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Mean Streets

Mean Streets (1973)

Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast overview: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel
Running time: 112 minutes

Martin Scorsese has a big reputation in film-making, though I haven't seen enough of his movies to make a judgement on whether it's deserved. However, I found Mean Streets a bit underwhelming. The main bugbear for me was the lack of a discernible plot. I was slightly confused at what was supposed to be happening, though perhaps that was the idea Scorsese had in mind - a sense of aimlessness pervading throughout.

The acting is great, and De Niro and Keitel are another of those iconic film partnerships that work so well together. The sense of Italian-American life is obviously prevalent, and Keitel is an interesting enough character, even if I think he could have been established better. That's one of the things that I find frustrating here - there's undoubtedly a good film somewhere in here, but I don't think there's enough here to raise it above something average. I appreciate some people's opinions on it may differ.

It was enjoyable, but I don't think it's up to the standard of some of Scorsese's better films, perhaps, and this could have been far better than what it was.

Martin Scorsese: You don't make up for your sins in church. You do it in the streets. You do it at home. The rest is ******** and you know it.

[They all raise their glasses to The Queen]
Charlie: You know what the Queen said? If I had balls, I'd be King.

Johnny Boy: Y'know Joey Clams...
Charlie: Yeah.
Johnny Boy: ...Joey Scallops, yeah.
Charlie: I know him too, yeah.
Johnny Boy: ...yeah. No. No, Joey Scallops is Joey Clams.
Charlie: Right.
Johnny Boy: Right.
Charlie: ...they're the same person!
Johnny Boy: Yeah!
Charlie: 'ey!
Johnny Boy: 'ey...

Marks the first film collaboration between director Martin Scorsese and star Robert De Niro.

When raising money for the film, Martin Scorsese was offered a healthy sum by his mentor Roger Corman on the condition that he shoot the movie with an all-black cast. Scorsese had to turn Corman down.

The very last shot of the movie is of Martin Scorsese's mother, Catherine Scorsese, closing a window.