6.3/10
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9 user 56 critic

Gone with the Pope (2010)

Unrated | | Crime | 12 March 2010 (USA)
Famed nightclub performer Duke Mitchell is Paul, a paroled gangster with an unholy scheme: to kidnap the Pope and 'charge a dollar from every Catholic in the world' as the ransom. Shot in ... See full summary »

Director:

Duke Mitchell

Writer:

Duke Mitchell
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Cast

Credited cast:
Duke Mitchell Duke Mitchell ... Paul
Lorenzo Dardado Lorenzo Dardado ... The Pope / The Old Man
Jim LoBianco Jim LoBianco ... Luke
Peter Milo Peter Milo ... Peter
John Murgia John Murgia ... John
Giorgio Tavolieri Giorgio Tavolieri ... Giorgio
Jeanne Hibbard Jeanne Hibbard ... Jean
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bill Boyd Bill Boyd ... Bill
John Bruno John Bruno ... John
Carl Cocomo Carl Cocomo ... Carl
Paul DiAmico Paul DiAmico ... Bartender
Steve DiBiaso Steve DiBiaso ... Vatican Bishop
Nola Hand Nola Hand ... Fat Woman
Jeffrey Mitchell Jeffrey Mitchell ... Junkie
Zep Mizner Zep Mizner ... Himself
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Storyline

Famed nightclub performer Duke Mitchell is Paul, a paroled gangster with an unholy scheme: to kidnap the Pope and 'charge a dollar from every Catholic in the world' as the ransom. Shot in 1975, GONE WITH THE POPE was unfinished at the time of Duke Mitchell's death in 1981, and finally completed in 2009 from a rediscovered, unfinished print.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You're either in, or you're in the way!

Genres:

Crime

Certificate:

Unrated
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 March 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kiss the Ring See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$100,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Grindhouse Releasing See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

6-Track Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Shot using almost exclusively 35mm short ends. The Rome part was shot by a 4th unit crew. See more »

Crazy Credits

At the end of the credits, you can hear Duke Mitchell say, "OK, cut it." See more »

Connections

References The 400 Blows (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
a lost classic? Not quite, but it is a work of something
6 May 2015 | by MisterWhiplashSee all my reviews

This is a film that, yes, was technically released for the first time in 2010. But it's also a kind of Grindhouse example of Metropolis, another movie that was restored this year. New footage was found and meticulous care was put to editing something that people had never seen before. One was a testament to man and his inner quest for self-knowledge set against an oppressive world, and the other was Metropolis.

But I jest. This was shot by real (and I mean REALLY) no-budget director Duke Mitchell, who made only one other film in the 1970s, and did shoot the footage for this film (you can tell, all HUGE warts and out-of-focus shots and all). But it was never finished due to lack of funds. Years later (as in two years ago) some former friends and people at the Grindhouse DVD company, got together and took all the footage Mitchell had shot and made a movie as competently as they could.

Frankly, that it turned out as well as it did is something of a miracle because, quite frankly, this stinks. But it stinks in a way that is friendly to fellow bad-movie lovers. The craftsmanship is so terrible, the acting so non-existent, the story so WTF, that I wondered at certain points if Torgo from Manos the Hands of Fate would make an appearance. All I could really gather about anything relating to a "story" was that Paul (also Mitchell) is released from jail, kills some gangsters, and then takes a boat trip with some friends from California to Rome to kidnap the Pope and hold the world hostage: every Catholic pays 1 buck. That's a lot of bucks.

From the dialog that is at best decent street-tough stuff to at worst really racist and sometimes just dull dialog - and the racist stuff especially, as Paul makes wisecracks (and not the subtle kind) to a black prostitute who, somehow, takes it in stride, is hilariously painful to hear spoken - to the cinematography that gives cinematography a bad name (FOCUS, goddamn it, FOCUS!), to the one or two actors such as Paul's wife or Giorgio, who both look like they were picked up from the local deli counter, to the very mixed messages sent about religion (a very *nice* Pope who somehow gets everyone except Paul on his side! and a polemic speech by Paul at one point that rivals ANY of the preachifying in Machete), this is trash cinema at its base level.

It's not a good movie really. If you're looking for things like, say, motivation on the character's part, be it things like killing lots of other people we haven't seen before (sometimes with telephones) or to a random "prank" scene with a huge fat woman getting naked and surprising one of Paul's friend asleep and proceeding to lock her in the room for a good, it's more than absent. It's almost like Mitchell seemed to forget what a movie makes - albeit he is awe-inspiring at making montages, such as one with him and his wife frolicking at a park - and was more transfixed by his own sideburns than anything else. When he tries to get genuine laughs, such as the fat woman scene, it feel so awful that you just recoil in your seat. The movie also disappoints, if in one major way as a Midnight Movie, in not having more craziness with the religious angle. Without saying too much, the film needed to be more like the last scene, which did leave me with a big smile and almost clapping with the rest of the audience.

But for all of the dull moments, and believe you-me there are plenty, and the cringe-worthy performances, it's a very funny movie without knowing that it is. It's also commendable to the editors and producers of this finished version that there are some scenes and transitions that move to a cool beat, maybe in ways Mitchell himself never envisioned. Song selections vary; some are genuinely fantastic, while others go along with the hokey nature of the film. It frustrates and entertains, and it actually has a sense of admiration for the Pope (!) in all his cardboard-performing glory. Then again, his dead-pan is just what's needed on the flip-side of Mitchell's mugging.


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