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Today Is Martin Scorsese’s Birthday. Here’s A Look Back At His Career

Martin Scorsese's career over the years.

Martin Scorsese turns 78 today. Here's a look back at his prolific career, from his early short films to Academy Award-winning features.

Let's start at the beginning…

“The Big Shave” (also known as “Viet ‘67”):

This five minute short film was directed by Martin Scorses while he was a student at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in the sophomore level production class Sight and Sound Filmmaking. Some of the other shorts that he created while at NYU, which received student film recognition, include "What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This" and "It's Not Just You, Murray!"

Of course, that was just the beginning. Scorsese is the most-Academy Award-nominated living director and has gone on to create some of the most successful films of our time, so let's take a look at some of those.

Taxi Driver (1976)


Taxi Driver is a 1976 crime drama psychological thriller. It stars acclaimed actors like Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster, and follows the story of a young, lonely, taxi driver, and an honorably discharged veteran, struggling with himself and the world around him. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards and won the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival. It was also selected by the US Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. Taxi Driver is currently available to watch on Netflix.

The King of Comedy (1982)

The King of Comedy is a dark comedy starring Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, and Sandra Bernhard. It is about an aspiring stand-up comedian, Rupert Pupkin, looking to break into the industry. With his delusions about his own career, he falls into obsessions and fantasies about successful comedian, Jerry Langford. In his review, Roger Ebert said:

The King of Comedy is one of the most arid, painful, wounded movies I've ever seen. It's hard to believe Scorsese made it.

Goodfellas (1990)


Goodfellas is a 1990 crime film about Henry Hill, an Italian-American in the mafia, and his two friends as their crimes gradually escalate. It stars Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, and Paul Sorvino. The film is regarded as one of the greatest films ever made; it was nominated for six Academy Awards and won one, and it, too, was selected by the US Library of Congress for Preservation in the National Film Registry. It also won five British Academy Film Awards among many others.

Gangs of New York (2002)

Gangs of New York is a crime film inspired by a nonfiction book of the same name by Herbert Asbury. It takes place in the slums of Manhattan among the Catholic-Protestant feuds and follows Amsterdam Vallon, after he was released from prison, seeking revenge for his father's death. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day Lewis, Cameron Diaz, and Liam Neeson and was nominated for 10 Academy Awards.

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

The Wolf of Wall Street is a crime comedy based on Jordan Belfort's memoir of the same name. It is a story told from the perspective of Belfort, a Wall Street stockbroker, about his firm's corruption and fraud and his eventual downfall. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, and Kyle Chandler. It became Scorsese's second-highest grossing film and was nominated for many awards, including five Academy Awards. The film also set the Guinness World Record for the most instances of swearing in a film.

The Irishman (2019)

The Irishman is Scorsese's most recently released film. It's a crime film based on the nonfiction book by Charles Brandt, I Heard You Paint Houses. Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and more, it follows the story of a truck driver, Frank Sheeran, who gets involved with a Pennsylvania crime family, eventually becoming a hitman and climbing the ladder in organized crime. The film received many accolades and 10 Academy Award nominations and five Golden Globe nominations. The Irishman was distributed by and is available to watch on Netflix.

Happy birthday, Martin Scorsese!

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Ainsley Roh