It was the summer of 1973, in the heart of the Little Italy neighborhood of New York City. For generations, the Italian Americans had called this place home, but with the ever-changing landscape of the city, they were becoming a thing of the past.
The heat of the sun beamed down in the afternoon, drawing the locals out of their homes to walk around the tight-knit streets and alleyways that made up the neighborhood. In the midst of all of this, two brothers, Mario and Dominic, were in the center of it all.
Mario, being the older brother by a few years, was the wiser of the two and the leader of their small gang. They had grown up on the streets, learning the ins and outs of the criminal world. Although they stayed out of the major trouble, they still found themselves in minor altercations with the local gangsters.
Mario and Dominic had grown up always looking out for each other, but as they had gotten older, Mario had grown more distant and protective. He saw a future for himself that didn’t include his brother, and it was something that his brother had come to accept.
One evening, Mario had convinced his brother to accompany him to a local bar. As they walked in, they were immediately surrounded by a group of shady characters. Mario immediately identified them as part of The Family, a criminal organization that ran things in Little Italy.
The leader of the group, a man in a slick pinstripe suit, stepped forward and introduced himself as Vincent. He warned Mario and Dominic to stay away from the family’s business, or else they’d be in serious trouble.
Although Mario was initially intimidated by Vincent, he didn’t back down. He told Vincent that he and his brother were just trying to make a living and that he wasn’t interested in any of the Family’s business. Vincent nodded and told Mario to stay away from his business, but that he’d have to keep an eye on them to make sure they didn’t cross him. Before they left, Vincent gave Mario a card with his phone number on it and said that if they ever needed help, they could call him.
Mario and Dominic left the bar, shaken and unsure of what to do. They had no idea what Vincent wanted from them, or what would happen if they crossed him. After a few days, they decided that the best course of action was to lay low and try to stay out of trouble.
For the next few months, Mario and Dominic kept to themselves, avoiding any sign of trouble. But one night, out of the corner of his eye, Mario noticed a few of Vincent’s men outside of their apartment. He knew that it was a warning, and it sent a chill down his spine.
The two brothers stayed inside for the next few days, never leaving the apartment, until one night, Mario woke up to find the door unlocked and Vincent standing in the living room. He had come to make Mario an offer: join his gang and become a part of the Family, or else face the consequences.
Mario knew this was his chance to make something out of his life. He accepted Vincent’s offer, and he and his brother joined the criminal organization. With the help of The Family, they started to make a name for themselves in Little Italy, running illicit businesses and committing robberies.
For the first time in their lives, Mario and Dominic felt like they had a purpose. They had a place where they belonged and people who cared about them. As their success grew, so did their loyalty to The Family and its leader, Vincent.
As the years passed, Mario and Dominic became integral parts of the Family’s operations. Vincent began to rely on them more and more, trusting them with the Family’s most important jobs. Despite their newfound wealth, however, the brothers never lost sight of their Italian roots and the Little Italy neighborhood they had grown up in.
They continued to look out for their neighbors, keeping the streets safe and helping any way they could. Mario and Dominic never forgot where they had come from, and although they had changed, they hadn’t forgotten their past.
Time passed, and eventually, The Family went their separate ways. Mario and Dominic decided to keep up the good work they had done with the criminal organization, continuing to protect the people of Little Italy and help any way they could.
They opened a small shop in the heart of the neighborhood, selling Italian groceries and other goods. Although it was never a huge success, it made Mario and Dominic happy to be giving back to the people that had given them so much.
Now, decades later, Mario and Dominic are still running their small shop in Little Italy. Although the neighborhood has changed over the years, the two brothers have never forgotten their past or their roots. They are still dedicated to helping the people of Little Italy, just as they have always been.
Although their life isn’t what it used to be, Mario and Dominic still find joy in life. They still have each other, and the knowledge that they did their best to make their little corner of the world a better place.
Some scenes from the AI movie Mean Streets
EXT. LITTLE ITALY – DAY
The tight-knit streets and alleyways of Little Italy form the backdrop. In the distance, a church bell tolls.
The camera pans to Mario and Dominic walking down the street. Mario is the older brother and a leader among the local Italian-Americans. He’s wearing a leather jacket and looks tough but with a hint of regret in his eyes. Dominic follows a few steps behind him, dressed in a more casual attire.
The two brothers keep walking, not talking, until they reach the local bar.
INT. BAR – DAY
Mario and Dominic walk in and are immediately greeted by the sights and smells of the classic Italian watering hole. A few shady characters linger in the background, eyeing the brothers warily. As Mario and Dominic move to the bar, the camera pans over to Vincent. A slick pinstripe suit and a menacing look complete his appearance.
Vincent steps forward and addresses Mario and Dominic. He warns them to stay away from The Family’s business, or else they’d be in serious trouble. Although Mario is initially intimidated, he stands his ground. He tells Vincent that he and his brother are just trying to make a living and that he isn’t interested in any of the Family’s business.
EXT. MARIO AND DOMINIC’S APARTMENT – LATER THAT DAY
The two brothers walk in silence, heading towards their apartment. The air is heavy with tension. Mario has been distant and protective ever since their encounter with Vincent.
INT. APARTMENT – NIGHT
The brothers enter their home. Mario stands in the living room, his back to his brother. He’s deep in thought, trying to make sense of the decision he just made.
Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, Mario notices a few of Vincent’s men outside their apartment. He knows that this is a warning. He turns to his brother and tells him that they need to stay inside for a few days to avoid any trouble.
EXT. APARTMENT – NIGHT
A few days later, Mario wakes up to find the door unlocked and Vincent standing in the living room. He looks at Mario and Dominic and tells them that they need to join forces with The Family or face the consequences.
Mario looks at his brother and then back at Vincent. He knows that this is their only chance to make something of themselves. He takes a deep breath and tells Vincent that they’ll do it.
EXT. LITTLE ITALY – DAY
Mario and Dominic walk down the streets of Little Italy, side by side. They are wearing the same pinstripe suits as Vincent and are accompanied by a few of his men. They are now an integral part of The Family’s operations.
The camera pans to the pedestrians of the neighborhood and the looks of respect in their eyes. They know that Mario and Dominic have become powerful players in the criminal underworld.
EXT. SHOP – DAY
The camera cuts to Mario and Dominic standing outside of their small shop. They are now successful businessmen, selling Italian groceries and other goods.
Mario looks around and smiles. He remembers when they first opened the shop and how much it means to them both. He takes this moment to be grateful for all of the opportunities that he and his brother have been given.
EXT. LITTLE ITALY – DAY
Time has passed, and although Mario and Dominic have become successful businessmen, they have never lost sight of their Italian roots and the Little Italy neighborhood they have come from. They are still very much a part of the community and are seen as protectors and leaders.
The camera pans to the two brothers standing on a corner of the neighborhood. They look around in admiration, a look of contentment on their faces.
EXT. SHOP – DAY
The brothers enter their small shop and Mario smiles. He remembers the promise he and his brother made to each other, to always look out for their neighbors and help any way they can.
He looks around and knows that this is where he belongs. He and his brother have created something from nothing, and although their life isn’t what it used to be, he knows that they still have each other and a place in the world.