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Favorite actor Scorsese: 7 Movies with Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro is the absolute favorite of the master of crime drama, director Martin Scorsese. They met when the actor was only 20 years old, and since then Scorsese has repeatedly invited De Niro to star in his films. We collected the top 7 such films based on the IMDb rating.

Let’s start with a movie that is not included in the selection, but definitely worth a mention. This is “Mean Streets” – the first collaboration between De Niro and Scorsese, which united the two geniuses, apparently forever. De Niro’s hugely successful and flamboyant stint as a crime drama actor brought him to the attention of critics (and the subsequent The Godfather 2 made him a star).

Cape Fear

Inveterate criminal Max Cady (De Niro) is released from prison after serving 14 years for rape. But he is not going to live a peaceful life. His target is lawyer Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte). All these years, he had information that could exonerate Max, but the lawyer covered it up.

The Scorsese film is an adaptation of John D. MacDonald’s The Executioners and a remake of the 1962 film of the same name starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitcham (they also appear in Scorsese’s film). Some viewers felt that the strength of the performance of De Niro, this film can be called more psychological than a crime thriller – and even horror. The role earned the actor an Oscar nomination.

The King of Comedy

Rupert Papkin (De Niro) is obsessed with becoming a great comedian. He is not one of those who saves a tit in his hands, so he immediately goes to the host of the popular “Tonight Show” Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis). The master of comedy does not pay attention to the upstart newcomer, and then Rupert decides on desperate measures.

Not the most famous and rather underrated Scorsese film about comedians who stop joking. A landmark role in the film is played by Jerry Lewis, the heir to silent comedy, an eccentric humorist, stuntman and director. From comedies like The Nutty Professor, he moved on to serious films and made a film about the Holocaust, The Day the Clown Cried. In The King of Comedy, Lewis plays almost himself.

The Irishman

Former crime boss Frank Sheeran (De Niro) recalls his youth when he worked as a “painter” – a mafia hitman.

A late Scorsese film that recreates the golden era of gangster cinema. To bring together the director and the legendary trio – De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci – Netflix paid $150 million. The movie has 10 – yes! – 10 Oscar nominations. True, De Niro himself has not a single nomination.

Raging Bull

The film tells about the life and sports career of the American boxer of Italian origin Jake LaMotta and is based on his memoirs.

Robert De Niro adheres to the Stanislavsky system. In the work, he fully gets used to the role and almost merges with the character. To play in Raging Bull , the actor gained 27 kilograms and learned to box. And it was worth it. The role in one of Scorsese’s most non-standard films brought the actor a second Oscar (the first for The Godfather 2).

“Casino” / Casino

Sam Rothstin (De Niro) has a talent – he masterfully earns money by playing. A mafia boss sends hard worker Sam to Las Vegas to run a casino, and so that no one bothers him to row the greens, Sam is accompanied by childhood friend and cruel thug Nicky Santoro (Joe Pesci).

In a classic gangster movie, De Niro and Pesci are great . But critics especially noted the work of Sharon Stone, who plays an elite prostitute, the beloved of the protagonist. For this role, the actress received a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination.

“Taxi driver” / Taxi Driver

Vietnam War veteran Travis Bickle (De Niro) works as a night cab driver. In the dim light of New York streetlights, the most terrible scenes of city life float before him. Travis desperately searches for something clean and bright in this sewer, but does not find it. The hero refuses to put up with the depravity of the world and steps onto a dangerous path.

Once again, De Niro goes all out. In order to get used to the image and see with his own eyes the same as his hero, he got a job as a taxi driver and received a license for this. Here another talent of the actor appeared – improvisation. He came up with the famous scene with a conversation at the mirror himself right on the set, and as a result the phrase “Are you talking to me?” became a cinematic.


Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) is just starting to make his way in the world of gangsters. He is aided by ruthless mobsters Jimmy Conway (De Niro) and Tommy DeVito (Pesci).

Scorsese’s second crime drama after Mean Streets set the bar high for the genre. The film today remains one of the best not only among gangster films, but also in the history of cinema in general. In the list of 250 best films according to IMDb, it is ranked 17th.

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