Before the mega-budgets and A-list talent, some of the biggest directors in Hollywood started out making little films with friends and family. Others made student films. But however the filmmaker started, these are the movies that launched their careers.
For Martin Scorsese a funny thing happened on the way to the seminary - he became a filmmaker instead. One of the most respected of the Movie Brats, Scorsese's body of work was among the least commercial of the generation of directors who emerged from film schools in the 1960s. Despite this, Scorsese emerged as one of the most respected filmmakers of this unique generation of directors. All movies by Martin Scorsese you can find with Google or watch them online on 123 Movies.
Born on November 17, 1942, Martin Scorsese was raised in New York's Garment District. Scorsese grew up in a neighborhood of tough guys and working class Joes. Asthmatic and sickly as a youth, Scorsese escaped reality by watching movies. Early in his life he wanted to become a priest, but he changed his mind and decided to pursue cinema instead.
Scorsese graduated from NYU Film School in 1964 and received his MFA in film directing in 1966.
The following year saw Scorsese making his first feature-length film, Who's That Knocking At My Door starring Harvey Keitel. By 1972, Scorsese was desperate to direct a movie. Roger Corman, always one to give a desperate (i.e. willing to work for next to nothing) and talented filmmaker a shot at directing a movie., tapped Scorsese to direct Boxcar Bertha for him. Corman wanted to shoot a low-budget knockoff of the highly successful Bonnie and Clyde. Although Boxcar Bertha is considered a minor work (John Cassavetes asked Scorsese why he wasted a year of his life making this piece of [crap]), it did teach Scorsese how to make films quickly and on a budget. This would be good preparation for the director's next film - Mean Streets.
Mean Streets marks Scorsese's first pairing with Robert DeNiro and is the film that put Scorsese on the map. All the elements of Scorsese's early style were encapsulated within this one film - the tough streets of New York, blood, extreme violence, quick editing and gritty feel. A critical success Mean Streets opened the doors for Scorsese, who followed this film with an unusual departure for him.
The typical Scorsese film features a a strong male lead, usually a troubled loner facing inner turmoil. However, 1974's Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore pairs Scorsese a strong female lead played by Ellen Burstyn, who had picked Scorsese to direct the film. Burstyn would win an Oscar for her role - the first of many for actors working with Scorsese.
In 1976, Scorsese teamed up with screenwriter Paul Schrader, to create what many consider the ultimate Scorsese film: Taxi Driver. Grim and relentless, Taxi Driver, with its violence and bloodletting marked the high point of Scorsese's early career. After a bout with cocaine addiction and some high-profile failures, Scorsese would recover to make Raging Bull, a critical success but commercial disappointment.
Scorsese returned to his roots with a low-budget comeback film After Hours. Although stylistically different than a typical Scorsese film, After Hours served as proof that Scorsese could still turn in films on schedule and on budget. This restored enough faith in his abilities to enable him to ride the fence between commercial Hollywood films and more stylized personal projects.
In 2007 Scorsese won his first directing Oscar for The Departed. But to appreciate how long it took to get to the Academy's red carpet, requires us to go back 40 years to 1967 and one of Scorsese's first films - The Big Shave. This film was made for a film production class and shows Scorsese's early fascination with blood and violence. It was meant to be a metaphor for America's involvement in Vietnam, but you can judge that for yourself.
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