Martin Scorsese and Killers of the Flower Moon

John Greco
2 min readJan 15, 2024

I had just returned from a year in Vietnam, home on leave for about amonth before going to Fort Polk in Louisiana, when I read a review about a film by a young filmmaker I had never heard of before. His name was Martin Scorsese. The film, “Who’s That Knocking at My Door” was playing at the Carnegie Hall Cinema, a theatre located beneath the famed Carnegie Hall. What attracted me to the film after reading the review was its Italian-American background, something familiar to me. Scorsese grew up in this environment and knew it well, as did I. Before moving to Queens, Scorsese and his family lived on Elizabeth Street in Manhattan, coincidently the same street my mother grew up on with her family. It was a big Sicilian enclave at the time. The movie was shot in Little Italy an area I was well acquainted with and made by an Italian-American. I found it intriguing.


I loved the film, rough around the edges but unique from the standard usual Hollywood film. It dealt with issues I could identify with, Catholic guilt, hell, and damnation, growing up within the confines of an insular society and it had rock and roll, which I loved!

While I can’t say for sure but I believe “Who’s That Knocking at My Door”, (aka I Call First) may be the first film to have used rock and roll music on its soundtrack. Additionally, there was the use of the hand-held camera and editing, much of what is common today but was unusual at that time in American film. Here I had discovered a film and a director who seemed to have grown up in the same world as I did a world of second generation Italian-Americans. I was hooked.

Today, Martin Scorsese remains my favorite filmmaker. So it was with great anticipation that I looked forward to his latest film, “Killers of the Flower Moon.” He does not disappoint.

Scorsese’s adaptation of David Grann’s account of how greedy white men systematically murdered members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma in the early 1920s is an excellent historical and intelligent work of art. While it would not make my top five Scorsese film list (that’s a huge bar that includes “Mean Streets”, “Taxi Driver”, “Goodfellas,” “Raging Bull”, “The King of Comedy”) this is a must-see poetic masterpiece of grief, mass murder and injustice.

Scorsese and his team took the time to talk and learn from the Osage people, enhancing the filmmakers’ ability to get the story honestly told.

The performances are excellent, and Lily Gladstone is especially magnificent and deserving of the accolades she is receiving.



John Greco

Author of various short story collections including, "Brooklyn Tales," "Harbor House," "Dark Secrets," and "The Late Show."