Martin Scorsese's electrifying drama tells the story of Charlie (Harvey Keitel), a charming 27-year-old who is supported by his devoutly Catholic mother. He spends his days wandering the streets of New York City and nights hanging out drinking with his good friend Johnny Boy (the terrifyingly brilliant Robert De Niro), a loose cannon that can't seem to escape trouble. Charlie's extreme affability makes him the middle man between his mob-tied uncle Giovanni (Cesare Danova) and various clients, as well as between Johnny Boy and Michael (Richard Romanus), a bookie who has become fed up with Johnny Boy's constant debt dodging. As the city's San Gennaro Festival takes over the streets of Little Italy, Michael seeks revenge on Johnny Boy once and for all.
MEAN STREETS is the film in which Scorsese blossomed into one of the world's most ferociously distinct visionaries, a vision which has, for better or worse, become one of the most mimicked in the history of modern cinema. While his usage of a nostalgic pop music soundtrack, long one-takes and handheld cameras, and brutally realistic performances, spawned a generation of imitators, MEAN STREETS proves that while others may try to imitate, there is only one original. MEAN STREETS is a work of sheer cinematic bravado.
Cast: Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro
Director: Martin Scorsese
Producer: Jonathan Taplin
This classic of modern cinema tells the brutally realistic story of a small-time hood who gets in over his head with a vicious loan shark. In an attempt to free himself from both the obligations and dangers of the debt he incurred, he enlists the aid of a friend who is also involved in criminal activities.
Full Frame - 1.33
Dolby Digital Mono - English, French
Additional Release Material:
Trailer - 1. Original Theatrical
Theatrical release: October 2, 1973
Shot on location in New York City.
MEAN STREETS was added to the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1997.
De Niro's performance as the out-of-control Johnny Boy earned him awards from the New York and National Society of Film Critics.
Much like Scorsese's earlier WHO'S THAT KNOCKING AT MY DOOR?, MEAN STREETS is a deeply personal film that deals with issues Scorsese himself had seen and experienced while growing up in New York City.
Part of the film was shot in the cemetery of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan's Chinatown, where Scorsese had been an altar boy as a youth.
"...MEAN STREETS is a jazzy riff of a movie, zigging and zagging as if to the beat of snapping fingers....A modern American screen classic..."
Los Angeles Times - Kevin Thomas (03/13/1998)
"...It has an elemental power, a sense of spiraling doom, that a more polished film might have lacked....MEAN STREETS is one of the source points of modern movies..."
Chicago Sun-Times - Roger Ebert (03/15/1998)
"...By turns thoughtful, disturbingly violent, and uproariously funny..."
Premiere - Premiere Staff (06/01/2003)
"[With] inventive camerawork...[and] inspired use of music....Essential."
Uncut - Tom Charity (02/01/2005)
"Scorsese's breakthrough feature fizzes with energy....The director brilliantly unleashes a host of techniques and cinematic references..."
Sight and Sound - James Bell (07/01/2005)
Recording Mode: Mono