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Mean Streets (1973)

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A small-time hood struggles with a moral crisis regarding his friends, family, business, and his conflicting religious beliefs.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3,161 ( 197)
5 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 ...
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 | Thriller


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?


This movie came out during the height of blaxploitation; movies like " Shaft" and "Cleopatra Jones" were all the rage. At one point Warner Brothers suggested they switch it from Italian characters to all black characters. Scorsese refused. See more »


The end credits on the DVD incorrectly list David Carradine as "Oscar" and Robert Carradine as "Drunk". See more »


Charlie: It's all bullshit except the pain. The pain of hell. The burn from a lighted match increased a million times. Infinite. Now, ya don't fuck around with the infinite. There's no way you do that. The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart... your soul, the spiritual side. And ya know... the worst of the two is the spiritual.
See more »


Referenced in The Brooklyn Banker (2016) See more »


By Renato Carosone
Courtesy of E.M.I. Records
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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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