Mean Streets (1973) - Plot Summary Poster


Plot Summary

  • 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>
  • In a series of character-led incidents set against the background of New York City's Little Italy, we follow the life of Charlie, a small-time member of the wiseguy community who collects protection money. His friends Tony and Michael are part of the community, but his other friend Johnny Boy is unreliable and therefore must be shunned. Charlie's secret girlfriend Teresa has epilepsy, and so must also be shunned. When Charlie's uncle Giovanni offers him a restaurant - the first step up the ladder - Charlie is forced to choose between his desire for power, his love for Teresa and his duty to protect his friend Johnny Boy.

    - Written by alfiehitchie
  • Italian-American Charlie, who lives in the Little Italy neighborhood of New York City, leads a conflicted life. He identifies as Catholic, but feels he has to deal with sins in his own way for absolution than say "Hail Mary"s. He works as a collector for his gangster uncle, Giovanni, but has empathy for those who cannot pay. Another who cannot pay is his best friend, Johnny Boy, a self destructive and somewhat unaware individual who owes money to their loan shark friend, Michael, but makes no effort either to repay that loan or make any credible effort to stay clear of Michael while he still lavishly spends whatever money he has on having a good time. Charlie tries to keep the peace between Johnny Boy and Michael, while realizing that Johnny Boy is shirking his responsibility. Meanwhile, Charlie has been in a clandestine relationship with Johnny Boy's cousin, Teresa, an epileptic who is in love with him. Charlie, on the other hand, doesn't want to encourage Teresa in this manner in part because Giovanni doesn't approve of her as he sees her epilepsy as a major character flaw. Charlie tries to reconcile all parts of these disparate aspects of his life, on the most part unsuccessfully.

    - Written by Huggo
  • A look at a group of small-time hoods and hustlers trying to make a living on the streets of New York. The story centers around Charlie, a loan collector for a mobster named Giovanni. He can be pretty tough when he needs to but gets into trouble for cutting his friend Johnny Boy - also his girlfriend's cousin - a bit too much slack. His girlfriend is also a problem as she is epileptic and Giovanni, who genuinely cares about Charlie, wants him to dump her. As pressures mount, Charlie faces some difficult decisions with none of the possible outcomes to his liking.

    - Written by garykmcd
  • Four honourable men business ends up in a chaos when Johnny boy adopted their profession and ruined their empire


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