Mean StreetsMean Streets
is an early Martin Scorsese
film starring Harvey Keitel
and Robert De Niro
. Charlie (Keitel) is a man who is trying to move up in the crime world and who is hampered by his responsibility towards his dimwitted friend Johnny Boy (De Niro). Charlie is in love with Johnny's cousin, woman who has epilepsy and works for his uncle collecting debts; his uncle disapproves of his girlfriend explicitly because she has epilepsy. Charlie, who has a strict Catholic
upbringing, is probably too forgiving in general to get far in the mafia
Scorsese's feature film debut, after his student film project Who's That Knocking at My Door, Mean Streets was based on events Scorsese saw growing up in Little Italy. Released in 1973; features a memorable early 60s soundtrack. De Niro won the National Society of Film Critics award for Best Actor for his role as Johnny Boy Civello. The film has been deemed "culturally significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.