Martin Scorsese’s Favorite Movies

Martin Marcantonio Luciano Scorsese is an American filmmaker and director who has made an impression on hundreds of thousands of moviegoers for over four decades. Born on November 17th, 1942, Martin Scorsese grew up in New York, experiencing life in the big city for many years to come. Earning his first achievements in film from his early twenties, Scorsese has earned awards like Academy Award for Best Director, Academy Award for Best Picture, Palme d’Or, and Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Motion Picture (3 times) just to name a very select few of his great and many achievements.

Scorsese has also engaged in many different subjects, including documentaries, short films, religious based films, and even writing philosophy. Known for films like Taxi Driver and Wolf of Wall Street, It is clear to anyone who learns of Scorsese’s many achievements and impacts that Martin Scorsese is one of the greatest film directors of all time.Born in Queens, New York, Scorsese lived as a child in the Italian-American neighborhood of Little Italy, which is located on the east side of Manhattan.

Growing up as an asthmatic child, Martin was commonly unable to play in the streets with other children, and lived much of his childhood staring down at the street through his window watching others play and days go by. What seemed like a curse turned out to be what set Martin on track to become such a respected director.

The lack of time spent outside playing turned into his fascination with television shows.

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Martins’s parents both were occasional actors, his father would bring him to the movies where Martins curiosity with movies only grew more. By age 8, Scorsese had created his first storyboard, and by the end of his childhood in the 1950s, Martin was already an expert on Hollywood films. Having taken a liking to Akira Kurosawa’s films which were dubbed in English, many of the future films made by Martin would share similarities with Kurosawa’s directing style.

Going into college, Scorsese originally wanted to become a catholic priest. He had attended Catholic grade school and even tried junior seminary, but after only a year, decided it was not for him. Following this, he decided to enroll in New York University film department. Martin created short films like The Big Shave and What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place like This? during this time, and won the Producer’s Guild Award for Best Student Film in 1964 for his short film It’s Not Just You Murray! Earning his undergraduate degree in 1964, and a graduate degree in 1966, these events foreshadowed the amazing director Martin was to become.

During his time at college Martin was involved in political movements against the Vietnam war. After hearing about the murder of four Kent State students protesting the war, Martin and some of his classmates formed the New York Cinetracks Collective. This group aimed to film student protests, and raise awareness of the Vietnam war. The group created the film Street Scenes which was debuted at the New York Film Festival in 1970, and served a good purpose of raising awareness of protests against the war, and even created movements to bring some troops in Vietnam home to their families. Martin also created the short film The Big Shave during this time, this film depicting a man shaving his face off in a bloody five-minute film. It is assumed that this film, being that it was released in 1967, is symbolism for the United States hurting themselves for no reason by participating in the Vietnam war.

Scorsese’s films share many common themes , most of which have direct ties to his childhood. With heavy influences from people like Roberto Rossellini and Vittorio De Sica, many forms of Neorealism can be spotted in his films, such as the Film Goodfellas  (1990), where the main character finds himself growing up on the streets of New York making shady money in the mob while dealing with an abusive father. These same influences along with Martin’s parent’s Italian heritage drew him to find a love for the American Immigrant story.

Another common theme in Scorsese’s films is gun shootouts, namely in the  context of the mafia and gangs. These same films also commonly include drugs, domestic abuse, and money. From movies like Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, and Wolf of Wall Street, Martin certainly takes a liking to cocaine, angry lead characters, and large sums of money. Many characters in these styles of films commonly have some sort of cigar or cigarette in their mouth, furthermore pushing the idea of the mafia operating in New York.

Hidden under the radar in many Martin Scorsese films are religious references. In films like Casino, The Aviator, Shutter Island, and Wolf of Wall Street just to name a select few, religious references and symbols are common throughout almost any given Martin Scorsese Film. Not to mention Scorsese’s depiction of Jesus Christ in the film The Last Temptation of Christ. The depiction of Christ in this film was so controversial, that some protests even broke out outside of movie theaters showing the movie across America.

In general, Scorsese is simply not afraid to show whatever he wants on screen; he does not hold back. From blood splatters on walls, stabbings, violent abuse, shootouts, sex scenes, full nudity, excessive cursing, excessive drug use and abuse, and pretty blonde actresses, many of Scorsese’s films are a 12 year old’s dream. However in all seriousness, Scorsese is very successful in making these components serve a great impact to the film, propelling the story along dramatically and intriguingly. The character development of a lead actor trying crack, or the enemy being gruesomely shot, the film’s story is propelled by these moments that put Martin Scorsese’s film in their  category. With all of these attributes in mind, Scorsese has successfully created twenty feature films in four decades, each film being influential and intriguing in its  manner.

Scorsese commonly uses four specific people in most of his films. Using Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Leonardo Dicaprio as actors in his films, Scorsese has helped these actors achieve many awards within Martin’s films. Leonardo Dicaprio even credits Martin Scorsese with saving his acting career by asking Dicaprio to star in such a large abundance of movies. Martin also commonly works with Thelma Schoonmaker, who works as an editor in many of his films such as Departed, The Aviator, and Raging Bull.

The impact of Martin Scorsese has been felt from his very first film to this current day. As mentioned, films like The Big Shave and Street Scenes influenced many to push for American
soldiers to come home from the Vietnam war. His documentaries like George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Italianamerican, and Made in Milan educated hundreds of thousands of people on various topics. His focus on the story of American immigrants put his audience in the shoes of the hard life of an immigrant, helping to change the anti-immigration culture that is so commonly affiliated with the snobby American. Leonardo Dicaprio even credits Scorsese with saving his acting career. As more Martin Scorsese movies are sure to be made, greater impacts are sure to come.

Martin Scorsese is an American filmmaker who was raised in the neighborhood of Little Italy in Manhattan. Throughout his childhood living as an asthmatic child, Scorsese drew a love for movies, and was quickly making a lifetime of movies to come, despite his original aspirations to become a priest. Going to college at New York University to become a filmmaker, Scorsese immediately made strides and impacts on the world through political films and awards. With the confidence to display the most mature of content in his movies and depict Christ in the most controversial of ways, Martin Scorsese has easily set himself apart from other directors. Winning awards like Best Achievement in Directing (2006), Best Director – Motion Picture (2011, 2006, 2002, 1995), and Outstanding Directing for Nonfiction Programming (2011) just to name a select few, Martin Scorsese has set the bar high. With popular films like Taxi Driver, Casino, Goodfellas, and Wolf of Wall Street that broke box offices upon their release, Martin Scorsese is surely one of the greatest film directors alive today.

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Martin Scorsese’s Favorite Movies. (2021, Dec 14). Retrieved from

Martin Scorsese’s Favorite Movies
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