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

4.2 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000286RP2
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 180,869 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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By CAPTAIN CLEGG TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Oct. 2015
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Am not going to bore you about the films plot, their are loads of reviews on amazon that can tell you better than me. And as a film fan i have never seen this film until now, and i bet most film fans have had some films pass them by. So now i have finally seen it i wasn't overly impressed, to tell you the truth i found the whole plot to be very weak, if not pointless and i found it hard to enjoy any of the characters, well i did enjoy Harvey Keitel's performance, he played his part well. All in all not a bad film but one i will easily forget. Oh the one thing i was impressed with, was the DVD picture quality, so if you love this film then a Blu-ray copy will look good.

***DVD FEATURES***
All-New Digital Transfer
Commentary by Director Martin Scorsese
Vintage Featurette: Martin Scorsese
= Back on the Block.
Theartrical Trailer
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By S J Buck TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 Sept. 2006
Format: DVD
This is one of the most important movies of the 70's, released after The Godfather, and whilst probably not as good a film, I think it has been far more influential on other filmmakers - Tarantino for one. This is Scorcese's first masterpiece and rewards repeated viewings. The film is loosely based on Scorcese's own upbringing in little Italy.

The cast are perfection. Harvey Keital and Robert DeNiro spark brilliantly off each other, helped by a fabulous script and I believe some improvisation as well. Noteably the scene in the back of the bar "you mean last Tuesday". The dialogue in this film is marvellous and occasionally it is intentionally funny as well.

Prior to this film Scorcese had made some interesting films but none of them had his stamp on them. Mean Streets comes straight in out of nowhere as a fully fledged masterpiece:

The use of music when Johnny enters the bar; Its done in slow motion to the Stones Jumpin' Jack Flash.

The use of colour.

The drunk scene, not very long, but perhaps the best ever done. The camera (some sort of steadycam) faces Harvey Keital and we are staggering around with him, until eventually he falls over and passes out on the floor - the camera goes with him.

The wonderful fight sequence in the pool room over being called a "Mook"; when nobody knows what a Mook is...

Look out for Scorcese in an uncredited cameo role as Jimmy Shorts, and also for David Carradine as a drunk.

This is essential for any movie collection.
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