×

Mean Streets

In essence Mean Streets is an updated, downtown version of Marty (1955), with small-time criminality replacing those long stretches of beer-drinking in a Bronx bar. Four aging adolescents, all in their mid-20s but still inclined toward prankish irresponsibility, float among the lower-class denizens of Manhattan's Little Italy, struggling to make a living out of loan-sharking, the numbers game and bartending.

With:
Robert De Niro Harvey Keitel David Proval Amy Robinson Richard Romanus Cesare Danova

In essence Mean Streets is an updated, downtown version of Marty (1955), with small-time criminality replacing those long stretches of beer-drinking in a Bronx bar. Four aging adolescents, all in their mid-20s but still inclined toward prankish irresponsibility, float among the lower-class denizens of Manhattan’s Little Italy, struggling to make a living out of loan-sharking, the numbers game and bartending.

The hero, competently played by Harvey Keitel, is on the verge of taking over a restaurant for his vaguely Mafioso uncle (Cesar Danova in a compelling, deglamorized interpretation), but his climb to respectability is obstructed by his kinship with the trouble-making Robert De Niro and his budding love for De Niro’s epileptic cousin, played rather confusingly by Amy Robinson.

Screenplay, instead of developing these characters and their complex interactions, remains content to sketch in their day-to-day happenings. But Scorsese is exceptionally good at guiding his largely unknown cast to near-flawless recreations of types. Outstanding in this regard is De Niro.

Popular on Variety

Mean Streets

Production: TPS/Warner. Director Martin Scorsese; Producer Jonathan T. Taplin; Screenplay Martin Scorsese, Mardik Martin; Camera Kent Wakeford; Editor Sid Levin

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1973. Running time: 110 MIN.

With: Robert De Niro Harvey Keitel David Proval Amy Robinson Richard Romanus Cesare Danova

More Film

  • Rita And Tom Hanks Coronavirus

    Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson Return to U.S. After Coronavirus Diagnosis in Australia

    Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson are back home in the U.S. after they revealed they had contracted coronavirus and were quarantined in Australia. Hanks gave an update on Twitter Saturday morning, thanking everyone who had helped them in Australia and assuring people that they are still isolating themselves in the U.S. “Hey, folks…We’re home now [...]

  • Film Comment Magazine Goes on Hiatus

    Film Comment Magazine to Go on Hiatus as Film at Lincoln Center Lays Off Half of Staff

    Many companies are being financially impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, and the Film at Lincoln Center is the latest organization to have to lay off employees and pause some of their operations. On Friday, executive director Lesli Klainberg released a memo announcing that the center had to furlough or lay off about half of its [...]

  • "Birds of Prey" egg sandwich

    'Birds of Prey' Actor Bruno Oliver Recreates Harley Quinn's Famous Sandwich

    When actor Bruno Oliver booked the role of short order cook Sal in “Birds of Prey: (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn),” he had no idea how significant Sal and his breakfast sandwich were to the story. “You couldn’t tell from the audition necessarily and as actors, we always worry about our scenes [...]

  • Minyan

    'Minyan': Film Review

    Best known for the unexpectedly soul-shattering San Francisco suicide doc “The Bridge,” indie filmmaker Eric Steel came out and came of age in 1980s New York at a moment just before AIDS devastated the city’s gay community. Such timing must have been surreal, to assume something so liberating about one’s own identity, only to watch [...]

  • Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches

    Film New Roundup: Animated Movie 'The Queen's Corgi' Fetches North American Distribution

    In today’s film news roundup, “The Queen’s Corgi” finds a home, the Overlook Film Festival is postponed and the California Film Commission adjusts its tax credit rules due to the coronavirus. ACQUISITION Freestyle Digital Media has acquired North American rights to the animated family comedy feature “The Queen’s Corgi,” and plans to make it available on DVD and to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content