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Mean Streets (1973)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  14 October 1973 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 64,130 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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6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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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 innovative use of the hand-held camera was largely down to the fact that the film's meager budget didn't stretch to laying down lots of tracks for all the tracking shots. See more »


When Michael gets into the back seat of the car to discuss the fine German lenses that he has procured, it is obviously dusk. But in the next shot from the car's interior, it's night time. See more »


[Johnny Boy is pointing his .38 at Michael]
Michael Longo: You don't have the guts to use that.
Johnny Boy: I don't, huh? I don't have the guts? Come here, asshole. Come over here. I'll put this up your ass.
See more »


Featured in Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel (2011) See more »


By Giuseppe Di Stefano (as Guiseppe de Stefano)
Courtesy of DECCA Records
See more »

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User Reviews

early Scorsese masterpiece
7 August 2000 | by (somerset, nj) – See all my reviews

Mean Streets was a brilliant early film by Martin Scorsese. It was his first ever collaboration with Robert DeNiro. Their very successful partnership has produced some of the best movies ever made: Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, and Casino. It also helped launch Harvey Keitel to stardom.

Keitel as Charlie and DeNiro as Johnny Boy deliver great performances. Scorsese's direction is strong. Even close to 30 years ago, these three men show the talent which would eventually place them among the very best in the business. Scorsese uses a great selection of popular music in Mean Streets and that has become a trademark of his.

Mean Streets easily ranks with Scorsese's best. 9/10

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