Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Lords of Flatbush (1974)

Directors: Martin Davidson, Stephen Verona

Writers: Stephen Verona, Gayle Gleckler, Martin Davidson

Composer: Joseph Brooks

Starring: Perry King, Sylvester Stallone, Henry Winkler, Paul Mace, Susan Blakely, Maria Smith, Renee Paris, Paul Jabara, Bruce Reed, Frank Stiefel

More info: IMDb

Tagline:  When was the last time someone gave you a hickey?

Plot:  It's 1958 in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn. High school friends David 'Chico' Tyrell, Stanley Rosiello, Butchey Weinstein and Wimpy Murgalo comprise a gang called the Lords. They are motorcycle driving, smoking, wisecracking, leather jacket and slicked back hair wearing troublemakers who often use their fists to solve the problems in their lives. One problem that Stanley is facing is that he and his girlfriend Frannie Malincanico need to get married. Stanley and Frannie's respective views of marriage are from their immature teen-aged perspectives. Also facing girl problems is Chico, who has a casual relationship with Frannie's best friend, Annie Yuckamanelli. That changes when WASP Jane Bradshaw transfers into their school. Chico, with a little help from his friends, does whatever he can to impress Jane, not always with success.

My rating: 5.5/10

Will I watch it again?  No.

For a movie that's been on my radar for thirty plus years, it's a real letdown when the picture doesn't deliver.  The biggest kick I got out of it was seeing Stallone, Winkler and King in their much younger days.  There's the odd funny moment but it's mostly drama and it's more of a series of little moments that don't really tell a narrative as much as just give you a sense of what these fellas are about.  A lot of the dialogue feels improvised, too.  All of this together adds up to moments that work because of this and some that don't.  And when it's not good it comes across as amateurish.  Ultimately, I felt about middle of the road on this.  I'm glad I saw it but then I have no desire to see it again.   The Columbia DVD sports an anamorphic widescreen print, the fullscreen trailer for this picture and for LA BAMBA and a non-anamorphic widescreen trailer for BUGSY.

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