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Martin Scorsese turns 70: 10 great scenes from the Goodfellas director

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Martin Scorsese

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He's directed some of the great American films of the last 40 years, played a huge part in shaping the careers of Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio and has a magnificent pair of eyebrows. Today (November 17), legendary Taxi Driver and Raging Bull director Martin Scorsese turns 70.

Digital Spy celebrates Scorsese's birthday by picking out ten of our favourite scenes from the filmmaker's back catalogue.

Mean Streets opening (1973)
"You don't make up for your sins in the church. You do it on the streets, you do it at home. The rest is bulls**t and you know it."

Scorsese had directed movies before Mean Streets (including the Roger Corman-backed Boxcar Bertha), but he announced himself as a filmmaker of some force with a Harvey Keitel voiceover, The Ronettes's 'Be My Baby' and a camera track through the shutters of a film projector. Splendid!



Taxi Driver's mirror scene (1976)
"You talkin' to me? You talkin' to me? Then who the hell else are you talking to? You talking to me? Well I'm the only one here..."

This oft-parodied scene from Taxi Driver saw De Niro's Travis Bickle at his terrifying best. Paul Schrader's script contained the line 'Travis speaks to himself in the mirror'. De Niro and Scorsese improvised the rest.



Raging Bull's La Motta vs Janiro fight (1980)
De Niro and Scorsese channel Jake La Motta's rage into this brutal fight scene with Tony Janiro. Powered by the thought that his girlfriend Vicky has eyes for his opponent, La Motta pulverises him in front of mob boss Tommy Como. Seen by many as Scorsese's masterpiece, Raging Bull criminally lost out to Ordinary People at the Oscars, but which of the two still has people talking today?



The King of Comedy's terrifying dinner date (1983)
This twisted dark comedy may not have arrived with much of a fanfare, but it's this writer's favourite Scorsese/De Niro collaboration - a prescient tale about obsession, fame and celebrity culture. For all the excruciatingly great scenes with Rupert Pupkin, the one that really stands out is Masha's (Sandra Bernhard) sinister dinner date with bound talkshow host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis).



Jesus is taunted by Satan in The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
Scorsese's religious epic courted controversy thanks to its sex scene between Jesus (Willem Dafoe) and Mary Magdalene (Barbara Hershey), but the stand-out scene has to be Christ's encounter with Satan in the desert. While in exile, Jesus is confronted by a cobra, lion and giant flames as he battles with temptation.



Goodfellas's Copacabana shot (1990)
Scorsese's one-take Steadicam sequence saw Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) take girlfriend Karen (Lorraine Bracco) through a side door and kitchens of swanky New York Copacabana club to get the best table in the house. It's a virtuoso scene that pulls Karen - and the audience - into Henry's extraordinary life.



Ginger meets Ace in Casino (1995)
For all the chest-pounding maleness of Scorsese's work, he's still able to fashion great female characters, no more so than Casino's Ginger. It's a career-best performance from Sharon Stone, who establishes herself as a firecracker over the craps table. De Niro's Ace, and the audience, falls for her immediately.



Howard Hughes crashes over Beverly Hills in The Aviator (2004)
Leonardo DiCaprio downs an XF-11 in this breathtaking sequence from Scorsese's Howard Hughes biopic. Beyond the cinematic spectacle, it marks a tipping point for Hughes in the film, as he begins a descent into madness by bankrolling his great folly the Spruce Goose.



The Departed introduces Frank Costello (2006)
"When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I'm saying to you is this: When you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?"

If you have Jack Nicholson in your movie, you better give him one hell of an entrance. Scorsese does just that in The Departed, bringing gangster Frank Costello out of the Boston shadows to the Rolling Stones's 'Gimme Shelter'.



Hugo's opening tracking shot (2011)
Scorsese uses a dazzling mix of live-action, CGI and 3D to transport the viewer into the world of 12-year-old Hugo Cabret (Asa Butterfield). It's a stunning recreation of Paris's Gare Montparnasse station, and a beautiful tee-up for Scorsese's one-and-only family movie.



What are your favourite scenes from Martin Scorsese's films? Share your thoughts in the space below!

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