Italian Scorsese likes Irish tales, too

Sept. 17, 2006 at 1:48 PM

NEW YORK, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Italian-American director Martin Scorsese says growing up in New York and watching John Ford movies helped him develop an appreciation for all things Irish.

Two of the "GoodFellas" and "Taxi Driver" director's more recent films, "Gangs of New York" and next month's, "The Departed," are gritty dramas about Irish-American criminals.

"I've always felt a close affinity with the Irish, particularly coming out of the same area in New York City," Scorsese told journalists in Manhattan.

Noting that the Irish and Italians share similar family structures and connections to the Roman Catholic Church, Scorsese said he was always interested in stories about how the Irish helped create New York and the United States.

"And, don't forget, I do have a very strong love for Hollywood cinema and some of the greatest filmmakers to come out of Hollywood -- films I grew up on -- were by Irishmen, John Ford, Raoul Walsh," Scorsese said.

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