How Orange County Nearly Killed Goodfellas

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Goodfellas appeared earlier this week, and it reminded me of one of those great stories-by-interviews that GQ does from time to time, reconstructing an event and then allowing people's words to create the narrative. The October issue did just that with Martin Scorsese's masterpiece, and the full story is worth the read

But for our purposes, the most relevant part is how Orange County nearly killed the film.

The article contains interviews with virtually every big name associated with the film, including Nicholas Pileggi, whose Wiseguy book was the source material for the film. He's included in the GQ story, and remembers, in particular, the tough audience feedback that was received.

"They had the screening in Southern California for an audience of Orange County, white, conservative people," Pileggi recalled. "They started seeing people getting shot in the trunks of cars and guys stabbed and about seventy people walked out. The Warner Bros. bosses were sitting there, they said, 'Holy shit. We've got a bad movie. We've got problems.' "

Thankfully, smarter heads prevailed, and few cuts were made to the film. But the question remains: To what batch of moviegoers do we put the blame on fucking with Scorsese's head? Big Newport? The then-AMC 10 in Fullerton? Inquiring minds want to know!

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