Mean Streets (1973)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller

Mean Streets (1973) Poster

A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.




  • Martin Scorsese in Mean Streets (1973)
  • Harvey Keitel and Cesare Danova in Mean Streets (1973)
  • D'Mitch Davis and George Memmoli in Mean Streets (1973)
  • "Mean Streets" Director Martin Scorsese 1973 Warner Bros.
  • David Proval in Mean Streets (1973)
  • Martin Scorsese in Mean Streets (1973)

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2 February 2010 | innersmiff
| A look at life in NY
'Mean Streets', the earliest Scorsese film people have heard of, is the result of an on-form film maker, telling a personal story.

One thing to immediately note about 'Mean Streets' is the performance of our two leads, Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro, both looking young and are full of energy. They deliver the goods, big time. They are both so watchable and make up at least half of the movie's appeal. In fact, 'Mean Streets' is an inherently watchable movie overall, helped by some fine dialogue and Scorsese's trademark energetic and involving camera-work. The main draw is the antics of the characters and their relationships rather than a high-stakes narrative. Dramatic things happen but don't relate intrinsically to the central plot: that of De Niro's character Johnny Boy, his debts to clubs, bars and old pals along with his long-suffering buddy Charlie (Keitel).

In comparison to other Scorsese films (which is inevitably going to happen if this is not your first Scorsese), it is very low on scale and as mentioned before, low on stakes. This is no gangster epic or psychological portrait but simply a 2 hour window into the streets of New York. It is certainly worth watching.

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