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Mean Streets (1973)

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A small-time hood aspires to work his way up the ranks of a local mob.

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writers:

Martin Scorsese (screenplay), Mardik Martin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,447 ( 140)
5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert De Niro ... Johnny Boy
Harvey Keitel ... Charlie
David Proval ... Tony
Amy Robinson Amy Robinson ... Teresa
Richard Romanus ... Michael
Cesare Danova ... Giovanni
Victor Argo ... Mario
George Memmoli ... Joey
Lenny Scaletta Lenny Scaletta ... Jimmy
Jeannie Bell ... Diane
Murray Moston Murray Moston ... Oscar (as Murray Mosten)
David Carradine ... Drunk
Robert Carradine ... Boy With Gun
Lois Walden Lois Walden ... Jewish Girl
Harry Northup ... Soldier
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Storyline

The future is set for Tony and Michael - owning a neighbourhood 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

Taglines:

You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets... See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

14 October 1973 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Season of the Witch See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$32,645, 15 March 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,132,645
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Martin Scorsese reunited much of the crew from Boxcar Bertha (1972), who were veterans of budget-minded filmmaking. See more »

Goofs

Tony is driving with a bandaged right little finger, then the bandage is gone and it reappears again. See more »

Quotes

Charlie: [naked in bed] Forget it. If there's any chance of me falling in love with you, Teresa, I wouldn't be here right now. Believe me.
Teresa: Because?
Charlie: Because with you I can't get involved.
Teresa: Because?
Charlie: Because you're a cunt! - Wait! It was only a joke.
Teresa: Where do you get off talkin' like that!
[gets out of bed]
Charlie: It was only a joke! Teresa, hey, come here.
Teresa: The hell it was!
See more »

Alternate Versions

NBC edited 10 minutes from this film for its 1977 network television premiere. See more »


Soundtracks

Those Oldies but Goodies
By Little Caesar and The Romans
Courtesy of BRAVE NEW WORLD Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A look at life in NY
2 February 2010 | by innersmiffSee all my reviews

'Mean Streets', the earliest Scorsese film people have heard of, is the result of an on-form film maker, telling a personal story.

One thing to immediately note about 'Mean Streets' is the performance of our two leads, Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro, both looking young and are full of energy. They deliver the goods, big time. They are both so watchable and make up at least half of the movie's appeal. In fact, 'Mean Streets' is an inherently watchable movie overall, helped by some fine dialogue and Scorsese's trademark energetic and involving camera-work. The main draw is the antics of the characters and their relationships rather than a high-stakes narrative. Dramatic things happen but don't relate intrinsically to the central plot: that of De Niro's character Johnny Boy, his debts to clubs, bars and old pals along with his long-suffering buddy Charlie (Keitel).

In comparison to other Scorsese films (which is inevitably going to happen if this is not your first Scorsese), it is very low on scale and as mentioned before, low on stakes. This is no gangster epic or psychological portrait but simply a 2 hour window into the streets of New York. It is certainly worth watching.


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