6.5/10
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Palookaville (1995)

Jerry and his two pals, Russ and Syd, are just looking for some easy money to help them break out of their nowhere lives in their nowhere town. Despite a bungled jewelry store heist which ... See full summary »

Director:

Alan Taylor

Writer:

David Epstein
Reviews
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
William Forsythe ... Sid Dunleavy
Vincent Gallo ... Russell Pataki
Adam Trese ... Jerry
Gareth Williams ... Ed the Cop
LisaGay Hamilton ... Betty, Jerry's Wife
Bridgit Ryan Bridgit Ryan ... Enid
Kim Dickens ... Laurie, Russell's Girlfriend
Suzanne Shepherd ... Mother
Nicole Burdette Nicole Burdette ... Chris
Robert LuPone ... Ralph (as Robert Lupone)
Sam Coppola ... Mr. Kott, Money Truck Driver
Frances McDormand ... June
Walter Bryant Walter Bryant ... Money Truck Driver
Douglas Seale ... Old Man
William Riker William Riker ... Old Arthur
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Storyline

Jerry and his two pals, Russ and Syd, are just looking for some easy money to help them break out of their nowhere lives in their nowhere town. Despite a bungled jewelry store heist which exposes their incompetence as criminals, a fateful event (and an old black-and-white film) convinces them that they can pull off an armored-truck robbery. While they are busy plotting their caper, their dysfunctional families spin out of control all around them. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

One foot in the door. The other one in the gutter.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Loosely based on Italo Calvino's short stories "Theft in a Cake Shop", "Desire in November", and "Transit Bed". See more »

Quotes

Russ: I'm not talking about a life of crime, just a momentary shift in lifestyle.
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Soundtracks

Me Tienes Sufriendo
Written by Angel Santiago
Performed by Viti Ruiz and his Orchestra
Courtesy of Cartagena Publishing
See more »

User Reviews

 
Criminal masterminds they're not
21 September 2007 | by douggersSee all my reviews

When Marlon Brando uttered the immortal line "I got a one-way ticket to "Palookaville" (in "On the Waterfront"), he was referring to his current life as washed-up boxer, crumb and stooge for the mob, living out his life in a kind of moral limbo, doing rotten things and not quite realizing their import until it's too late. The creators of this fine, quirky film reputedly got the idea for their movie from the line quoted above. Their idea of "Palookaville" is a forgotten nothing of a town where oddballs and misfits abound and where a job in the local pizzeria constitutes a career. The movie centers around a trio of professional losers, whose attempt to rob a jewelry store nets them nothing but some pastry from the bakery they break into by mistake. Their efforts to hold up armored cars yield similar results. Nearly everyone in their orbit seems to be a screw up, including their hapless girlfriends.

In spite of their criminal bent, our would-be crooks manage to be endearing (each robbery is going to be their "last job"), as is the entire movie. You find yourself rooting for them and when the intended burglary of the armored car gets them the town's highest honor (they did return the money, which makes them heroes to the town, which doesn't seem to realize what they were up to) you almost want to stand up and cheer. William Forsythe ("Gotti") anchors the film with his performance and his two dogs manage to steal several scenes. Vincent Gallo and Adam Trese are also fine as his accomplices, as is Frances McDormand, in a far-too-small role that for once emphasizes her good looks. This offbeat, comic film is definitely worth a look.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les amateurs See more »

Filming Locations:

Bayonne, New Jersey, USA See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$365,284

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$365,284
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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