5 Brilliant Martin Scorsese Screenplays That Show He's More Than a Director
We all know Martin Scorsese as one of the most unique and talented moviemakers, but he’s more than that: Scorsese also wrote some outstanding screenplays.
5. Mean Streets (1973)
Oh, Little Italy! What a wonderful place for living a peaceful life or building a bloody business. The nephew of the local mafia boss seemingly wants the former in his pursuit of having his own restaurant, but he needs his uncle’s approval. Easier said than done, especially considering that his best friend got himself into a real mess.
Released in 1973, Mean Streets gave the young Martin Scorsese a great career boost, paving his future way as one of the most influential moviemakers in history. Scorsese directed this movie, as well, but the script was created by him and Mardik Martin, marking the beginning of the iconic director’s fruitful Hollywood journey.
4. Goodfellas (1990)
Why choose a peaceful life at all when you can live a dangerous but chic life as a gangster? Sure, death awaits young mafia members around every corner, but those who live without ambition die more painfully. Armed by this mindset and their trusty guns, three friends try to make a name for themselves on their quest for glory.
Without a doubt, Goodfellas is among Martin Scorsese’s most popular and widely acclaimed works where he showcased his brilliance both as a director and as a screenwriter (paired with Nicholas Pileggi). The movie was based on Pileggi’s non-fiction book, so the work was arguably cut out pretty well for Scorsese already.
3. The Age of Innocence (1993)
Stepping completely away from the topic of mafia, The Age of Innocence follows a successful New York lawyer who, despite seemingly having everything he could wish for, wants to feel the real passion. An opportunity to experience it arises when his good-natured wife’s magnificent cousin comes to the city and the man falls in love.
The Age of Innocence shows Martin Scorsese’s willingness to explore a wider range of topics, including the nature of period societies and forbidden relationships. Apart from directing this great 1870s romantic drama, Scorsese also wrote its script together with Edith Wharton and Jay Cocks who presented him with the film’s idea.
2. Casino (1995)
And back to the world of organized crime we go! Casino follows two childhood friends, a professional executive manager and a mafia enforcer, as they strive to prosper in the cruel world of the gambling business. The picture wouldn’t be full without a conflicting love interest in the form of a beautiful and charming socialite.
You know the drill by now: Casino was directed and written by Martin Scorsese, and he once again worked with Nicholas Pileggi — his co-screenwriter from Goodfellas. It’s also worth noting that the director found a spectacular lead cast for Casino, with Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Sharon Stone playing the three main characters.
1. Killers of the Flower Moon ( 2023)
Having served his war duty, the main character — who was a cook in France — returns to Oklahoma where an old friend King matches him with a woman from the Osage Nation. The thing is, there’s oil under Osage’s territory, and King wants access to it; to achieve his goal, he’ll use his friend and kill anyone in his way.
Almost 30 years after his previous screenwriting outing with Casino, Martin Scorsese returned with another masterpiece of his writing (with Eric Roth Martin and David Grann). Killers of the Flower Moon reportedly caused a fallout between Scorsese and DiCaprio, but it’s still a great movie that’s worth every minute of your time.