Saturday, March 15, 2014
MEAN STREETS (1973)
I guess you could call this Martin Scorcese's dry run for GOODFELLAS. They both deal with gangsters but this one feels like a much more personal film dealing with religion, morality and the code of the streets. Also the gangsters here seem pretty amateurish compared to the big-time grand-theft criminals in his later films. This movie also is less violent and really works mainly due to two things; an amazing soundtrack and great dialogue. Seeing this recently in a theater from an actual film print the soundtrack was the major highlight. I also couldn't help but be reminded of Abel Ferrara's BAD LIEUTENANT which also stars Harvey Keitel, borrows at least one song and has a similar ending to this. Both films work equally well though and this one has to get extra credit for creating the modern-day mobster film.