Based on journalist Nicholas Pileggi's nonfiction book Wiseguy
, GOODFELLAS revolves around the career of low-level gangster Henry Hill (Ray Liotta), who became part of the federal witness protection program after testifying against his erstwhile partners in crime. At the center of the book
is Hill's insider account of the $6 million robbery of a Lufthansa cargo facility at New York's Idlewild Airport. Scorsese doesn't show the heist itself; instead, he focuses on its bloody aftermath, in which all the participants are brutally murdered by Henry's partners, the lethally paranoid
Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) and the psychotic Tommy De Vito (Joe Pesci).