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I was impressed by the fierce commitment of some of this movie's fans to not
only appreciate the fantastic acting in "Pope", but to memorize its dialogue
as well. This is definitely not a "plot" movie, but a film dedicated to its
characters. What more could I want? The safe heist is almost an afterthought
when compared to the great performances we get from Rourke, Roberts, Burt
Young, and Geraldine Page! Page's tubercular monologue is a complete
Vincent Patrick's novel is truly brought to life without neglecting any of his rich, N.Y.C. dialogue or the detailed idiosyncracies of small-time hoodlum behavior. Alright, maybe Darryl Hannah is gratuitous casting, but Roberts! Regarding the film's two leads, Roberts in this film is taking so many risks, pushing so many different buttons, you've got to admire the guy for going that far out. I can almost disregard the 2,000 straight to video erotic thrillers and action films the guy's been doing since 1987 just based on this performance. Plus, that perm he's got is poetry. Rourke becomes a little repetetive in his household destruction mannerisms, but still gives a thoughtful and taut performance as well. The two of them together, I think, have a chemistry that actually rivals that of DeNiro and Keitel in "Mean Streets".
My only complaint with this movie is who the f*** decided to let Dave Gruisin do the score? Wasn't "Tootsie" warning enough that this guy's music sounds about as appetizing as a platter of burnt corn? Would you honestly want the guy who composed "Tootsie's Theme" to score a gritty, street movie about criminals? I would have rather have heard John Tesh ballads during some of this movie than Gruisin's tinkly, feel-good, yuppie, pre-Kenny G. bum poop that tries to pass for jazz. Now Herbie Hancock, there's the man to do this movie justice. Nonetheless, other than this minor complaint, I couldn't recommend the movie more for its humor and attention to character. One of the best films of the 80s.
"What do you need a fancy suit for, Charlie, you ain't got no job to wear it to."
Watching 'The Pope Of Greenwich Village' almost twenty years after it was released you can't but help think a)what a great movie it is, and b)what the hell happened to Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts, two of the most exciting actors of the 1980s? Rourke drifted off into boxing and b-grade action movies, and apart from some great cameos in movies by Sean Penn, Steve Buscemi and Vincent Gallo ('The Pledge', 'The Animal Factory', 'Buffalo '66' respectively) has almost been forgotten by the current generation of movie fans, and Roberts has also made way too many bad straight to video action films and is regarded as a joke by most people. It's so sad what happened to their careers, but this movie sees them both at their peak, and boy, they were both GREAT actors! The movie is directed by Stuart Rosenberg who made my all time favourite movie 'Cool Hand Luke' back in the 1960s, and Michael Cimino ('The Deerhunter') also worked on it uncredited. I don't know if this means it was a troubled shoot, I don't know the background details, but if that's the case it certainly doesn't show on screen. Some people find this movie too rambling and anecdotal, but I loved it. It's a superior character driven buddy movie (which reminds me in places of Cimino's earlier overlooked 'Thunderbolt And Lightfoot'). Rourke and Roberts are dynamite together, and I would recommend this movie for them alone, but the supporting cast includes a credible turn from Daryl Hannah and a whole bunch of great character actors - M. Emmett Walsh, Burt Young, Val Avery, Jack Kehoe, and especially Kenneth McMillan (who later appeared with Roberts in another great "forgotten" 1980s movie 'Runaway Train') who plays a heartbreaking role as the poor guy who gets enmeshed in Roberts and Rourke's doomed robbery plan. 'The Pope Of Greenwich Village' deserves to be rediscovered. Any film buff who appreciates good acting will enjoy it, and youngsters who aren't aware of Mickey Rourke, or who regard Eric Roberts as little more than a figure of fun should check it out and be amazed.
From the opening credits with that smooth Frank Sinatra hit "Summer Wind", this movie never lost my attention. A quaint story of two wanna- be rich guys from Little Italy who unsuccessfully stumble through life trying everything to make a buck without having to work for it. You can't help but sympathize however with the characters of ROURKE and ROBERTS. They leave a lasting impression with the viewer conveying how life can be brutal in all aspects; whether emotional or tangible. And how good guys really do finish last. It was nice to see a measure of revenge for the two in the last scene at the hands of crime boss BURT YOUNG. DARRYL HANNAH adds a great supporting role as ROURKE'S girlfriend who quickly loses patience with him. The one person I was most impressed with was MICKEY ROURKE. He showed such great promise as an actor in this film-his best, hands down. I still can't believe how he allowed himself to deteriorate through the years in the way he has. He truly could have been one of the greats in the industry. That is far from an overstatement. Anyhow, this is a can't miss film-a sleeper. In my opinion, as good or better then some of my other favorites like Goodfellas, The Godfather etc. Enjoy it over and over.
Not your typical mobster movie, the Pope of Greenwich Village does have a good Sinatra soundtrack. The cool style that was 1984 is showcased in this movie. The hair styles, the clothes, the music, even the cool walk is present in this movie. One of Eric Roberts best movies, his acting is second to none as the fast talking, fast walking, and scared out of his mind side kick / cousin to Mickey Rourke. The "thumb scene" alone is timeless. It is both scary and funny, most movies can't produce a scene with as much realism as "Charlie....they took my thumb. Overall, the Pope of Greenwich Village is a comedy, but at times, it is dramatic and as serious as a heart attack. A classic for the 80's, sit back and enjoy Rourke, Roberts, Young and Hannah when they were on top of the world...and on top of Hollywood.
This was a great film to watch. Finding it in the action-section of the videostore, and seeing the cover, I was kinda afraid it would be just another fast-firing action movie. It sure wasn't. Indeed, this film is a story of character, and it is done so well!!!
The story is well written, with great understanding of the characters, and I feel that the same goes for the actors. They seem to understand their characters, and really carry them out. With that I'd have to give just a little more praise to Eric Roberts, than to Mickey Rourke. Both have before and since then proven that they are capable enough, despite their disappointing careers, and, truth be told, some less performances. But the character of Charlie is really a likable guy. He is the voice of reason of the film, the one we would all like to think we recognize in ourselves. While Paulie, on the other hand, is a different story. Portrayed any differently, he could very well be an ass. I mean, if you knew anybody that set you up, cost you your job, didn't ever listen to you, rat you out, lied to you... Would you like that person? Probably not. But Charlie likes Paulie, and the only thing that makes that believable, is the fact that WE like Paulie. Roberts somehow accomplishes to create this totally unreliable character that you just can't help but adore, and sometimes feel sorry for. He's a moron, but he's sweet and he means well, kinda. He looks up to Charlie, who really hasn't accomplished much more in his life, he just carries it better.
And poor Paulie is so annoying that he is endearing. I almost felt his pain when he was being 'interrogated'. Hilarious hairdo, by the way. For Rourke, this was not any new territory, he played this type of character more often. That doesn't mean he didn't do it fabulously, though, he did. Nothing new, but still good. Indeed one of the best performances of his career. That shows you that award shows mean nothing.
Page is also very good, and rightly recognized for it, and Daryl Hannah can't act, but you can't really blame her for trying anyway, since she seems to be getting away with it. And the poor girl really tries.
I am now beginning to rent lots of movies and decided to rent "the
Pope.." I've heard so many great things about it.
I AM a Mickey Rourke fan - however if I see him in a shitty film - I have no qualms in stressing my opinion.
A Rourke fan or not - this movie is a delight, from the shots of New York City back in 1984 - to Eric Roberts' acting, this movie was great.
I think the major problem most viewers on this site had was Robert's acting, I felt that Roberts overacted sometimes - or perhaps that's what the script called for and if so he gave a memorable performance - almost hilarious at times - the thumb scene is a prime example. I felt that he almost stole the show.. not because I thought his acting was amazing. because it was almost like a parody - I found it strange at times.
Rourke was cool, calm and focused - his acting was great.. and I LOVED his "come over here.." line.. almost seemed sexual to me.. I wondered what he was going to do.
I think everyone who commented on this film is right in saying how incredibly sad it is how Rourke's and Robert's career went down the tubes the way it did. We all have our demons I guess. The focus is to overcome them. Roberts is a B- movie actor. Rourke was never a B-movie actor - he was always a great actor with enormous potential who still has a shot of living up to his potential
he has recently been making a great comeback - "...my best work is still ahead of me" he commented. he came out of the grave. Amen to that!!
The special things about this film are the Acting and the nostalgic feeling one gets when looking at scenes of New York back in 84 (if you are from the east coast and live close to the city or are from the city - you know what I'm talking about)
Amen to the Pope - great little film, one in which I will buy to my collection.
Fans of this film have no problem quoting the dialogue word for word. The
acting by the entire cast is brilliant. Mickey Rourke gives an outstanding
performance, and I'd put his acting in this film up against any other
performances by great actors.
If you haven't seen this, you've got to rent it. I think it's become an overlooked film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Nonsense. Rourke was a character actor at time of filming. OK, the beating of the refrigerator was drawn out, as was the De Niro impression (come over here. Come over here. Come over her. OK. Don't come over here.) What was he ever going to do but that though? In those days he idolised the great Bobby. Roberts - Shining hour. Never equalled this or came close. It's one of those defining moments where it did show he *can* act. Why he became the pretty boy (or sometimes ugly boy) muscle bound, high-kicking hero is still a mystery to me. I'd rather see him continue in what is a proved ability. If the took my thumb sequence does not convince any member on here that this boy can act then e-mail me to discuss. One of my favourite films of the '80s and one I go back to over and over again. 8/10 Over to you.
Rourke & Roberts pre-fame.
Charlie Moran (Rourke) seemed more like an Irish hood instead of an Italian. Rourke basically set a trend on the type of characters he plays. He's basically re-did this role again and again. And why not? He's great at it.
Eric Roberts is a chronic over actor. But unlike most, he can be so entertaining. Watching him chew the scenery here was the most fun. The whole "He should die, die, die...." scene after they get fired in the beginning is still a corker.
Daryl Hannah is not the best actress, but she seemed to thrive here as Charlie's straight girlfriend.
And kudos to Walsh, Young, McMillan (R.I.P), and the brilliant Geraldine Page (also R.I.P) for their roles. Page almost stole the film.
And I think Bedbug Eddie (Young) was based on the late NYC mafia leader Fat Tony Salerno. He also conducted most of his business in a no frills back room. He also didn't drink.
Good character study.
Remember when Mickey Rourke was good? Remember Eric Roberts before the "Best of the Best" series? Remember Darryl Hannah at her finest? If not, this surprisingly good film will show you why they all were once established talents (or in Hannah's case, just nice to look at). The dialogue is New York street, but done so well it doesn't feel out of place. A must-see movie for anyone who loves NY, or just stories about endearing losers trying to make it big.
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