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DVD Reviews: Streets of Gold

The Final Say!

Review Score
Reviewed by Alex Gowan
Review Date: 10 January 2003
Distributed by: Magna Pacific
Running Time: 93 Minutes

Boxing films are few and far between these days but if you like to be inspired by the tenacity of participants in this sport, then look no further.  Streets of gold is an old movie (released back in 1986 on VHS) you can see this from the clothing the actors wear, but it shows no sign of age when it comes to classic production values and plot. 

Alek Neuman (Klaus Maria Brandaeur) is a Russian ex-boxer who has fled the Soviet Union to start a new life.  Alek started his career in the Russian boxing team but was denied by the coach to compete at the Olympics because of anti-Semitism.  After obtaining a job as a dishwasher he finds himself witnessing an illegal fighting match downtown in New-York.  Alek envisions the potential of two fighters in the match and picks a fight with Roland Jenkins (Wesley Snipes). 

When Alek shows his former prowess of his past boxing career another boxer by the name of Timmy Boyle asks Alek to coach him.  Alek agrees and a tough training regime ensues.  When Timmy starts training in the local gym, Roland becomes jealous and he too asks to be coached by Alek.  Eventually, the two boxers are primed and ready to take on the world and Alek asks the head of the American team if his boxers can join the national side.  A deal is made and Alek has a chance to finally set the record straight with his old coach. 

The undertones of anti-racial discrimination are made clear in this terrific movie.  It shows a lot of cultures eg. Black-white-Jewish and non Jewish people co-existing in peace which is how it should be. This film leads by example and should be respected in this regard. 

The acting potential of Wesley Snipes is evident even at a very early stage of his career.  It is obvious that he chose the correct part to suit his own effervescent personality.  Klaus was also excellent and played a very convincing role as the down and out Russian.  Pasdar on the other hand seemed to ham it up a little bit but came into his own at the very end of the movie.          

The fighting I also found to be excellent.  Sweat and blood fly in all directions to create a realistic depiction of the world of boxing.  There is hardly a punch that does not seem to connect. 

This film stands its own to show how people can build their lives and lift up to their dreams if you are committed and determined enough. I found the film to build from a drum roll into a crescendo at the last minute.   Other films that also succeed in doing this for example: Rocky do not execute it as well as this film.  This celluloid was released with very little fanfare but surprises as a great motivational tool for all sports-people alike. 

Overall this film comes highly recommended especially for fans of sports of all kinds. 


Streets of Gold Features

  • Scene Selections
  • Dolby Digital


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