frustration that his dad already held due to his overall life situation.The movie continues as Henry narrates more on the organizational layout of the gang, labeling Paulie as the top dog. Eventually Henry describes the recognition he starts receiving around the neighborhood. Henry soon is introduced to Jimmy Conway, a highly respected member of the gang. Jimmy was the thief. With the products he stole he neutralized the heat of the cops by passing some of the products on to them. Eventually Henry gets pinched for selling stolen cartons of cigarettes but is rewarded and accepted into t...
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...nk and feel. Members of the mob are made to feel that they own a part of the organization and that their extra effort directly translates to the success or failure of their business. Believing one has the ability to make an impact makes all the difference in employee engagement and job satisfaction. When compared to current corporate structures, people feel they are not being rewarded for good effort. Many people go to work and waste time but still get paid the same amount. They feel like they could get by with minimal effort or resort to absenteeism and the corporation would not feel the effect. They have no real connection or stake in the organization’s success. Over time, this mindset creates deadwood that needs to be removed. The mob sees people who are not useful as liabilities. Henry, Tommy, and Jimmy knew how to clear out deadwood. ~C.R.
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