A tale of greed, deception, money, power, and murder occur between two best friends: a mafia enforcer and a casino executive, compete against each other over a gambling empire, and over a fast living and fast loving socialite.
A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action by attempting to liberate a presidential campaign worker and an underage prostitute.
Robert De Niro,
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 <email@example.com>
Tony is driving with a bandaged right little finger, then the bandage is gone and it reappears again. See more »
[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.
Because with you I can't get involved.
Because you're a cunt! - Wait! It was only a joke.
Where do you get off talkin' like that!
[gets out of bed]
It was only a joke! Teresa, hey, come here.
The hell it was!
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NBC edited 10 minutes from this film for its 1977 network television premiere. See more »
'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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