“I certainly couldn’t watch it”: Martin Scorsese Can Never Watch His Own Favorite Movie Starring Robert De Niro That He Finds Too Personal to Revisit

Martin Scorsese's favorite film of his own is also his biggest nightmare to watch.

martin scorsese, robert de niro
credit: wikimedia commons/Stemoc


  • Martin Scorsese turned things around for himself after making Mean Streets, where he learned to add a personal touch to his films.
  • This made it his favorite movie in the wide filmography of his.
  • However, because of the personal nature, going back to the movie becomes a task he would rather avoid.
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Putting one’s heart and soul into their art is nothing new, Martin Scorsese being one of the many to find solace in that. It takes a great amount of dedication to bring out the best that a movie and script can provide. Penning it down and then executing the idea is a process that makes the film personal on its own. However, there are times when those personal films include an actual touch of the filmmakers.

Martin Scorsese in Killers of the Flower Moon
Martin Scorsese in Killers of the Flower Moon | Credit: Apple TV/ Paramount+

With time, the director came to learn the art of filmmaking. One that takes patience, resilience, and a great amount of understanding. Especially taking into consideration how pieces of oneself get left behind as souvenirs for the film, making them exceptional. However, sometimes that can also make such movies impossible to come to.

Martin Scorsese’s Favorite Movie in His Filmography

Martin Scorsese, after perhaps a rather harsh criticism received while making Boxcar Bertha, knew things had to change. The aforementioned film lacked any sense of personal belonging and heart to it. A piece of work is nothing but a couple of words or strokes of a brush put together if there is no heart to it. Understanding the changes required, Scorsese told Rolling Stone that his approach changed too.

Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets
Mean Streets | Credit: Warner Bros.

“Well, Mean Streets is always a favorite of mine because of the music and because it was the story of myself and my friends.”

He then came up with the idea of Robert De Niro’s Mean Streets. The elements incorporated in the film were unique to his own. Whether it was the movie or the story that was told to the fans, it was all a personal effort that made it Scorsese’s favorite work of his own.

He took the criticism to heart, adding personal experiences in the film that made it special, igniting a relationship with De Niro that goes on to date.

Martin Scorsese Cannot Look Back at Mean Streets

Martin Scorsese, during the same interview, took into consideration how although the film performed well, it is something he cannot see revisiting. It takes a certain level of bravery to face oneself; look in the mirror and see parts of you that you otherwise hide. Scorsese took a leap of faith with the film, one that clearly worked.

A still from Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets
A still from Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets | Credit: Warner Bros.

“It was the movie that people originally took notice of. It’s kind of a favorite, but I certainly couldn’t watch it. It’s too personal.”

He adapted from his own neighborhood, taking ideas from the place he grew up in. The story told in the film was one taken from Scorsese’s life and the friends he grew up with. This amount of dedication and personal attachment was both a boon and a bane.

While the film did incredibly, making it Scorsese’s favorite, he also hated going back to it. It was too personal, with parts of him he had long since left behind. Making it impossible for him to return again.

Mean Streets is available to watch on Apple TV.

Adya Godboley

Written by Adya Godboley

Articles Published: 1622

An avid writer fluent in everything Marvel, Adya Godboley is an Assistant Anime Content Lead for FandomWire. She has rich experience in critically analyzing all that is said in between the lines. Hopelessly obsessed with Greek Mythology, she is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Arts in English. Adya has written over 1400 articles on various topics expressing her passion and love for all things entertainment, from superheroes to anime and the occasional gacha games.