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
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
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