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Tommy DeVito

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Good shot. What do you want from me? Good shot. Fuckin' rat anyway. His family's all rats. He'll grow up to be a rat.
~ Tommy DeVito

Thomas "Tommy" DeVito is the main antagonist in the 1990 film Goodfellas. He is portrayed by Joe Pesci, who also played Harry from Home Alone and Nicky Santoro. He is a sociopathic and sadistic mobster who works by the Lucchese crime family.


Tommy was a long time associate of Jimmy 'the Gent' Conway and Paul Cicero. At a young age, he was known to clean people's shoes, and was given the nickname "Spitshine Tommy." He was introduced to Henry Hill by Jimmy, and the two became friends.

By 1963, Tommy was helping Henry on the Idlewild Airport heist. Soon after, Henry told Tommy he was a "funny guy". Tommy challenged Henry over this comment, although Henry wormed his way out of it.

In 1970, Tommy attended recently freed mobster Billy Batts' party. Billy goaded Tommy about his days as a shoe cleaner. Tommy lost his temper, and it was up to Henry to restrain Tommy. Later on, Tommy returned with a revolver, and, along with Jimmy, beat Billy within an inch of his life. Tommy and Jimmy made Henry hide Billy's body in the trunk of the car. Later on, Billy woke up and started to move about. Tommy stabbed Billy multiple times, and Jimmy finished him off with a few shots. They buried Billy nearby, but had to exhume him later on, when the land was sold to build houses on. Tommy killing Billy was a big mistake because Billy was a 'made man', and to kill a made man, one would need to have permission from his superiors. If one had failed to get permission, he would be killed as well.

Not long after the Billy Batts incident, Tommy was playing cards with his friends, when he had a go at Spider, the
Spider's death

Tommy shooting Spider.

young man serving in the bar. Tommy ordered Spider to dance for him, and shot him in the foot, when he refused. A few days later, Spider came in with his foot bandaged up. Tommy mocked him for his injury, and Spider told Tommy to "go fuck himself". Tommy lost his temper and shot Spider dead.

When Henry's mistress Janice complained that her boss was giving her a hard time, Tommy helped Henry and Jimmy to trash the man's house and threaten him.

Before 1978, Henry and Jimmy were released from prison. Around this time, Jimmy arranged the Luthansa Heist. The bosses were beginning to think well of Tommy and were going to make him a 'made man'. To make his bones, Tommy was persuaded to kill his friend Stacks Edwards, who was involved in the heist and had left important evidence by not getting rid of the truck. This could have resulted in everything being involved getting caught. Tommy came to Stacks house and shot him in the head, and several times in the back. Then, he killed an annoying man named Morrie by stabbing him in the back of the neck with an ice pick.

In January 1979, the day came when Tommy was going to be made. However, this was a setup to have Tommy
Tommy's death

Tommy's death.

shot in revenge for the murder of Billy Batts several years before. Jimmy was devastated by his friend's murder. Things went downhill for Jimmy and Henry after Tommy's death. Eventually, Henry entered the Witness Protection Act and testified against Jimmy in court. The film's final shot is Tommy firing a gun at the camera. This is to symbolise that had he been alive by the film's ending, he would likely have killed Henry for his treachery.


Tommy has generally psychopathic behavior, being extremely cruel, ruthless and vicious. His violent behavior stems from the fact that he suffers from a 'Napoleon complex', due to his short stature. Tommy kills people as if they are nothing, although he usually kills whenever he is provoked.

He is constantly seen using sadistic violence to threaten others, and shows no apparent mercy for his victims. He also seems to be very familiar with utilizing fear and humiliation, especially when he kills Spider.

Behind the Scenes

Tommy DeVito was based on real-life mobster Tommy DeSimone. The film took artistic liberties as Joe Pesci was 46 at the time of filming while Tommy DeSimone was in his teen and twenties during the events of the film. Also, Tommy DeSimone was tall and muscular and drank a gallon of whole milk a day, while Tommy DeVito is portrayed as a small man with an attitude. Another difference is that the real life Tommy DeSimone's corpse was never found, while Tommy DeVito's body is given a proper funeral.

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