I haven’t received my Kindle review copy of Glenn Kenny‘s “Made Men” (Hanover Square Press, 9.15.20), a 400-page history of the making of Martin Scorsese‘s Goodfellas (’90).
Critic and book author Shawn Levy (“Rat Pack Confidential”, “The Castle on Sunset”), whom I’ve known for years, has called Kenny’s book “impeccably researched, fluently written, and infused with insight, wit and mastery…exactly what you want from a making-of-your-favorite-movie book. From mob stories to the nuts-and-bolts business of crafting a masterpiece, it’s all here…you’d have to be a real schnook not to read it.”
I don’t want to make a big deal about this but I was little perplexed about the book’s front cover, which shows the rear half of a bullet-riddled pink Cadillac.
The allusion, of course, is to the pink Caddy bought by Frank Pellegrino‘s Johnny Dio (aka “Johnny Roastbeef”) with a wad of stolen Lufthansa loot. Robert De Niro‘s Jimmy Conway, the Lufthansa heist ringleader, is infuriated that Johnny bought the damn thing after being warned not to spend money on anything flashy.
Johnny tries to explain it away (“It’s in my mother’s name”), offers a soft apology (“Sorry, Jimmy”), etc. Nonetheless three or four scenes later he and his blonde wife end up whacked in the front seat of the Caddy.
The problem is that Johnny Roastbeef’s pink Caddy is a 1979 model with a white top, and the caddy on the book cover is a ’63 or ’64 model with mild fins and no white top. Plus the color of movie version is ripe and loud while the book-cover version is pinkish beige.
This is not a capital crime on the part of the book-cover designer, but why not use the caddy we all saw in the movie? Obviously it’s an easy get — a no-brainer. I’m just not understanding the ’63 or ’64. The snafu doesn’t hurt anyone or get in the way of the actual content (i.e., Kenny’s research, reporting and seductive prose style) but again…why?
Rear section of a 1963 or ’64 pink Cadillac.
Johnny Roastbeef’s 1979 pink Caddy as shown in Goodfellas.