The Lords of Flatbush

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The Lords of Flatbush
Official DVD cover
Directed byMartin Davidson
Stephen F. Verona
Written by
Produced byMartin Davidson and Stephen F. Verona
CinematographyEdward Lachman
Joseph Mangine
Edited byMuffie Meyer
Stan Siegel
Music by
Distributed byColumbia Pictures
Release date
  • May 1, 1974 (1974-05-01) (United States)
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$4 million[2]

The Lords of Flatbush (stylized on-screen as The Lord's of Flatbush) is a 1974 American drama film directed by Martin Davidson and Stephen F. Verona. The film stars Sylvester Stallone, Perry King, Paul Mace, Henry Winkler, and Susan Blakely. Stallone was also credited with writing additional dialogue. The plot is about street teenagers in leather jackets from the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.[3] The movie, along with the television hit Happy Days, the musical Grease and its like-named film version, and novelty rock act “Sha Na Na’’, was part of a resurgence in popular interest in the '50s greaser culture in the 1970s.[4]


Set in 1958, the coming of age story follows four lower middle-class Brooklyn teenagers known as The Lords of Flatbush. The Lords chase girls, steal cars, shoot pool, get into street fights, and hang out at a local malt shop. Chico attempts to win over hard-to-get, waspy Jane while throwing over easier-to-get Annie. Stanley seemingly impregnates his girlfriend Frannie, who pressures him to marry her. Stanley eventually agrees to marry even after finding out before the wedding that Frannie was never pregnant. Butchey Weinstein is highly intelligent but hides his brains behind a clownish front in order to fit in with the gang. Wimpy Murgalo is a loyal follower in awe of Stanley, eventually becoming best man at his wedding. All four boys seem to discover maturity and responsibility at the end of the film as we witness them bonding during the wedding in their dress suits, eschewing their typical leather jackets.


In addition, other notable names amongst the supporting and background performers include co-director Martin Davidson in a cameo as Mr. Birnbaum, future Academy Award–winner and disco superstar Paul Jabara as Crazy Cohen, future Golden Globe–winner Ray Sharkey as a random student and future Emmy Award–winner Armand Assante as an anonymous wedding guest.



Richard Gere was originally cast as Chico but was fired due to conflicts with Stallone during rehearsals. In a 2006 interview Stallone explained:

We never hit it off. He would strut around in his oversized motorcycle jacket like he was the baddest knight at the round table. One day, during an improv, he grabbed me (we were simulating a fight scene) and got a little carried away. I told him in a gentle fashion to lighten up, but he was completely in character and impossible to deal with. Then we were rehearsing at Coney Island and it was lunchtime, so we decided to take a break, and the only place that was warm was in the backseat of a Toyota. I was eating a hotdog and he climbs in with a half a chicken covered in mustard with grease nearly dripping out of the aluminum wrapper. I said, "That thing is going to drip all over the place." He said, "Don't worry about it." I said, "If it gets on my pants you're gonna know about it." He proceeds to bite into the chicken and a small, greasy river of mustard lands on my thigh. I elbowed him in the side of the head and basically pushed him out of the car. The director had to make a choice: one of us had to go, one of us had to stay. Richard was given his walking papers and to this day seriously dislikes me.[5]


Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 67% "Fresh" based on 15 critical reviews.[6] On Metacritic, it has a score of 53 out of 100 based on reviews from 6 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[7]

Quentin Tarantino calls it "a pretty good film...the first time I was introduced to the New York independent low-budget film aesthetic".[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ AFI Catalog
  2. ^ "All-time Film Rental Champs". Variety. 7 January 1976. p. 50.
  3. ^ Tarantino, Quentin (2019-01-07). "The Lords of Flatbush". New Beverly Cinema. Retrieved 2020-03-11.
  4. ^ Prigge, Matthew J. Prigge (December 28, 2016). "Greaser Redux: The 1970s Revival of the "Greaser".
  5. ^ Knowles, Harry (2006-12-16). "Stallone answers December 9th & 10th Questions in a double round - plus Harry's Seen ROCKY BALBOA at BNAT!!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  6. ^ "The Lords of Flatbush (1974)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 28, 2024.
  7. ^ "The Lords of Flatbush". Metacritic. Retrieved May 10, 2020.
  8. ^ Tarantino, Quentin (22 December 2019). "The Lords of Flatbush". New Beverly.

External links[edit]