The Interaction Between the Real Henry Hill and Ray Liotta after Goodfellas

If you’ve seen Goodfellas then you’ve seen that Ray Liotta managed to portray the infamous Henry Hill as a smooth character that was still a jerk and an adulterous junkie who was also a dealer. But if you’ve looked at anything the real Henry Hill said before he passed away in 2012 you’d likely have to wonder just who’s telling the truth, Hill, or the many people that have stated that he wasn’t all that important when it came to the mafia. While the movie makes him look like a central character in the story of the mob, a lot of people that were actually there have gone on record stating that Hill wasn’t really that vital to anyone, no matter that he might have held sway with Jimmy Burke and knew Tommy DeSimone at one point. The truth of Henry Hill’s story is hard to corroborate since there are so many conflicting views that state that Henry wasn’t really all he said. Given that most of those that Hill was associated with are dead and gone now the only things left behind are the accounts and histories of those that might have known anything, and the reliability of said information isn’t always as accurate as people might like. One would think that Hill’s response to Ray Liotta’s representation of him in Goodfellas would be a definitive story, and it kind of is as far as Henry’s reaction goes.

The former mafioso, as he’s been labeled, actually did enjoy Liotta’s representation of him, and told the actor as much. When he thanked Liotta for not making him look terrible though it does sound as though Liotta reminded Hill that he had been a terrible human being, and Hill simply hung up on him. Maybe a little tact on Liotta’s part would have been wise, but at the same time, one has to wonder what Hill was expecting since his life doesn’t sound as though it was as glamorous as he would want people to believe. A lot of people likely want to believe that Hill was in fact kind of an important figure in the mafia, no matter the fact that he couldn’t become a made man due to his ancestry. There are still many accounts that differ about the man’s life since it was stated that he was instrumental during the Lufthansa heist, while others state that he wasn’t there, didn’t have anything to do with it, and was drugged out of his mind half the time. It’s hard to know what to believe with so many conflicting accounts that tend to come and go, but the feeling is that he did appreciate what Ray Liotta did in Goodfellas and was even around to answer a few questions as to the characters in the movie and how they would react in certain ways.

The days of the mafia are dead as far as what they used to be since it’s likely that if such things were to still happen that law enforcement would no longer allow the same kind of behaviors that the mob was known for back in their heyday. Hill’s time is that of a dinosaur to many people since organized crime can’t possibly exist in this day and age as it did back in Henry’s day. While crime still exists in various ways, it’s easy to think that some of his story could have been made to appear a little more impressive than it actually was, but checking the veracity of his claims is a bit difficult since there’s no one left to say yea or nay, at least no one had that had firsthand experience with Henry and those he worked with. Many want t ogo with the idea that Henry Hill was in fact someone that carried a great deal of importance in the Lucchese crime family, but others would rather believe what they saw, such as Michael Franzese, who would constantly refer to Henry as a ‘lost soul’ more than anything. This is someone that was in the life and saw what was going on and knew that Henry was a snitch at one point in his life. In fact, Franzese was apparently in prison with Hill at one point and was admonished for not taking Hill out when he had the chance, since the term ‘snitches get stitches’ was at one time a very light sentence when it came to ratting people out. Those that ratted out the mob weren’t long for this world if they were caught most of the time if the stories are true, and in Hill’s case, it felt awkward to say such a thing.

This is largely because it would appear that he couldn’t keep himself out of trouble and even went so far as to reveal his identity at times, and he was even kicked of witness protection at one point. It’s great that Hill enjoyed Liotta’s work, but how much of Hill’s story is true is hard to say.

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