22 user 13 critic

Two Bits (1995)

PG-13 | | Drama | 22 November 1995 (USA)
Gennaro lives with his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter. But grandpa's not ready to die, he has some unfinished business with a woman from his past and he enlists Gennaro to act as his emissary.


James Foley


Joseph Stefano
2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Barone Jerry Barone ... Gennaro
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio ... Luisa Spirito
Al Pacino ... Grandpa
Patrick Borriello ... Tullio
Andy Romano ... Dr. Bruna
Donna Mitchell ... Mrs. Bruna
Mary Lou Rosato Mary Lou Rosato ... Aunt Carmela
Joe Grifasi ... Uncle Joe
Rosemary De Angelis Rosemary De Angelis ... Mrs. Conte
Ron McLarty ... Irish
Charley Scalies ... Ballyhoo Driver
Joanna Merlin ... Guendolina
Geoff Pierson ... Dr. Wilson
Karen Shallo Karen Shallo ... Woman in Red
Nick Discenza Nick Discenza ... Father of Deceased


It's a hot summer day in 1933 in South Philly, where 12-year old Gennaro lives with his widowed mom and his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter, which he's promised to Gennaro and which Gennaro would like to have to buy a ticket to the plush new movie theater. But grandpa's not ready to pass on the quarter or pass on to his final reward: he has some unfinished business with a woman from his past, and he enlists Gennaro to act as his emissary. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


You're never too old to believe in a dream. Or too young to make one come true!



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some traumatic thematic elements | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Maurice Jarre wrote a score for the film but it was rejected by producer Harvey Weinstein. See more »


Luisa Spirito: Have I ever broken a promise?
Gennaro: Yeah!
Luisa Spirito: Well, all mothers do.
See more »


Features Below Zero (1930) See more »

User Reviews

Could've been great, turned out mediocre
13 September 2001 | by movieman_bgSee all my reviews

The Great Depression has been discussed in one too many movies and "Two Bits" makes almost no exception of the general rule for such a movie: a poor family(usually immigrants), a small child realizing the poverty around him, an older person to guide the child, a sudden understanding of the really important things in life, a little drama, a touching ending, nothing new, nothing bad, unfortunately nothing too good. The exception in the "nothing too good rule" is the usual amazing performance that Al Pacino gives in almost all of his roles. His character, Gitano Sabatoni, touches the viewer deeply, and might even bring a few twinkles in the eyes at the very end. However, one man does not make a team, and Al Pacino could do little to save this movie from mediocrity.

James Foley("Twin Peaks", "Fear") tries to create a deep and touching stroy line, perhaps reaching to the roots of many movie fans. He is not successful, though. The metaphor with the "La Paloma" theater is not that strong and the end could've been made deeper if it had been for a few more words. Anyway, that's not Foley's main problem. The total lack of action in this movie makes it a bit too boring. "Two Bits" is simply too slow to leave a lasting impression. The somewhat strong scenes of grandfather-grandson bonding are immediately followed with aimless roaming around the streets of Philly. Perhaps one of the deepest scenes in the movie(the dancing people on the street) is somewhat lost because the viewer did not expect such a strong message at that time. Simple ideas can be misunderstood when not given in a right time to the viewer. Perhaps the same message "Two Bits" holds(even though much less complicated) is expressed in a brilliant way in "Citizen Kane". In the latter movie however, the viewer is "glued" to the seat at almost every time, whereas in "Two Bits" some people might slip out of their seats.

Anyway, "Two Bits" is worth seeing even if only for Al Pacino's impact. The movie might not be that good as a whole, but it touches a soft spot in many dedicated viewers' hearts. James Foley succeeds in showing the "holyness" of a movie theater to a small kid(or even to an adult). The way "La Paloma" is described, it leaves an impression of something majestic, something sacred, something pure and beautiful. It's a shame that Foley went only so far as to evoke this one picture, for as beautiful as it is, it can't support a whole movie.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.






Release Date:

22 November 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Two Bits See more »

Filming Locations:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,299, 26 November 1995

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed