The Lords of Flatbush - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Lords of Flatbush Reviews

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July 19, 2016
Hot greaser-guy throwback movie that looks like it was shot on my parent's camcorder. Really horrific soundtrack. Maybe just watch The Wanderers and call it a day...better soundtrack, acting, cheesy leather-jacket emblems, etc. BUT, on the plus side, it is kind of a trip to see that Sylvester Stallone hasn't gotten any better at acting in the past 40+ years and to see Fonzi before he literally jumped the shark!
½ July 2, 2016
Great soundtrack, mildly interesting characters, but barely any plot to speak of.
June 3, 2016
When I first read about this film I was expecting a kind of gang causing trouble learning from mistakes film, But what we got was Grease without the songs and the cheese, There's no real plot it's just about four best friends and their love lives, Pretty well acted by all the cast but nothing memorable.
½ November 28, 2015
I watched this movie 20 some times as a kid back in the late 70's & early 80's and loved it. It might not hold up as well today, but it really is an interesting piece of film making for 1974. Film nerds should check it out.
July 28, 2015
Being one of the earliest films to feature either Sylvester Stallone or Henry Winkler, The Lords of Flatbush sounded like a good chance to see some young talent.

Since The Lords of Flatbush is such a low-budget film, you can't expect too much from it. It lives up to this prophecy by having little in the way of plot development and a general film style which fails to hide this all that well. The themes in the film are essentially just concepts explored far better in many other films, limited to a very simplistic level of exploration by The Lords of Flatbush. The way the film touches upon the relationship between Stanley Rosiello and Frannie Malincanico is perhaps the high point of the narrative, but at the same time the plot points were better explored in films such as Saturday Night Fever and An Officer and a Gentleman. Aside from that, the rest of the characters do not have stories which are that interesting, and that's a problem since main story is already not that great. Frankly, The Lords of Flatbush is not the exploration of lower class America that it wanted to be and is ultimately too simplistic to explore its concepts like Francis Ford Coppola did in his film The Outsiders. While The Lords of Flatbush predates all the films I've mentioned and the intentions are all good, The Lords of Flatbush ultimately ends up a largely skin-deep look at the lives of greasers with a lacklustre film style.
Much of the film simply depicts characters on their daily routine while the soundtrack emphasizes a very heavy 70's feeling. This is clearly a reflection of director Martin Davidson's passion for 1970's music which he would later explore in his cult classic film Eddie and the Cruisers, but it is not a competent format of storytelling in The Lords of Flatbush. All it does is remind viewers just how low-budget the film is, limiting the story as much as the general quality of the feature's style.
The Lords of Flatbush is clearly a low-budget film as you can tell through predominantly the cinematography. The visual quality is a little rough and the shots are all pretty long with minimal editing. The angles are also fairly amateur as they are there simply to present what is occurring but not to emphasize anything. A lot of the time, the film shoots too close up to really embrace everything that is happening while at other times the focus can be a little blurry since the subject in the foreground tends to change position while the camera just sits there. And the entire time this is going on, the audio is also rather rough because it's easy to hear all the background noise, sometimes to the extent that it is as loud as the dialogue. What it boils down to is that The Lords of Flatbush has too much amateur direction behind it to transcend its low-budget roots or capitalize on the efforts of the cast.
But I will admit, there were mild charms that came from the efforts of the actors.
Sylvester Stallone's performance is the best thing about The Lords of Flatbush. I'll admit that I am heavily bias as the man is my hero, but seeing him two years prior to his breakthrough on Rocky portraying a lower class high school student is great. His role is a thinly sketched one, but Sylvester Stallone's natural gritty charm allows him to embrace the status of the character convincingly. He captures the edgy nature of Stankey Rosiello with natural charm and a handsome demeanour, working the conventional nature of the character's writing into making his own creation. For one of his earlier roles, The Lords of Flatbush serves as a limited but solid example of the man's natural gritty talents as an actor, and you can tell he enjoys working with the surrounding cast since their tendencies to play similar personas ensure that the drama bounces off each other it their interactions. Sylvester Stallone proves himself an ideal fit for his role in The Lords of Flatbush, and his combination of friendly appeal and genuine dramatic tension manages to work with the intended atmosphere and subject matter of the film easily
Henry Winkler is also very solid. It's surprising how diminutive Henry Winkler's role in The Lords of Flatbush ends up being, especially considering that he is the most famous greaser of all of them since he portrayed Arthur "The Fonz" Fonzarelli on Happy Days for ten years after this film. It is very nostalgic to see Henry Winkler portray a greaser from before he took on Happy Days, and he shows his ability to flex dramatic muscles in the part which he is able to do with natural charm. His charm genuinely makes his character better than many of the others simply because there is more to him than meets the eye, and he does not follow the examples set by the surrounding cast but rather makes a genuine effort to stand out on his own. During his limited time on screen, he succeeds at doing that. Henry Winkler's presence in The Lord of Flatbush has him looking exactly like The Fonz, and so his later career brings a new level of meaning to his role in this film. Henry Winkler's presence is one of the finest gimmicks in The Lords of Flatbush.

So The Lords of Flatbush has the best intentions, a talented cast and a genuine sense of nostalgia to the 1970's greaser scene at its helm, yet all this is weighed down by the simplistic nature of the screenplay's inability to explore its concepts beyond a skin-deep examination as well as the genuinely amateur production values of the low budget film.
July 10, 2015
I've loved this movie for years.
April 22, 2014
Clad in blue jeans, black leather jackets and bad attitudes, Stanley (Sylvester Stallone), Butchey (Henry Winkler), Chico (Perry King) and Wimpy (Paul Mace) are a 1950s Brooklyn "gang" of four cool, sexy rebels. Despite their tough appearance, these boys just want to have fun, but reality - a.k.a. adulthood - rears its ugly head when Stanley's steady
informs him they have to get married, and blue-collar Chico falls for a beautiful blond (Susan Blakely) from the right side of the tracks.

also stars Maria Smith, Armand Assante, Paul Jabara and Caren Kaye.

directed by Martin F. Davidson and Stephen Verona.
½ March 29, 2014
The movie fails to bring to the table what American Graffiti and The Wonderers do. Fans of 50's nostalgia will no doubt eat it up. Worth a watch though, just to see Stallone and The Fonz on the same screen.
March 27, 2014
Apparently this is a classic, but I guess you had to be there. The cast is likable and it's supposed to show a glimpse of an era passed, although nothing very substantial happens and you really want more from it. The dialogue is pretty good, but much of it is a dead-end and seemingly lost introspect. It's not as raw as it should be and it's not as warm as you want it to be. It just kinda falls in the middle somewhere. It's very low budget, so you can excuse the quality. I just really wish there was more Henry Winkler in this.

A better alternative can be found anywhere between American Graffiti and Diner.

Twizard Rating: 64
November 18, 2013
i guess i want to see it, heard it was good and bought it real cheap
½ October 2, 2013
The Lords of Flatbush est une comedie dramatique situee dans les 50's tout ce qu'il y a de previsible, sympathique, tendre et plutot bien realisee par un duo qui ne fera pas grand chose de plus. Henry Winkler et Sylvester Stallone sont tres bons et la reconstruction de l'epoque est franchement impressionnante, mais le film manque cruellement de surprises pour reellement passionner son spectateur qui a deja vu tout ca cinq ou six fois.
November 9, 2012
It's not the size. It's whether or not you've got balls.

A gang of high school kids in Brooklyn call themselves The Lords. Some are about motorcycles, some are about pool sharking, some are just about knocking heads but all of them are about scoring with girls. As their final year of school progresses the guys and their interests start creating cracks in the gang.

"How would you like it if I tell those guys over there you cry when you cum?"

Martin Davidson, director of Almost Summer, Eddie and the Cruisers, Hard Promises, and Heart of Dixie, delivers The Lords of Flatbush in his directorial debut. The storyline for this picture is just okay and not as good as similar pictures in this genre. The character development is okay but not fantastic and the acting is just about average. The cast includes Sylvester Stallone, Henry Winkler, Perry King, Susan Blakely, and Paul Mace.

"Why don't you go outside and do me a favor? Run your teeth on the curve!"

I found this movie while flicking through the channels and was shocked I had never heard of this Stallone picture. I had to DVR it due to being a fan of Stallone and movies of this genre (see Warriors). I did enjoy watching this movie but wouldn't say it was anything special overall. This is worth a viewing but I wouldn't add it to your DVD collection.

"Chico...you made a mess."

Grade: C+
September 30, 2012
Very good movie! Reccomend it
September 25, 2012
in the seventies we had a huge obcession with everything fifties hence the origin of this 'happy days' 'american graphitti" and more this is real low fi but worth checking out early performances
July 17, 2012
defiantly low budget in its features, but aimed a lot higher in its story... main story was okay, but you wanted to get to know Sly's and winkler's characters so much more as they stood out in the scenes they were in.
June 13, 2012
A bunch of wanna-be gangstas going around acting like asses.
December 26, 2011
W/ Perry King, Sylvester Stallone & Henry Winkler The Lords of Flatbush could have been something really special. Unfortunately it's too under written. @ times it seems like it doesn't know what it wants to be when it should have been a deeper character study of this groups relationship, a more fleshed out glimpse of the era or even a straight out comedy. It tries to have it too many ways & in the end feels weak. Includes a good soundtrax too but should have been a driving force. Stallone is actually the best of the 3 & has a great scene when he has to buy his knocked up girlfriend a $1600 ring. I tell ya that is what most bitches want - the fucking ring & once they milk you for that & have it on their finger they have you right by the balls
November 15, 2011
It wasnt too bad. The characters were alright, they all had their own personalities. Was very low budget, but it did a decent job with what they had.
Super Reviewer
November 9, 2011
I have never heard of this film before, came across it whilst reading about Sly Stallone on IMDb and with a cast including Henry Winkler, Perry King (Han Solo auditioner for 1977 classic) and Amand Assante I knew I had to watch. In all honesty I didn't see much in the film that was entertaining or exciting, there is allot of dialog and emotion on show as a group of tough young guys in a Brooklyn gang live their lives over the course of afew weeks (I think).

Nothing much really happens accept for much smooching with girls in their parents houses and a marriage at the finale, if you think of the film classic 'Diner' then your on the right track but 'Diner' is much more interesting than this, only watch if your curious to see a very young Stallone and pre-Fonz Winkler (yes this role did lead to the Fonz obviously) which is an intriguing lure.
August 12, 2011
I expected a whole lot less from this movie. I remember my brother, who I've now confirmed blatantly lied to me about watching it, told me about something that never occurred, and made me believe this was going to be action packed, when it in fact is a coming of age movie with a very slow development.

Butch (Henry Winkler) is not developed, which sucks and there's no payoff, but the ending makes the viewer understand what the filmmaker wanted to do.

It's OK and it can be enjoyed. The music's good and scratchy. The sound, by the way, reminded me, a lot, of a John Waters flick... so much that I said :I wonder when Divine'll show up".
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