|Index||9 reviews in total|
I found this movie completely by accident when I was about 15 years old
watching TV late at night and this movie was on. I had always loved
those gritty NY stories so this was a perfect setting for my
Anyway I caught the movie just after it started and I loved every minute of it. I thought that Alan Arkin played his role so beautifully! The comic irony of his very tough situation trying to make ends meet and caring for his two young sons was not lost on this 15 year old kid.
I remember crying at the very end of the movie just because after all the father went through to try to ensure his sons have a chance at making it out of their poverty stricken circumstances, it didn't matter because all the boys ever wanted was their father, whom they clearly adored! Anyway I just enjoyed this movie thoroughly and have always suggested it to people if you enjoy a warm, funny and sweet story about what matters most in human relationships!
Alan Arkin is excellent as a Spanish Harlem father of two pre-teenage boys who decides that they'd be better off without him in a fresh start. Warm, winning, insightful, and wry, this movie never strays off course from its poignant objective. The music and location footage are also excellent. Rita Moreno is fine in a supporting role. The scheme Arkin plots also is eerily reminiscent of the Elian situation even though the movie is filmed 30 years before the incident!! John Harkins and Anthony Holland are also marvelous. See it.
This is my favorite acting performance of the always underrated Alan Arkin. He plays a widowed father of two young boys in Spanish Harlem who works numerous jobs and will do anything - ANYTHING - to provide a better life for his two young boys. There is no job he will not take and no sacrifice he will not make for his boys. The method Arkin finally decides to take is controversial. How? Let's just say that during the whole Elian Gonzalez saga, quite a few references were made to this movie. (PLEASE don't let that comparison turn you off to this movie - I cringed at those comparisons as well at first until I realized that yes, the comparisons had a valid point.) This movie is very much a drama, but Arkin, in his magical way, manages to not detract from the drama while injecting his own brand of physical comedy as well as his patented panicking dialogue (such as in the hospital scene.) The two young boys, who lived in Spanish Harlem when they were selected to act in this movie, are very good as well.
I loved Alan Arkin in "The Inlaws", but here he plays a completely different part. In POPI, he is a widowed Puerto Rican father "Abraham" who can't wait to get his young sons out of Harlem. The sons are played by Reuben Figueroa and Miguel Alejandro; the actors playing the sons appeared in just a couple more projects after this one. The film opens with them attending the funeral in New York City. Then we meet the girlfriend, Lupe, (a 38 year old Rita Moreno, with long hair!). We see them trying to survive in the rough city neighborhood, working three jobs. His roof leaks, they try to break into his shabby apartment, but when they pick on his kids, he comes up with a plan to get away from it all. As of today, IMDb has this film rated as "G", but when Turner Classics showed it, it's listed "TV 14". There is some violence, at 23 minutes in. Also, at one point, Arkin turns and talks to the camera, which felt a little out of place at that point in the film. The first half is the setup, showing us how bad things are in the city, but the second half is the big adventure, which almost turns into a farce. A pretty-good, entertaining film, with some small tidbits of humor thrown in here and there. According to IMDb, this film was shown on NBC in 1977... they must have edited some of the scenes out to make it safe for TV. Directed by Arthur Hiller, who would direct Arkin ten years later in "The Inlaws". In 1976, it was made into a TV series for CBS, starring Hector Elizondo, but it looks like it only lasted one season.
Alan Arkin, especially in the 60's and 70's, was one of our best actors
and in this average but interesting movie he plays a Puerto Rican
father with two young sons and he's totally on the mark! Rita Moreno is
wonderful as always. The two young boys gave believable performances.
A 5 out of 10. Best performance = Alan Arkin. Arthur Hiller was a pretty average director (except for THE HOSPITAL). The film never really takes off like it should but it's pleasant entertainment and Arkin works wonders as a caring father with few prospects of a better life. Another wonderful character in Arkin's gallery! Another semi-interesting New York tale of survival.
Fine film.. If made today would be considered for best Picture.. Alan Arkin.. is amazing.. if you have teenagers ..show them .. My father took me to the movie at 10 years old.. never forgot it..Shocking parts .. some very funny scenes.. Inventive , you will cry . The kids also played PERFECT parts .. True love explored and what it can do to anyone...Grew up in New York .Spanish Harlem shot perfectly .Music theme played differently to reflect mood ..Similar to Last Tango in Paris shot with many hand held camera's ..not really any thing missing from movie. MGM channel plays it from time to time if you see it watch this touching film,,
Out of all of Arkin's older films, this is always the one that pops into my mind. It's so simple, but so touching. I laughed and was also in tears. Arkin slips so well into the role of a struggling Puerto Rican father living in New York, who wants the best for his two boys. Watching it now, in the 2010's, it's an interesting look back at how low-income immigrant-life was back then in New York. The mentioning of prices of things (taxi cab rides, shoes etc.) is quite funny to hear now, considering that you'll never find a pair of shoes for $5 anywhere anymore. Rita Moreno's role was small, but a good one, and the little boys' chemistry with Arkin came across very naturally and believable. Arkin is though, undoubtedly, the driving force of the story. I highly recommend watching this one.
Forty five years ago this brilliant, ironic movie covered every moral issue raised by a nation sentimentally interested in other countries' impoverished children, but bored by its own. Performed by two actors now acknowledged to be, as the Japanese say, "living national treasures," Alan Arkin and Rita Moreno at the height of their powers. Arvin could always make his outrage funny, and that's vital here, because this could have become a dark or preachy in other actor's hands. Rita Moreno made far too few movies. In this one you see that with Garbo, Bergman, Horne, Hepburn, she was one of the 20th century's great presences. The definition of a "classic" is that it transcends its own era-- but in this case, the sad truth may be, the era never ended. The 1969 nation's effusive reaction to two children who are refugees from poverty, crime and gang violence, the sudden ability to discover a "humanitarian" crisis abroad while ignoring the one at home, is eerily close to the 2014 nation's response to the border crisis. No film could more clearly point out that nobody declared a humanitarian crisis when these children were two of our own. But no good drama can be paraphrased like that, or turned into a single, simple moral. Anyway, no need for a professor to wait for a drama about the 2014 crisis, to stimulate class discussion. This film raises all the issues, and there are two incomparable actors. Ten stars.
Alan Arkin plays a Puerto Rican widower in New York's Spanish Harlem who works several different jobs to provide for himself and his two pre-teen boys; Rita Moreno is a tootsie who comes around once in a while for a roll in the sack (to show us that Popi is a man with needs--why else is she there?). Character piece, written by Tina and Lester Pine, is an undemanding showcase for Arkin's talents; he's likable and convincing with the kids, but in most scenes is forced to overplay like a madman, not just shouting but ranting cartoonishly. It's to Arkin's credit that he never comes off as a clown--he's even tolerable talking directly to the camera--yet Arthur Hiller's direction is of very little help. The film has interesting slum-neighborhood atmosphere and details, but Hiller isn't concerned with realism, and never gets his hands dirty. Take for example the opening credits sequence, which has the two boys leaping and playing in slow-motion in a cemetery just after visiting their mother's grave. Fittingly, the basis for a later TV sitcom. ** from ****
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