Mean Streets (1973) from Tuna
|Mean Streets (1973) was written, produced
and directed by Martin Scorsese, and is the film that put
him on the map. It is semi-autobiographical, created from
memories of growing up in Little Italy in New York. The leads
include two future stars, Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel.
| Keitel plays
Charlie, who is a small time hood who does collections
and other odd jobs for his uncle, who is a local mafia
head. He is a close friend of and protector to Johnny Boy Cervello (De Niro) who is more than a little crazy, and a
compulsive gambler in debt up to his ears. Charlie
secretly dates Johnny's cousin Teresa (Amy Robinson), but
his uncle doesn't approve because Teresa is epileptic
("sick in the brain"). Charlie
struggles with the contrast between his Catholicism and
the way he makes a living, and tries to be everyone's
savior. Johnny won't take his debt seriously, and as the
film progresses, we sense that it won't end "happily
|There is a lengthy nude scene
with Amy Robinson, who only acted in 2 films total, but produced
|Critics are pretty much in agreement that this
is a 4 star effort. Even though it is a little rough
around the edges, partly because of a low budget
($150,000.00), it shows the emergence of a Scorsese
style. This is a must see for the serious filmgoer.
Scoop's note: I
won't disagree with Tuna's assertion that you should see
the movie if you are a serious film buff, but I think the
showed what a great director's work looked like
in its earlier stages.
represented a real breakthrough at the time for
techniques and themes provided the jumping-off
point for Scorsese's career as well as an inspiration for many other
introduced De Niro, Keitel and Scorsese to
DVD info from Amazon.
1.85:1, plus a fullscreen version
mono sound, no special
opinion that the four star reviews are for Scorsese's
career, not for this film. It is a good early movie made
by a director who would become great. I think Scorsese
probably regrets some of the techniques he used here.
(Like the filtered lenses)
The DVD is a real disappointment.
I'm not sure how much is lost on the DVD compared to the
theatrical presentation, but the sound is poor, and the film is sometimes
blurry and undercontrasted.
letterboxed version simply blocks off information at the
top and bottom of the full screen version, and the matting
is not done exactly right, because the ratio is not
- With their
votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters
score it 7.6, not far from the top 250.
guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of
excellence, about like three and a half stars
from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm
watchability, about like two and a half stars
from the critics. The fives are generally not
worthwhile unless they are really your kind of
material, about like two stars from the critics.
Films under five are generally awful even if you
like that kind of film, equivalent to about one
and a half stars from the critics or less,
depending on just how far below five the rating
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