The Scorsese-De Niro Oeuvre that began in Mean Streets


I thought I would bring together one of my favourite Directors, Martin Scorsese and actor, Robert De Niro to discuss the performance and collaboration between director and actor in a film.

Mean Streets (1973) represents the first of eight films (soon to be nine) that have become the Scorsese-De Niro oeuvre.

Scorsese and De Niro met through Brian De Palma, who is a college friend of Scorsese’s. De Palma directed Scarface (1983), The Untouchables (1987) and numerous other films. Scorsese and Di Nero both grew up in the same neighborhood and new of each other from mutual acquaintances. In many references to their relationship, both on and off the screen, they are said to share a dynamic connection with one another and are known as having a shorthand way of conversing, where with limited words, the other could interpret and complete the sentence.

Scorsese offered Di Nero any role in Mean Streets excluding that of the lead role that was given to Harvey Keitel. When Di Nero turned up for the auditions wearing a hat, Scorsese immediately knew that he should play the role of Johnny Boy. Di Nero wears that very same hat in the film.[1]

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