Martin Charles Scorsese is an American director, producer, screenwriter, actor, and film historian with a career spanning more than 53 years. Being a maverick director, he has directed remarkable films such as- Mean Streets
(1973) starring Robert de Niro
, Taxi Driver (1976) which was neo-noir, psychological thriller; biographical sports drama, Raging Bull
(1980), and the epic drama, The Last Temptation of Christ depicting the life of Jesus Christ. However, after an array of successful movies, his movie, The King of Comedy
(1983) failed abysmally. Comparatively, his crime films and psychological thriller such as Goodfellas
(1995), and Cape Fear
(1991) garnered high appreciation, eventually receiving a cult status.
He has been the recipient of AFI Life Achievement Award, Academy Award, a Palme d`Or, Cannes Film Festival Best Director Award, Silver Lion, Grammy Award, Emmys, Golden Globes, BAFTAs and DGA Awards. Also, he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the crime drama, The Departed (2006).
He has been the recipient of AFI Life Achievement Award, Academy Award, a Palme d`Or, Cannes Film Festival Best Director Award, Silver Lion, Grammy Award, Emmys, Golden Globes, BAFTAs and DGA Awards. Also, he won the Academy Award for Best Director for the crime drama, The Departed (2006). Early Life
Born in Queens, New York to Charles Scorsese and Catherine Scorsese, Martin Scorsese because of asthma, couldn`t engage in sports or other activities unlike other children. At that period of time, he was often taken to movie theatres which sparked his passion for cinema. Initially, Scorsese attended Cardinal Hayes High School in the Bronx in a bid to be a priest. However, later he was enrolled in NYU`s Washington Square College and pursued B.A. and then he completed his M.F.A. from NYU`s School of the Arts. During this period, he made short films like What`s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (1963) and It`s Not Just You, Murray! (1964). Also, he made his first feature length film, Who`s That Knocking at My Door, originally titled, I Call First which was a winner at the Chicago Film Festival (1968). Later, he also directed his second feature film, Boxcar Bertha.
Having a penchant for filmmaking, Scorsese was influenced by The French New Wave greatly. He considered it a crucial stage in the realm of filmmaking. Also, few of the films which inspired him the most were Land of the Pharaohs, El Cid, Powell, Black Narcissus and filmmakers such as Satyajit Ray, Ingmar Bergman, Michelangelo Antonioni, and Federico Fellini had a huge impact on his career as a director. Personal Life
Scorsese has been married five times. He married Laraine Marie Brennan and had a daughter, Catherine with her. Later, he married the writer, Julia Cameron and had a daughter, Domenica. After which, he was married to actress Isabella Rossellini but divorced her after four years. In 1985, he married the producer, Barbara De Fina but ended up in divorce as well. Since 1999, he has been married to Helen Schermerhorn Morris and has a daughter, Francesca with her. Movie Career Career as a Director
His American crime film, Mean Streets
(1973), starring Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro was a major breakthrough in his career. The movie was selected for preservation in the United States, National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. In 1974, he directed an American comedy drama film, Alice Doesn`t Live Here Anymore which won the BAFTA Award for Best Film and was nominated for the Palme D`Or at the 1975 Cannes Film Festival. In 1976, his psychological thriller, Taxi Driver was established as one of the greatest film of all time. Being nominated for four Academy Awards, it also won the Palme d`Or at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival, Blue Ribbon Award and Hochi Film Award for Best Foreign Film, BAFTA, and NSFC Awards for Best Director.
After the immense success of Taxi Driver, Scorsese geared for a colossal budget movie, New York, New York. Being a tribute to his home town, it starred Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli. However, the movie was a box office failure which lead Scorsese in depression. In 1980, Scorsese`s magnum opus, The Raging Bull
, a biographical sports drama film starring Robert De Niro was released. Initially, the film received mixed reviews. However, it was acknowledged in the list of greatest films ever made, eventually. Not only this, The American Film Institute chose Raging Bull as the No. 1 American sports film on their list of the top 10 sports filfms. After the colossal success of Raging Bull, he directed an American satirical black comedy film, The King of Comedy
(1983) starring Robert De Niro
, Jerry Lewis
and Sandra Bernhard
. However, it failed at the box office abysmally and garnered mixed reviews by the critics. Thus, Scorsese made a low budget movie, After Hours which was an American black comedy film. It turned out to be a cult classic and also won the Best Director Award at the 1986 Cannes Film Festival. In 1986, he directed an American drama film, The Color of Money which was his first endeavor in mainstream filmmaking.
In 1988, his American epic drama film, The Last Temptation of Christ
was released. With the film`s depiction about the life of Jesus Christ and his struggle with various forms of temptation, it turned quite controversial. However, Scorsese received an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. In 1990, he directed the American biographical crime film, Goodfellas
which is regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. It made him won several awards such as British Academy Film Award, Silver Lion Award at Venice Film festival, New York Film Critics Circle Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, Boston Society of Film Critics Award, Chicago Film Critics Association Award and National Society of Film Critics Award. In 1991, he directed the psychological thriller, Cape Fear
starring Robert De Niro. Scorsese`s direction was quite influenced by the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock in this movie.
In 1993, Scorsese directed the film, The Age of Innocence
which was critically well acclaimed but was a box office failure. It made him won Best Director Award by Golden Globe Awards, National Board of Review and Elvira Notari Prize at Venice Film festival. After crime drama film, Goodfellas, he also directed Casino
(1995) starring Robert De Niro
. Not only the film was critically well acclaimed but also a box office success. Scorsese was nominated for Best Director Award at Golden Globe Awards.In 1999, his movie, Bringing Out the Dead, an American drama film earned positive reviews by the critics but failed at the box office. In 2004, the biographical drama film, Aviator
starring Leonardo Dicaprio
was a huge success both commercially and critically. Being nominated for eleven Academy Awards, the film was a gorgeous tribute to the Golden Age of Hollywood. After this, he retreated back to the crime genre with the film, Departed
starring Leonardo DiCaprio which was a critical and commercial success. It won four Oscar Awards including Best Director for Scorsese, Golden Globe Award, Critics` Choice Award, Directors Guild of America Award and the Academy Award for Best Director. It was Scorsese`s highest-grossing film until Shutter Island
. Shutter Island is a 2010 American neo-noir psychological thriller starring Leonardo DiCaprio and grossed over $294 million at the box office. Later, Scorsese also directed pilot episode for HBO series, Boardwalk Empire which also belongs to crime genre.
In 2011, he directed and co-produced British-American-French 3D historical adventure drama film, Hugo
. It won Golden Globe for Best Director, eight BAFTA awards nominations and eleven Academy Award nominations. Though the film was critically well acclaimed, it was a box office failure. In 2003, Scorsese directed The Wolf of Wall Street
, a biographical black comedy crime film. Not only the film was critically well acclaimed for Scorsese`s direction and the comedic performance of DiCaprio but was also commercially successful. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, our BAFTA awards and Caprio won Golden Globe Award for Best Actor. In 2015, he also directed a short film, The Audition starring Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio. He also directed an American period drama television series, Vinyl for HBO. Scorsese had been listed among Time magazine`s 100 Most Influential People in the world and also the second-greatest director of all time. His other projects include Silence
(2016), The Irishman
(2019) and Killers of the Flower Moon (2022).
Career as a Producer
Apart from direction, Scorsese had produced several movies such as Mad Dog and Glory, Clockers, The Grifters, Naked in New York, Grace of My Heart, Search and Destroy, The Hi-Lo Country, and even foreign film, Con gli occhi chiusi. He also produced a documentary, My Voyage to Italy. Also, he had been an executive producer Life Itself, The Third Side of the River and Revenge of the Green Dragons.