The enduring influence of Nicholas Pileggi's Mafia book ''Wiseguy''

By Keith Staskiewicz
September 23, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

In 1986 Nicholas Pileggi gave us a peek into the violent but seductive world of the Mafia with Wiseguy, a chronicle of mobster Henry Hill that’s just been released in a 25th-anniversary edition. Wiseguy helped change the way the Mob was depicted in pop culture. In 1990 Martin Scorsese turned it into the modern classic GoodFellas, starring Ray Liotta. Below, some of the other made men Hill helped get made.

Pileggi collaborated with Scorsese again to tell the story of Las Vegas’ Mob-influenced heyday.

Donnie Brasco
The 1997 crime film — about an embedded FBI agent — owed much to GoodFellas.

The Sopranos
HBO’s grand saga of Cosa Nostra took both its inspiration and half its cast from GoodFellas.

American Gangster
Pileggi served as exec producer on the 2007 film, which was based on an article he’d gotten off the ground.