Martin Scorsese

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Martin Scorsese, 2010

Martin Charles Scorsese [ skɔɹˈsɛsi ] (born November 17, 1942 in Queens , New York ) is an American director , screenwriter , film producer and actor . He is one of the most influential directors in contemporary American cinema. His best-known films include Taxi Driver (1976), Like a Wild Bull (1980), Good Fellas - Three Decades in the Mafia (1990), Departed - Unter Feinden (2006) and The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).

life and career

The youngest son of the textile workers Charles Scorsese (1913–1993) and Catherine Scorsese , b. Cappa (1912–1997), spent months in bed because of bronchial asthma , where he wrote his first scripts and storyboards . In 1950 the family moved to Little Italy , where Scorsese first came into contact with the Church and decided to become a priest . After the expulsion from the Jesuit school he aspired to an education as a teacher, decided at the New York University but in 1960 for the film art . With the financial support of his lecturer, Scorsese made his first award-winning short films and completed his bachelor's degree in 1965 . While doing his Masters , he worked on his feature film debut for four years, Who's Knocking on My Door? (1967). The $ 75,000 budget should ruin him financially. Scorsese taught later star directors such as Oliver Stone and Jonathan Kaplan at the university before moving to California , where he befriended Francis Ford Coppola , Steven Spielberg and George Lucas . In the fall of 1971 he made his first Hollywood film for Roger Corman , The Fist of the Rebels , which found its audience despite mixed reviews.

Scorsese 1995 during the 52nd Venice International Film Festival , where he was honored with the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

After he was accepted into the directors' union, Scorsese shot Hexenkessel, his first commercially successful auteur film in 1973 , which made him and his actor Robert De Niro well known. Scorsese's big breakthrough came a year later with Alice Doesn't Live Here (1974), which brought leading actress Ellen Burstyn an Oscar , and with the world success Taxi Driver (1976), which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival . During this time, as he was hailed as the most important filmmaker of his generation, his drug addiction set in . His success was accompanied by stormy affairs and artistic heights. His idea, the big Hollywood - Musical with Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro in the published 1977 New York, New York revive fell after two years of production by both critics and audiences. Minnelli cast Scorsese in the same year as a theater director in his Broadway debut with the musical The Act , which brought it to over two hundred performances from October 1977 to July 1978 and gave its leading actress a Tony Award . Although the 1980 boxer film Like a Wild Bull was traded as a masterpiece, Scorsese's reputation as a box office poison remained , which also flopped the vicious comedy King of Comedy (1983) at the box office. Only the campaign he initiated to restore old Hollywood films brought him positive press. Because of massive protests by religious groups, the shooting of the long-prepared Jesus film The Last Temptation of Christ in 1983 was initially canceled.

Scorsese with Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz at the Cannes Film Festival 2002

In Cannes in 1986 Scorsese was named best director for The Time After Midnight and was moved back into the limelight. His billiards drama The Color of Money grossed 130 million dollars worldwide. The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) was a respectable success despite the boycott of Christian groups. With the Thriller - remake Cape Fear (1991) and the costume drama The Age of Innocence (1993) entered Scorsese artistic territory. In 1995 he concluded his Mafia trilogy with Casino , which he had started with Hexenkessel and Good Fellas - Three Decades in the Mafia (1990). The film adaptation of the Dalai Lama's youth ( Kundun , 1997) and the New York drama Bringing Out the Dead (1999) also received critical acclaim. Scorsese reached the commercial peak of his career with Gangs of New York (2002), Aviator (2004) and Departed - Unter Feinden (2006), each with Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role.

Although Scorsese is considered one of the most important contemporary US filmmakers, he was denied the Oscar for a long time. It wasn't until 26 years after his first nomination for Like a Wild Bull that he won the 2007 Academy Award for Departed , a US remake of the Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs . In total, the gangster epic won four Oscars with Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon , Jack Nicholson and Mark Wahlberg ; it also earned him the Golden Globe Award and finally the Directors Guild of America Award , for which he was nominated for the seventh time, among others after Taxi Driver and Good Fellas .

In addition to his work as a film director, screenwriter and producer, Scorsese was also responsible for numerous documentaries. Autobiographical works such as Italianamerican (1974) include artist portraits of the Canadian- American rock band The Band ( The Band , 1978), Giorgio Armani (Made in Milan , 1990), Bob Dylan ( No Direction Home - Bob Dylan , 2005) or George Harrison (George Harrison - Living In The Material World , 2011) opposite. As an actor, Scorsese also made minor appearances in his films Gangs of New York , Taxi Driver and Aviator, as well as in Robert Redford's award-winning drama Quiz Show (1994). As a film editor, he worked on the documentary Woodstock (1970) at the beginning of his career . In 2004 he lent his voice to a character drawn after himself in the animated film Big Sharks - Small Fish .

Martin Scorsese has been married to film producer Helen Morris since 1999. It is his fifth marriage; The father of three was previously the husband of the famous Italian film actress Isabella Rossellini (1979–1983) and the film producer Barbara De Fina (1985–1991). He was also in a relationship with actress Illeana Douglas from 1989 to 1997, whom he cast in several of his films. He entrusted his daughters Domenica Cameron-Scorsese (from his marriage to the screenwriter and director Julia Cameron) and Francesca Scorsese (from his marriage to Morris), born in 1976 and 1999, with minor roles in some films. In 2003 Scorsese was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (6801 Hollywood Boulevard).

At the 2010 Golden Globe Awards , Scorsese was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award by Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro for his life's work . In the same year, he co-produced the HBO series Boardwalk Empire , for which he also took over the direction of the pilot , which led to an Emmy . The story of the rise of a US seaside resort at the time of Prohibition is based on Nelson Johnson's 2002 book of the same name, in which he described the rise of Atlantic City .

Performers used multiple times

Scorsese has worked with some prominent actors on several occasions. Particularly known are:

  • Robert De Niro (Witches Cauldron , Taxi Driver , New York, New York , Like a Wild Bull , King of Comedy , Good Fellas - Three Decades in the Mafia , Cape of Fear , Casino , The Irishman)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (Gangs of New York , Aviator , Departed - Unter Feinden , Shutter Island , The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Harvey Keitel (Who's That Knocking at My Door , Mean Streets , Alice Does not Live Here Anymore , Taxi Driver , The Last Temptation of Christ , The Irishman)
  • Joe Pesci (Like a Wild Bull , Good Fellas - Three Decades in the Mafia , Casino , The Irishman)
  • Frank Vincent (Like a Wild Bull , Good Fellas - Three Decades in the Mafia , Casino)
  • Daniel Day-Lewis (Time of Innocence , Gangs of New York)
  • Jodie Foster (Alice doesn't live here anymore , Taxi Driver)
  • Alec Baldwin (Aviator , Departed - Among Enemies)
  • Nick Nolte (New York Stories , Cape Fear)
  • Willem Dafoe (The Last Temptation of Christ , Aviator)
  • Ben Kingsley (Shutter Island , Hugo Cabret)
  • Emily Mortimer (Shutter Island , Hugo Cabret)
  • Jude Law (Aviator , Hugo Cabret)
  • Ray Winstone (Departed , Hugo Cabret)
  • Liam Neeson (Gangs of New York , Silence)

Filmography (selection)

Films in the top 250 of the IMDb
space Movie
17th Good Fellas - Three decades in the Mafia
43 Departed - Among enemies
107 Taxi driver
140 Casino
144 The Wolf of Wall Street
146 Like a wild bull
160 shutter Island

With seven films in the IMDb's top 250, Scorsese is the most successful director in this regard, along with Christopher Nolan , Steven Spielberg and Stanley Kubrick .

Short films

  • 1959: Vesuvius VI
  • 1963: What's a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This?
  • 1964: It's Not Just You, Murray!
  • 1967: The Big Shave
  • 1987: Bad - Music video for Michael Jackson 's hit of the same name (Director)
  • 1990: Made in Milan
  • 2007: The Key to Reserva - commercial for Freixenet (actor, director)

Feature films


  • 1970: Woodstock (participation in editing)
  • 1974: Italianamerican
  • 1978: American Boy
  • 1978: The Band (The Last Waltz)
  • 1995: Martin Scorsese: A Century Of Cinema - A Personal Journey With Martin Scorsese Through American Movies
  • 1999: My Italian Journey (Il mio viaggio in Italia)
  • 2005: No Direction Home - Bob Dylan (No Direction Home: Bob Dylan)
  • 2008: Shine a Light
  • 2011: George Harrison - Living In The Material World
  • 2014: The 50 Year Argument
  • 2019: Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese

Television productions

  • 1986: Mirror, Mirror - 19th episode of season 1 of Incredible Stories (Director)
  • 2003: The Blues (producer and director of the first film in the miniseries)
  • 2004: Lady by the Sea: The Statue of Liberty (actor, producer, writer, director)
  • 2010: Boardwalk Empire (producer and director of the series' pilot )
  • 2016: Vinyl (producer and director of the series' pilot)

Awards (selection)

2003 star on was for Scorsese Hollywood Walk of Fame set


In 2013, the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin presented the world's first exhibition on the director. The show is mainly fed by Scorsese's private collection and the collections of Robert De Niro and Paul Schrader from the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin. In addition to his artistic work, the exhibition also recognizes Scorsese's commitment to the preservation of international film heritage , with which he builds a bridge between the history and the future of cinema.


  • Aaron Baker: A Companion to Martin Scorsese. Wiley & Blackwell, Chichester 2014, ISBN 978-1-4443-3861-4 .
  • Heinz-Jürgen Koehler: Martin Scorsese . In: Thomas Koebner (Ed.): Film directors. Biographies, descriptions of works, filmographies . 3rd, updated and expanded edition, Reclam, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-15-010662-4 .
  • Roberto Lasagna: Martin Scorsese . Schüren Presseverlag, 2002, ISBN 3-89472-376-9 .
  • Paul Lopes: Art Rebels: Race, Class, and Gender in the Art of Miles Davis and Martin Scorsese. Princeton University Press, Princeton 2019, ISBN 978-0-691-15949-2 .
  • Dana Poppenberg, Gerhard Poppenberg: Martin Scorsese. Introduction to his films and film aesthetics. Wilhelm Fink, Paderborn 2018, ISBN 978-3-7705-5766-0 .
  • Georg Seeßlen : Martin Scorsese . Volume 6 of the Film series , Bertz + Fischer, Berlin 2003, ISBN 3-929470-72-1 .
  • Michael Henry Wilson: Scorsese on Scorsese - Entretiens avec Martin Scorsese . Revised and updated edition, Cahiers du cinéma, Paris 2011, ISBN 978-2-86642-702-3 .


  • Martin Scorsese . F 2014 (episode 119 [season 4, episode 11] of the television magazine Abgeditzt! )

Web links

Commons : Martin Scorsese  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Follow-up stations in Turin (2013), Ghent (2014) and Paris (in preparation, 2015); The accompanying book (English / Italian) appeared in the Silvana Editoriale with the ISBN 978-88-366-2674-8 , see also the website of the Deutsche Kinemathek .
  2. Reading sample
  3. 35 min., Production: arte France, first broadcast in German: November 16, 2014, see also table of contents ( memento of the original from June 25, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. and archived broadcast ( MP4 , approx. 122 MB) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /

Individual evidence

  1. How to pronounce Scorsese? Listen to his own explanation. YouTube video, accessed November 27, 2019.
  2. ^ Uli Jung: Martin Scorsese * 1942 . In: Thomas Koebner (Ed.): Film directors . 3rd, updated and expanded edition. Reclam, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-15-010662-4 , pp. 676 .
  3. Nina Rehfeld: This alcohol baron cleans things up coldly and precisely . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on September 24, 2010, p. 37 (online on September 27, 2010 at under the title Compassion for the alcohol baron )
  4. The Top 250 of the IMDb (as of November 23, 2019)
  5. The Key to Reserva on the Freixenet promotion website
  6. Honorary Members. American Academy of Arts and Letters, accessed January 12, 2019 .
  7. ^ Member History: Martin Scorsese. American Philosophical Society, accessed February 7, 2019 . 2008