Mean Streets (1973)


Crime | Drama | Romance


Martin Scorsese




Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson, Richard Romanus, Cesare Danova, Victor Argo, George Memmoli, Lenny Scaletta, Jeannie Bell, Murray Moston, David Carradine, Robert Carradine, Lois Walden, Harry Northup, Martin Scorsese


Small-time hood Charlie (Harvey Keitel) struggles with a moral crisis regarding his friends, family, business, and his conflicting religious beliefs.


One of the good things about old classics is that sometimes you can clearly see in them what would have eventually become the trademark of a director or actor. And that's the case with Martin Scorsese and "Mean Street". The film indeed has Scorsese written all over the place, unfortunately it is something that usually his films are not, it is tremendously boring.

Maybe my expectations were too high because of his other films, but the thing is that I struggled to sit through all 112 minutes because the simplistic plot doesn't really go anywhere and it isn't as interesting as I thought in the first place.

Anyway, I thought it was going to be a character study, but the film doesn't really succeed on that either. It is just a slightly character study of the main character, Charlie, a nice guy living in a bad place and probably dealing with the wrong people. Unfortunately the relationships between the characters aren't explored in depth as they should have.

Even though the script isn't that good, the film isn't that bad. If you look at the film from the point of view of Scorsese's first film, like I mentioned before, you can clearly all those elements he would have eventually perfected later on, and it's a real pleasure to see where it all started.

But that's not the only good thing about the film. While he failed at writing this, Scorsese did a fantastic job directing this picture, especially the last 15-20 minutes when, despite the film being quite boring, he still managed to deliver a palpable sense of suspense.

The cinematography is also good. Mostly shot with a hand hold camera, the film manages to create that dark, raw look that fits the environment. Another thing I've enjoyed - and noticed since the very beginning - is the beautiful soundtrack.

And at last, the acting, a hell of a reason to watch this film. The cast is all great, especially Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro, both superb in their roles.

1 comment :

  1. I still have to see this film. I heard much about it but never watched it yet because I have to be in the mood for a Scorsese crime drama. It always seems ridden with violence and major amount of swear words. I'm no prude and I like Tarantino but for some reason it gets to me with his films.