I've only been trying to see this movie for 20 years. It finally came to the top of my netflix queue. What a wonderful little movie this is -- and so authentically New York. This is probably the last real New York movie before the bizarre and depressing takeover by the WASP haute bourgeoisie that started in the 1990s and has now been complete -- at least in Manhattan.
The real New York is now only in Brooklyn and the rest of the outer boroughs. But if you want a taste of what real Manhattan used to be, check this film out. It oozes love of NY from every pore.
It's a bit slow at times. The editing could have been more taut. But the story is fantastic, focusing in on two lower-class neighborhood boys (played beautifully by Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts) whose deep love of each other is challenged by a series of excruciating complications that stem from their pathetic attempt at a heist.
This film should be thought of as a companion to 'The Godfather.' The supporting cast is incredibly good, including Geraldine Page and a large group of unknown actors. Director Stuart Rosenberg ("Cool Hand Luke," "The Drowning Pool"), who died in 2007, deserved more recognition than he got for this. Thank you, Mr. Rosenberg, for this touching NY gem.
My favorite line from the movie: "WASPs, they outgrow people. Italians, we outgrow clothes, not people."