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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Teddy Bickel gives a good performance as a street food merchant, in a poor New York district where every body seems to like each other: kids snooping around, shop owners, unemployed people, ordinary folks. The district is ruled by a sort of kingpin, but whose rules are not the same as the ones the street merchant follows. Bickel's character is a Turkish immigrant and not very well accepted by the people all around, because he tries to explain to the kids how to enjoy life by eating good healthy food. This story emphasizes on the social side of the story, on intolerance against aliens of all kinds, because the ordinary people ignore so many things that exist just on the other side of the district boundaries. Some poignant and also painful scenes here, such as this one, where some punks smash the little merchant's wagon in front of the street folks and even a cop who lets go, because he is on the kingpin's payroll. It is a sort of western scheme in the middle of NY city instead of a small Texas town, where the stranger, the alien, will help poor folks to get rid of a ruthless baron who rules their lives, a leech who sucks their blood. The street atmosphere is very well described. Look out for Strother Martin, who will find Peckinpah again in WILD BUNCH. I did not recognize the young Kurt Russell among the kids. Please, don't miss this true American story.
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