After a brace of shorts, 1967's Who's That Knocking At My Door? was Martin Scorsese's debut proper. And, boy, does it show. Brash, uneven and skipping to the steps of the Euro New Wavers, it's a virtual test-drive for Mean Streets, with Harvey Keitel straining against the guilty ties of Catholicism.
But if Marty was still a young gun not yet sure of his aim, that punchy perception of the male street-psyche was already pulling into focus. Seven years later, his absorbent eye for grit helped swab up the melodrama in genre weepie Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore. Ellen Burstyn duly returned the favour, providing an Oscar-winning turn as the young widow torn between her dreams and Kris Kristofferson.
Still, New York was his city... And, shot down'n'dirty as a tonic to the director's Hollywood disillusionment, After Hours emerged in 1985 as a nightmarish screwball comedy, zinging frantically between offbeat funny and downright freaky. Edgy and energised, Scorsese sends Griffin Dunne's stranded desk-jockey pinballing through a never-ending night of hell. His New York isn't just a city - it's a state of mind. Fittingly, then, this box set's four-film journey ends back on the streets with the GoodFellas two-discer we reviewed last issue.