A small-time hood tries to keep the peace between his friend Johnny and Johnny's creditors.

Director:

Martin Scorsese

Writers:

Martin Scorsese (screenplay), Mardik Martin (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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2,304 ( 102)
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 ... Teresa
Richard Romanus ... Michael
Cesare Danova ... Giovanni
Victor Argo ... Mario (as Vic Argo) (as Victor Argo)
George Memmoli ... Joey
Lenny Scaletta Lenny Scaletta ... Jimmy
Jeannie Bell ... Diane
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:

Go to church on Sunday. Go to hell on Monday. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

To really get inside Harvey Keitel's drunken scene, the camera was actually strapped to the actor while he swayed about, and under-cranked to give it a woozy, drunken feel. See more »

Goofs

During one of the pool scenes, balls disappear and change position between cuts. See more »

Quotes

Michael Longo: [showing a picture of his new girlfriend] You think she's good-looking? She's smart, too. She's gonna be a teacher.
Tony DeVienazo: Let me see that. Oh, I know this girl.
Michael Longo: Yeah?
Tony DeVienazo: Yeah... I saw her kissing a nigger under a bridge.
Michael Longo: What? What do you mean?
Tony DeVienazo: A nigger. As in black. A nigger.
Michael Longo: But what do you mean?
Tony DeVienazo: [rolls his eyes] I mean... kissing. Her lips on his lips. Kissing.
Michael Longo: [worried] I kissed her.
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Alternate Versions

In newer prints, the 1973 "Big W" Warner Bros. logo is plastered over by the more current logo variant. See more »

Connections

References Pride of the Marines (1945) See more »

Soundtracks

Rubber Biscuit
By The Chips
Courtesy of JOSIE Records
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User Reviews

 
Is he worth the bother?
24 April 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

I was never clear at just why Harvey Keitel was putting himself out on a limb for Robert DeNiro in Mean Streets. Sure he's taken with DeNiro's cousin Amy Robinson still I'm not sure he was worth the effort.

Keitel is a small time hood in Manhattan's Little Italy who's not really into it. DeNiro is another small time hood but he's completely and psychotically out of control. He's borrowed a few grand from local loan shark Robert Romanus and Romanus wants his money. Now during the climax scene DeNiro does ask a relevant question, why after he has borrowed and stiffed everyone in the neighborhood would you lend him any money?

In fact Keitel is all that's standing between DeNiro and gangster retribution. Is it all worth it even for Amy Robinson who is an epileptic and for some reason Keitel's uncle Cesare Danova thinks that disqualifies her as a potential bride.

The story is a bit muddled but the characters especially Keitel and DeNiro are unforgettable. Mean Streets made the career of both of them and of director Martin Scorsese. Keitel has become a valued character player and DeNiro a star with an astonishing variety of roles. In fact next to John Ford/John Wayne, Martin Scorsese/Robert DeNiro is probably the most successful director/player combination in film history.

This must have been a labor of love since Martin Scorsese grew up in Little Italy grown a lot smaller since he was a kid there. No doubt Keitel, DeNiro and the rest are drawn from characters he knew. His mom Catherine Scorsese also makes an appearance as she does in many of her son's works.

I don't think Mean Streets ranks up there with Casino, The Departed, The Aviator and Goodfellas, but it's an interesting work.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Italian | German

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

Gross USA:

$32,645

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$41,131
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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