The Lords of Flatbush Reviews
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.
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.
A better alternative can be found anywhere between American Graffiti and Diner.
Twizard Rating: 64
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."
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.
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".