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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Martin Scorsese's first movie

We stayed up late watching this last night, and it was worth going well past our normal bedtime.  I hadn't heard of it, so what I know I've learned since we saw it.

The movie began as a college project, and Scorsese continued adding and editing over about three years before it was released in 1967.  Featuring student actors, it stars Harvey Keitel who is the only one recognizable to me.  The story centers around a young Italian-American man and his friends in New York City.  The setting, the style, and many of the themes reminded me of Scorsese's Mean Streets which was the director's first movie to be widely released, but unlike the later movie, Who's that Knocking at my Door? was shot in black and white. The movie changed in content and title over the years of production but has been in its present form for some time.

As in his other movies, Scorsese selects the accompanying music carefully.  The title song is one of a number of doo-wop numbers he uses that I don't remember although many of the other songs are well-known such as "The End" by The Doors and "Shotgun" by Junior Walker.  This one I hadn't heard for 50 years, I bet, but I recognized it instantly from its opening notes:

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