What's the Difference between Wiseguy the Book and Goodfellas the Movie?



Released: 1986
Author: Nicholas Pileggi


Released: 1990
Director: Martin Scorsese
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In the Book In the Movie
Henry Hill
Henry Hill
Portrayed by: Ray Liotta
Jimmy Burke
Jimmy Conway
Portrayed by: Robert DeNiro
Thomas DeSimone
Tommy DeVito
Portrayed by: Joe Pesci
Paul Vario
Paul Cicero
Portrayed by: Paul Sorvino
Goodfellas Book vs Movie
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This Spoils the Ending
In the Book In the Movie
   Henry joins the Army but is eventually discharged. He never joins the army.
   Henry's first date with Karen is a double date with one of Paulie's sons. The double date is with Tommy.
   When the group of gangsters greet and cheer Henry after his first court date, Paulie is absent because he is serving a short jail sentence. Paulie is present and leads the other wise guys in congratulating Henry.
   The famous "funny like a clown" scene does not appear. The "funny like a clown" scene was suggested by Joe Pesci, who had once fallen for the same prank.
   Jimmy is described as "24 or 25" when he first meets Henry. Jimmy is described as "28 or 29" when he first meets Henry. (Robert DeNiro was 46 or 47 during filming)
   Henry and his family is called and harassed by a mysterious person. This leads to Henry beating up a gay man. This does not happen.
   Karen goes to Paulie after Henry is arrested. He gives her money and tells her he has to turn his back on Henry. In the movie Henry goes to Paulie himself.
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