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Mean Streets

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Mean Streets (1973)

Martin Scorsese is one of my favorite directors, but there are still some of his films that I didn't watch. His first real classic, Mean Streets, is the eleventh movie I saw from this cinematic mastermind.

The film is mainly a rough tale about low life Italian gangsters and the new York neighborhood they live in. It centers around the character Charlie (played by Harvey Keitel) and his issues with guilt and the choice between his friends and his rich uncle.
In the first scene we see him praying in church, asking for redemption, but he can't find it there. You only find it on the streets... From then on we see Charlie often looking for punishment in the form of fire, which symbolizes hell.
Charlie's best friend, Johnny Boy (awesomely portrayed by De Niro) is a self destructive troublemaker with a lot of debts who doesn't seem to care about anything. His life becomes more complicated when his amount of creditors rise and when one of them becomes very impatient.
Meanwhile Charlie is asked by his uncle to not get involved with Johnny and his niece, Teresa (his epileptic secret girlfriend), because he is bad influence and because "honorable men go with honorable men".
Although he initially tries to follow the advice of his uncle, he ends up helping Johnny and undergo the consequences.

This gangster story is told in a "typically Scorsese" stylish and rock'n roll way with a great soundtrack and some very cool scenes. My favorite one was the famous pool fight scene. That was a scene full of adrenalin and testosteron, filmed in a continuous 'hand camera' way. AWESOME stuff!
I rate this movie a very well deserved: