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  • Mean Streets [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]
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Mean Streets [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC]

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Mean Streets [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] + Taxi Driver [DVD] [1976] [1999] + Raging Bull (20th Anniversary Edition) [DVD]
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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000286RP2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 109,223 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Trevor Willsmer HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on 31 Jan. 2008
Format: DVD
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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57 of 63 people found the following review helpful By S. Notarangelo on 8 Mar. 2005
Format: DVD
'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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Aug. 2012
Format: DVD
Mean Streets is directed by Martin Scorsese who also co-writes the screenplay with Mardik Martin. It stars Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, David Proval, Amy Robinson, Richard Romanus and Cesare Danova. Plot finds Keitel as Charlie, a young Italian-American crook trying to work his way up the New York Mafia scene. But his way is blocked by Catholic guilt and his obligation to take care of loose cannon pal Jonny Boy (De Niro), who is in debt to hoods and doesn't seem to care.

A film of significant firsts. It would begin the Scorsese/De Niro relationship that served cinema so well and it laid the foundation for Scorsese's hoodlum filmic empire. Viewing Mean Streets now is an odd experience, for although there are some great things to sample, the piece undeniably seminal in the history of American cinema, it also plays as a pretty straight forward film. There are no surprises in store, the trajectory of characterisations runs true and goes exactly where you expect it too. Had I personally watched it upon release in 1973 I'm sure I would have been a bit more awed, but it very much feels over-rated now, with some critical appraisals of it appearing to pump it up more because of its importance than for any narrative quality.

As Scorsese goes for gritty realism, the story at the core lacks vibrancy. It's only when De Niro (jumping-bean) as borderline nutter Jonny Boy is doing his nutter Jonny Boy thing, does the picture actually perk up. The roll call of characters aren't engaging since they aren't fleshed out, the girl characters are badly written and the key bar-room brawl is very unconvincing.
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