To best celebrate the theatrical release of Martin Scorsese’s Killers of The Flower Moon (here is our review of Killers of The Flower Moon), movies produced by Apple Studios and Paramount Pictures these days in theaters in Italy with 01 Distribution, on Freaking News we retrace the main stages of the author’s career through the 5 best characters who appeared in his films.
Truly a thankless task assigned to me by the mysterious supreme head of Freaking News (an abstract entity cited as needed that brings to mind the half-elf of Art Attack) but we will try to fulfill the request anyway.
5) Paul Hackett (Griffin Dunne), After Hours
Before that pretentious super-rubbish that is Beau Is Afraid by Ari Aster, one of the great disappointments of 2023, the Odyssey had already been reinterpreted in a nocturnal, New Yorker and grotesque/demonic key by Martin Scorsese with his mid-1980s masterpiece After Hours, incomprehensibly underrated by most but nevertheless a huge and far from minor work in the author’s filmography.
The semi-serious journey of Paul Hackett, played by Griffin Dunne, through the city that never sleeps, is a vision each time haunting, each time feverish, each time out of his mind.
4) Bill the Butcher (Daniel Day-Lewis), Gangs of New York
Daniel Day-Lewis is the greatest actor in the history of cinema (or at most in the top 3 or top 5 if we don’t want to be absolutists now that we’ve gotten out of the exclamatory and hyperbolic strokes typical of bold) and the one in Gangs of New York as Bill The Butcher, one of the great villains of Scorsese’s filmography, is among the greatest tests of his career.
Incidentally, the actor had already worked with Martin Scorsese a few years earlier, in the film The Age of Innocence, among the most distinctive and unique works in the director’s portfolio and certainly worth catching up on.
3) Rupert Pupkin (Robert De Niro), The King of Comedy
Speaking of Martin Scorsese’s movies that are largely underrated or otherwise considered less important than the usual notables, in The King of Comedy features a kick-ass Robert De Niro as Rupert Pupkin, a failed comedian who sets out to become famous by kidnapping his idol (also a comedian, played by Jerry Lewis) and demanding ransom from the television network he works for.
The black humor-filled version of the criminal sociopath that De Niro again played in the horror movie Cape Fear, a vague homage to the films of the Hammer, and which would provide the main basis for Joker by Todd Phillips, who, not surprisingly, wanted De Niro himself in the cast to play…a comedian targeted by a failed comedian.
2) Jake LaMotta (Robert De Niro), Raging Bull
We already had a chance to talk about Raging Bull a few months ago on the occasion of the film’s return to theaters in the new 4K version: click on the highlighted link to learn why we decided to select it in this special ranking.
1) Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro), Taxi Driver
Be wary of rankings on this subject that do not end with Robert De Niro’s Travis Bickle: an epoch-making character not only in Scorsese cinema but in the entire history of the seventh art.
The protagonist of Taxi Driver marked the collective imagination not only with his jokes (sure yes the unforgettable ‘Are you talking to me?!’, but what about then ‘One of these days another universal flood will come and clean up the streets once and for all.’) and his alienated, corrupt, violent and justicialist way of doing things but also with an imitated look, from the military jacket to the wacky hair, from the sunglasses to the way they sit at the movies.