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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Legendary English gangster Freddie Foreman (Kray twins henchman and enforcer) said that the character Johnny Boy played by DeNiro was very similar to Jack "The Hat" Mcvitie. Mcvitie was lured to a house party in Stoke Newington and murdered by Reggie Kray. Both characters were mischeivous, liked drink and pills, and wore pork pie hats. See more »
A pedestrian passes the mailbox just before Johnny Boy blows it up. After he blows it up, though, the man is nowhere to be seen, although he was close enough to be injured by the blast. See more »
The version issued on VHS in the UK by Video Collection International (VC3382) is shortened, with many sequences truncated or missing - notably, Johnny Boy checking in his pants at the club with the two girls is gone - it cuts straight to the Jumpin' Jack Flash entrance instead. Why these cuts were made and by whom is not known. All language, sex and violence is intact so it's not for censorship reasons. This was the version in circulation in the UK until the reissue by Electric Pictures in 1993. See more »
How can you endlessly watch a total screw-up borrow from the mob, annoy the only friend he has, and basically wreck his life without wanting to run away from it all? When the screw-up is played by young Robert DeNiro you are fascinated, you don't want to turn away. MEAN STREETS was not the debut of both Martin Scorcese or his stars Harvey Kietel and Robert deNiro. They struggled in the field for some time. This is the film that told the world, new head-honchos have arrived on the screen! MEAN STREETS tells of low-rent street hoods in Little Italy. Harvey Kietel plays the one hood whose a voice of reason, who doesn't mess up all the time, who is smart enough to avoid trouble. When DeNiro's Johnny Boy is first seen here, he is playing infantile tricks, and is telling his friend how he can't go in half the stores around him because he owes everybody money. Martin Scorcese uses a gritty documentary-shooting style to unfold his movie. It remains probably the best film of 1973 (But 1973 was not one of the best years for movies.)
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