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Way before the Fonz, way before Rocky, there was this small film known as the Lords of Flatbush. Set in the 50's it follows 4 guys who belong to "a social athletic club" known as the Lords (Flatbush being an area of Brooklyn). Pinned up in Leather jackets, brylecream, and being juvenille delinquents the film follows their antics. This movie is real void of any plot. The film synopsis I read on the back of the VHS tape said it follows the lives of these 4 guys as they soon decide that they have to grow up and join the real world and possibly let go of their friendship. Problem is the film is mostly just ad-lib dialogue and empty of any story to follow.
One guy (Perry King) is suppose to be falling for a smart girl who tells him to grow up, Another (Stallone) is in a pickle cause he got his girl pregnant and she wants to get married. Other than that, that's all you ever know about the characters. The back of the tape mentions that one character (Winkler), realizes he has to make something of himself out of his delinquency in hopes of going to college. However in the film Winkler has only one scene that gives any insight into his character which goes something like this:
Winkler: "You know I should really do something, you know?"
Soda jerk: "I know what you mean"
Winkler: "Ok I'll see you later"
[Walks out the door]
That's it! This is character development???? I didn't even hear the words 'go to college' in that dialogue..
The film doesn't stand the test of time either. Since it's somewhat just documetary like with hand held cameras and ad-libbed dialogue, the film is ridiculously choppy and seems like it was but together in 2 hours from outakes. Perhaps this was radical in '74, but today it's been improved and done way better and this looks terrible. This was a film that got Stallone noticed, and created the Fonz character for Winkler. There is ONE brilliant scene which involves Stallone in a jewellery store, stuck with his girlfriend and her friend badgering him into purchasing a very expensive engagement ring. But like I 've said, one good scene does not a whole movie make. The roof top 'pigeon' since is horribly bad and meaningless.
I am a big sucker for nostalgia too, and thought that would make me like this film more, but it is slow, badly put together, and filled with one dimensional characters. In short, it is empty. The final wedding scene and the 4th member giving the toast along with the flashback of their lives is pointless since the 4th member hardly had any role in the film. If you removed him, the movie wouldn't be any different with his absence so why is he even there??
Rating 3 out of 10
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