Before Casino, GoodFellas, Raging Bull and even Taxi Driver there was Mean Streets. Martin Scorsese’s first collaboration with Robert De Niro takes us to a darker side of the mafia’s favourite city, New York. We follow the lives of some young, up and coming gangsters learning how to rip people off and owe too much. The film is packed full of great shots and great music with each scene bursting with Scorsese’s creativity, creating an excellently specific feel. It may not be as polished as what you’ve come to expect from the famous director, but this only gives the film an uncanny charm.
The performances from Harvey Keitel and De Niro are exciting and emotional. You can see where so much of GoodFellas and Casino’s great dialogue got its beginnings in the comfortable and uncomfortable exchanges between the two leads. It’s no wonder De Niro went on to star as a young Vito Corleone in The Godfather Part II the following year! Maybe its retrospect speaking but I wish I’d given this movie a higher score. It’s an unforgettable adventure into 70s New York City and a great example of what a young director can achieve.
The Podfather Score: 6.25/10