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Mean Streets (1973)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  14 October 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 63,537 users  
Reviews: 217 user | 106 critic

A small-time hood struggles to succeed on the "mean streets" of Little Italy.



(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Amy Robinson ...
Mario (as Vic Argo)
George Memmoli ...
Lenny Scaletta ...
Jeannie Bell ...
Murray Moston ...
Oscar (as Murray Mosten)
Boy With Gun
Lois Walden ...
Jewish Girl


The future is set for Tony and Michael - owning a neighbour- hood bar and making deals in the mean streets of New York city's Little Italy. For Charlie, the future is less clearly defined. A small-time hood, he works for his uncle, making collections and reclaiming bad debts. He's probably too nice to succeed. In love with a woman his uncle disapproves of (because of her epilepsy) and a friend of her cousin, Johnny Boy, a near psychotic whose trouble-making threatens them all - he can't reconcile opposing values. A failed attempt to escape (to Brooklyn) moves them all a step closer to a bitter, almost preordained future. Written by Dave Cook <cookd@mcmail.cis.mcmaster.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets...


Crime | Drama


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

14 October 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Season of the Witch  »

Box Office


$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$32,645 (USA) (13 March 1998)


$32,645 (USA) (13 March 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


(Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The very last shot of the movie is of Martin Scorsese's mother, Catherine Scorsese, closing a window. See more »


When Charlie is in the back seat of Michael's car (after the bar shooting scene), his audio is slightly off. See more »


Oscar: Look Charlie, you're a good boy. Will you just tell your uncle that I have nothing. There is nothing to give him. No envelopes with cash inside, no checks, nothing.
Charlie: That bad, huh?
Oscar: I can't make this week's payment and if this keeps up not next week's either.
Charlie: Not next week's either... listen... you tell that to Giovanni, not me.
Oscar: Listen, I should wrap up this place in a ribbon and hand it to him, you know that. I don't need this aggravation. I'm getting old.
Charlie: He'd rather have the loan payed, you ...
See more »


Referenced in A Better Tomorrow (1986) See more »


Steppin' Out
Written by Memphis Slim
Performed by Cream
Courtesy of R.S.O. Records
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User Reviews

Take A U-Turn On This Street
12 February 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Having watched a number of (director) Martin Scorecese's profane/violent crime films - some good, some bad - his first entry here is very different from the rest in one crucial aspect: it's boring!! Love him or hate him, you can't say that about his other films.

This film just doesn't have much life to it. Yes, there is some action but something is missing, perhaps characters that one could care about. After a while, I found I just did not care what happened...period. I canned it with 40 minutes to go. A dozen years later, I gave it another shot, and it was still just as boring and unappealing.

The only interesting facet was to see such young-and-skinny well-known actors like Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro. Otherwise, these "mean streets" are nothing but a dead end, so turn around and head in another direction. Don't waste your gas.

62 of 105 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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