“A fascinating portfolio piece: a black-and-white blueprint for MEAN STREETS.” - Michael Sragow, New Yorker

“As a film, it has something to say to everyone. As a technical achievement, it brings together two opposing worlds of American cinema.” - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

Tuesday, August 6, 6:00 p.m. | After world premiering at the third Chicago International Film Festival under the title I CALL FIRST, Roger Ebert called the film “a great moment in American movies.” The 25-year-old Italian-American Scorsese’s raw debut offers a potent introduction to a lifelong obsession with conflicted masculinity. New York tough guy J.R. (Harvey Keitel, also his debut) meets-cute a beautiful blonde college student, but his purist projections are shattered when he learns of a dark secret from her past, sending him into a downward spiral.

Awards & Nominations

Nominee - Gold Hugo, Chicago International Film Festival

Before They Were BigAll filmmakers have to start somewhere, and for many, the Chicago International Film Festival was a crucial part of their journey from novice to auteur. In honor of the festival’s 60th anniversary, they present four auspicious and visionary directorial debuts that screened at the festival, each one showcasing the budding brilliance of their makers. Synopses provided by the Chicago International Film Festival. View full series

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu