The opening of Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas eavesdrops on three men quietly driving at night until a noise from the rear of the car interrupts the silence. After pulling over and opening the trunk to reveal a badly beaten and bloody man stuffed inside, the three men proceed to stab and shoot the man mercilessly.
This graphic opening thrusts the audience headfirst into the gritty world of organized crime. It establishes a clear tone that informs the audience from the get-go that this is going to be no-holds-barred, violent realism.
You can learn more about the making of Goodfellas in this MovieMaker Interviews podcast with Glenn Kenney, author of Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas.