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Mean Streets [Blu-ray] [1973] [US Import]

Robert De Niro , Harvey Keitel , Martin Scorsese    Universal, suitable for all   Blu-ray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
Price: £18.44 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, David Proval, Amy Robinson, Richard Romanus
  • Directors: Martin Scorsese
  • Writers: Martin Scorsese, Mardik Martin
  • Producers: E. Lee Perry, Jonathan T. Taplin
  • Format: Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Italian
  • Region: All Regions (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: 17 July 2012
  • Run Time: 112 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007NQSQT6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,815 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



After Martin Scorsese went to Hollywood in 1972 to direct the low-budget Boxcar Bertha for B-movie mogul Roger Corman, the young director showed the film to maverick director John Cassavetes and got an instant earful of urgent advice. "It's crap," said Cassavetes in no uncertain terms, "now go out and make something that comes from your heart." Scorsese took the advice and focused his energy on Mean Streets, a riveting contemporary film about low-life gangsters in New York's Little Italy that critic Pauline Kael would later call "a true original, and a triumph of personal filmmaking." Starring Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel in roles that announced their talent to the world, it set the stage for Scorsese's emergence as one of the greatest American filmmakers. Introducing themes and character types that Scorsese would return to in Taxi Driver, GoodFellas, Casino, and other films, the loosely structured story is drawn directly from Scorsese's background in the Italian neighbourhoods of New York, and it seethes with the raw vitality of a filmmaker who has found his creative groove. As the irresponsible and reckless Johnny Boy, De Niro offers striking contrast to Keitel's Charlie, who struggles to reconcile gang life with Catholic guilt. More of an episodic portrait than a plot-driven crime story, Mean Streets remains one of Scorsese's most direct and fascinating films--a masterful calling card for a director whose greatness was clearly apparent from that point forward. --Jeff Shannon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Brilliant! 8 Mar 2005
'Mean Streets' is, in my opinion, one of Martin Scorsese's best, if not THE best, film he has made. It's the film that established him as a unique film director, and it's an absolute must-buy!
Scorsese's 'Mean Streets' was released in between the two Godfather epics in 1973, and although it shared with the Godfather a passion for Italian-American gangsters, 'Mean Streets' went a completely different way and focused on the everyday lives of gangsters when they mess about, get drunk, shoot some pool, etc. Harvey Keitel plays Charlie, a man who has dreams of moving up in the world; his uncle, a big player in the New York underworld, has plans for Charlie, but Charlie is prevented from rising due to his friendship with Johnny Boy, a 'bum' who gets Charlie into a lot of trouble. When Johnny Boy continues to avoid paying a large loan back to Charlie's friend Michael, things take a dramatic turn for the worse...
Everything about this movie is brilliant. The acting, especially Keitel and Robert De Niro as Johnny Boy, is amazing; it's unbelievable to think that the following year De Niro would win an Oscar for playing the young Vito Corleone, a character that is miles apart from the unstable Johnny Boy - his performance clearly shows what a talent De Niro is. Critics have argued that the plot is too weak and thin, yet I believe it's exactly the opposite: the film is rich in detail (a Scorsese trademark), and the movie addresses Charlie's Catholic guilt - he wants to move up in the underworld, but he fears he will be punished in hell if he does not look after the crazy Johnny Boy. Charlie is torn between the Church, Johnny Boy, and his uncle - you can see why 'Mean Streets' is anything BUT thin!
But the main attraction of the film is Scorsese's direction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little taste of near perfection 12 May 2008
By A Customer
I can understand why some people would dislike mean streets due to it's lack of plot and structure should they have watched the movie only once. It is, however, the same as passing comment on good music after only listening to it once. Impossible to judge, in my opinion.

Scorsese plays heavily on his childhood in content, introducing the audience to his world through the eyes of four local hoods. There is none of the morals of it's contemporary mafia based film, The Godfather... and none of the thrills and wealth portrayed later by Scorsese in 'Goodfellas'. It is a real world where gun crime is unusual and shocking and violence is sporadic and adrenalin fueled.

The cogs that keep the film moving forward are that of Charlie's questionable faith and his desire to prove himself by helping Johnny Boy free himself from a mountain of debt he has built up with Michael, a small time shark. The centre point for the scenario is a bar owned by Tony, and the four players weave in and out of each others lives with tensions getting more serious and a downfall becoming more inevitable as the film progresses.

Mean Streets is also improvisational comedy at it's best in parts. The relationship between Charlie and Johnny Boy (and the sheer talent of the two leads) allow much unscripted conversation to flow and it leaves you grinning widely, if not full out laughing.

I believe that taste is accountable for most things, and quality comes to a slightly lesser extent. To me, this film has something that I cannot put my finger on that makes it shine brightly. As mentioned before, it demands multiple viewings, but give it a chance... and watch it on the big screen if you're lucky enough to have it shown locally, and you might well discover a film that takes pride of place as your favourite, just as I did.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Orson Welles said that a director's first film was always his best because he would put more into it and hadn't got into bad habits like developing a style yet. Mean Streets may not be Scorsese's first film, but it otherwise bears out Welles' words. Set in New York's Little Italy, Harvey Keitel plays Michael, who exists on the fringes of crime and whose dreams of managing a restaurant his money-lending uncle is about to take over are threatened by his affair with his epileptic cousin (Amy Robinson) and his terminally unreliable childhood friend Johnny Boy's pressing debts.

As with Goodfellas, it is plot-lite and style heavy, but where in the latter the style dominated, here it has a rough-cut and ready-dubbed feel that energises the film and accurately reflects the precarious state of the characters, be it financial, mental or moral. All the trademarks are here - the tracking shots down bars, the sudden explosions of violence, a popular music soundtrack that exists as much within the film as over it, the concern with incompatibility of religion with everyday life - but here they are fresh and integral to the film rather than carefully stage-managed.

If De Niro's unstable Johnny Boy now looks a bit too much like barnstorming with many of the tricks he has since pretty much worn out through over-use, Keitel's diplomatic lead and the astonishingly natural performances from the supporting cast are the real glue that holds the film together and convince us we are eavesdropping on real lives.

Filled with astonishing moments Mean Streets remains one of the few key American films of the early Seventies that still grabs your undivided attention with none of its original power diluted by time and imitation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Good Movie.
Published 1 month ago
4.0 out of 5 stars It's personal choice:
Like all my movie reviews, its purely personal choice, you'll either love it or it'll bore you rigid. Personally, it goes straight on to my 'favourites' list.
Published 2 months ago
4.0 out of 5 stars Film is a Scorsese masterpiece (as good as his others like Raging Bull
Film is a Scorsese masterpiece (as good as his others like Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Wolf of Wall Street, and Taxi Driver), and the DVD itself is of a good quality. Read more
Published 2 months ago
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
So so
Published 3 months ago by IAN DORAN
5.0 out of 5 stars Mean streets
Well acted believable film, Harvey Keitel and Robert de Niro at the start of their careers, showing the talent which made them famous.
Published 4 months ago
5.0 out of 5 stars the start of something
It's hard to believe that "Mean Streets" is 40 years old and I'm seeing it for the first time. It still packs a punch, mainly because of the acting of Harvey Keitel, Robert de... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Stanley Crowe
5.0 out of 5 stars Zoverstocks
Very reliable company have used and will continue to do so for the last 5 years always on good condition and always on time
Published 9 months ago
5.0 out of 5 stars Charlie and Johnny Boy
Martin Scorsese's early film "Mean Streets" (1973) tells a story of religious redemption and of loyalty set in the criminal world of New York City's Lower East Side in the 1960s. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Robin Friedman
5.0 out of 5 stars A Bit Disappointed...
This is one of my all time favourite movies & I've been trying to get a copy for ages, so I was so pleased to find it for sale here on Amazon albeit through a third party... Read more
Published 10 months ago
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Not my kind of thing. Dated and boring. Did not bother finishing watching it. Got it for the music but even that didn't stir me.
Published 12 months ago
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