I'm from the 70s. I remember what a cesspool New York was in that decade, to a point that must be hard for younger folks to believe. In the midst of it all suddenly emerged the Guardian Angels -- a white-hat (make that red beret) street gang -- and the media just couldn't get enough of it.
So I walked into this one already interested and eager to hear the story. What I didn't count on was the one-man army that Curtis Sliwa turned out to be.
The guy's like the living embodiment of New York. It's not just the accent; it's the machine-gun delivery, it's the every third sentence in Italian, it's the goomba expressions that somehow manage to be sheer poetry. But mostly it's the attitude.
Sliwa reminded me of any number of New York characters we saw on TV back in the day: lightening fast, tough as nails, rude and sarcastic, but determined not to retreat. It's the portrait of a real, natural leader. Facing Sliwa's merciless pounding rhetoric, I thought, "I'd'a followed this guy anywhere."
That's how he built a defence force out of the staff of a McDonald's.
If you remember those days, see the movie. Yeah, it's one-sided. Yeah, his detractors don't get no time. Yeah, they probably left out a lot of stuff.
So what's it to you?