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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 24.53%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 3.77%

1 review, 47 user ratings

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Boys of 2nd Street Park, The
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by Scott Weinberg

"Brighton Beach Memoirs: The Real Story"
4 stars

Interested in watching a documentary about a dozen guys who grew up in 1950's Brighton Beach? Yeah, neither was I... for the first five minutes.

A comfortably intimate sense of familiarity sinks in an you listen to the subjects speak, and the film's early moments invoke feelings of our own childhoods; the corner hangouts, the popular street games, the safe enjoyability of close friends and close-knit neighborhoods.

Not only do directors Dan Klores and Ron Berger capably recapture the nostalgic and rustic lovability of late-50's Brooklyn; they populate the setting with a colorfully cool collection of longtime pals - guys who've been through a whole lot together and are suitably proud to kick back and chat about the old days.

The simple joys of youth (friends, basketball, etc.) are promptly replaced by tales of drinking and drug abuse (mild at first, as those things often go), marital failures, professional struggles, personal problems of various design, and even a few touching moments of family tragedy - stories that won't leave a dry eye in the house.

If it seems that this is a subject of interest solely to those 'who were there', The Boys of Second Street Park is more than that: it's a film the effectively captures what millions among the Flower Child generation went through, from free love to innocence lost and the long life afterwards.

It doesn't matter that you don't know these guys. Ten minutes into the movie, you will. No time is spent on 'poor me' hand-wringing or "where did I go wrong?" pontificating. Every one of these fellows deliver their stories with admirable honesty, offering the bad with the good, the regrets along with the successes, and the result is a rock-solid documentary - one that you'll find yourself oddly compelled by. In other words: good storytelling.

Like I always say: the best documentaries make the seemingly boring seem somehow fascinating. This one brought me a cadre of old-time neighborhood buddies sharing a playground basketball game after about forty years apart, and each one has a story to tell.

link directly to this review at
originally posted: 01/26/03 18:13:14
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Sundance Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Philadelphia Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Philadelphia Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

12/24/15 Fred Truby Except for Seinfeld, rare for me to watch anything twice. This is just as good 2nd time. 5 stars
10/19/14 Sarah Fagan Greenberg I've seen it three times--plenty to get from this film. 5 stars
12/13/13 judy compelling 5 stars
11/26/11 Jack P. Very compelling. I finally realize how "cushy" my life has always been. 5 stars
12/25/09 Hysol Very relatable movies, on many levels 4 stars
7/13/09 bette griity and real could have been in any large city Boston chicago -- lived it 5 stars
6/19/09 robin I grew up in Northern California during the time period. For me, only the names changed. 5 stars
1/09/09 Ed Pellicano Satin was in my 8th grade class.Never would,ve expect him to go thru all this. Great story. 5 stars
8/02/08 julie Fabulous 5 stars
3/15/08 Howie Sherman Missed these guys by only a few years as I am 54 and played there in the 60s thru the early 4 stars
3/07/08 rich imlay a touching sroty of what happend to most of my gneration 5 stars
1/09/08 Frank Herrmann I loved this doc! 5 stars
12/27/07 bill terrific. a great capsule of growing up, evolving and real life 5 stars
1/30/07 ginn wild Very evocative; my husband grew up with these guys! My son (much younger) played there. 5 stars
12/21/06 Alan S from the area, pics and stories so close to home, even some of the guys look familar, I 5 stars
12/11/06 Paul Feldman beautiful touching authentic real 5 stars
5/16/06 irwin baron great movie, it brought back similar memories of my childhood growing up in brooklyn. 4 stars
12/11/04 Jerry Very moving. Beautifuly done. 5 stars
10/18/04 Lew Excellent. An incredible documentary! 5 stars
4/05/04 Cindy Lonecke It really makes you appreciate the world we live in today 4 stars
12/24/03 ronnie labohn i loved it.. 5 stars
11/21/03 Gary Schiff Right on the money - so real, accurate and entertaining! 5 stars
11/12/03 Pat O'Brien where can i get a copy? 5 stars
11/07/03 todd a bit older then me but still wonderful to see 5 stars
10/23/03 jay Childhood friends with Cuda & Larry 5 stars
10/14/03 Howie Cohen Iwas one of the boys. Somewhat innacurate for the class of 64 4 stars
10/11/03 Elizabeth Absolutely wonderful 5 stars
10/09/03 jay awesome new 3 of the boys in the show 5 stars
10/02/03 jerry alston A "must see" for those of the generation. 5 stars
10/01/03 Cory K. must see! 5 stars
10/01/03 Bernie Silet I am awaiting a copy from my daughter 5 stars
9/30/03 mm excellent 5 stars
9/30/03 Bonnie a very real and touching look back in time 5 stars
9/29/03 Gloria Grew up on Brighton 2nd St 5 stars
9/29/03 Connie Bolger wonderful piece, very touching. 5 stars
9/27/03 Jim Russo It Stinks 1 stars
9/23/03 luca i wasn't in it can't be accurate 4 stars
9/14/03 Howie Cohen Didn't see it. I lived it 1952-1958 5 stars
9/13/03 anon self indulgant 1 stars
8/25/03 marcia4330 Excellent! Very touching. 5 stars
8/04/03 Vicky Grant a very touching, funny and sad story. Worth watching, 5 stars
4/15/03 peter copen Universal truth whether you grew up there or not. Superb 5 stars
4/09/03 Adrienne Geffen A wonderful film worth seeing. I grew up near the park, but it didn't matter! 5 stars
4/08/03 Max Levine Excellent depiction of working class sons during that time period 5 stars
3/28/03 Elliott Shurgin I hope this resonates with those not of this era and place. It knocked me out. 5 stars
1/30/03 Benjamin Wachs Excellent depiction of the place we hung out at. Truly well done 5 stars
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  28-Sep-2003 (R)
  DVD: 16-Mar-2004



Directed by
  Ron Berger
  Dan Klores

Written by

  Bernie Bandman
  Frankie Bass
  Larry Brown
  Bobby Feld
  Brian Newmark
  Steve Satin

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