MEAN STREETS (tonight, BBC2,
11.40pm), Martin Scorsese’s hard-hitting third feature film, truly marked him out as one of America’s most exciting directors, featuring many stylistic touches that have recurred throughout his career.
It also marked his first collaboration with leading man Robert De Niro. Harvey Keitel co-stars as Charlie, a young Italian-American who feels torn between his Catholic faith and his desire to rise through the ranks of the mob. To ease his conscience, Charlie takes it upon himself to protect his friend Johnny Boy (an electrifying De Niro), a reckless, self-destructive gambler who is in debt to the local loan sharks.
Robert De Niro and David Proval in Mean Streets