The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984) Poster

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Underrated buddy movie with superb performances from Rourke and Roberts.
Infofreak12 July 2003
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.
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A Great Picture-Mickey Rourke's day in the Sun
tsoprano887 April 2002
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.
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What a delight!!
htbt13 January 2007
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.
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8/10
To those who commented in the negative
blennon27 December 2004
Warning: 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.
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9/10
A Must See for all Italians!
caspian19786 September 2004
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.
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9/10
What's not to love about this film?
Miryea21 June 2001
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.
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10/10
One Of The Best Films Of The 80's
Pete-13527 October 1999
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.
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One of my all-time favorite movies
ChimpyMatlock22 February 2002
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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8/10
Deserves to be better remembered
haildevilman14 September 2006
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.
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7/10
Good acting and gritty atmosphere the stars of this film
blanche-27 October 2008
Mickey Rourke is "The Pope of Greenwich Village" in this 1984 film also starring Eric Roberts, Geraldine Page, Kenneth McMillan, Darryl Hannah and Burt Young. Rourke is Charlie, who, with his cousin Paulie, rob a mobster with the help of a safecracker (McMillan). Both Rourke and Roberts are in fine form against the New York background. Everything about this film is seedy. The detectives all look out of shape and overtired, everybody has smoker's skin or a drinker's red nose. As Charlie, Rourke wants a big score so he can buy a restaurant, but his fatal flaw is listening to his idiotic cousin Paulie, a total loser and a weakling, who gets him involved in the robbery of a vicious mobster where a cop is killed at the scene. The attractive Rourke uses his sweet smile to good advantage and underplays; it's a shame he underwent such severe plastic surgery and took his career off track. Roberts plays Paulie as completely pathetic, so pathetic that at times, he's funny, even when his circumstances aren't.

The mob movies were in their heyday when "The Pope of Greenwich Village" was made, so it probably got lost in the shuffle. It's not a big film, but the acting and locations are impressive. Look for Geraldine Page in a small but showy role as the dead cop's mother, a woman who can handle the police better than anyone.
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10/10
Paulie, an unforgettable character
debmeyers26 June 2017
Eric Roberts has one of the most impressive resumes I have ever seen. He practically arrived on the planet with an acting job lined up. He brought Paulie alive in a way that is so real, so raw, that I could taste the blood under his bandaged hand. Robert's character, Paulie, takes you on a wicked emotional ride with highs and lows so sensational that the viewer easily relates on a visceral level with such sensation that it is impossible not to carry Paulie around with you in your head for days afterward.
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9/10
A Story of Low-lives who triumph ***1/2
edwagreen18 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Mickey and Eric Roberts certainly gave career defining performances in this 1984 film. They are cousins, the lowest of low, who resort to a heist after losing their jobs. Roberts is the dim-wit here with that effeminate voice. Mickey is the suave guy who owes money to just about everyone.

Unfortunately, they steal the loot from a big gangster and there is plenty of police corruption shown here.

Geraldine Page received her 7th Oscar nomination here in the role of the very common mother of the cop who died accidentally while the heist was taking place.She was absolutely memorable in her two scenes, turning the tables on corrupt police.

The film shows that even two losers can win out when pushed into adversity.
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10/10
An Excellent,Underrated And Overlooked Crime Drama With Brilliant Performances By Mickey Rourke And Eric Roberts.
jcbutthead863 February 2014
The Pope Of Greenwich Village is an excellent,underrated and overlooked Crime Drama that combines great direction,amazing performances from Mickey Rourke,Eric Roberts and a terrific supporting cast,a fantastic script and a outstanding film score that make The Pope Of Greenwich an entertaining and memorable film that is Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts at their best.

Based on the novel of the same name by Vincent Patrick and set in the Greenwich Village section of New York,The Pope Of Greenwich Village tells the story of cousins Charlie(Mickey Rourke)and Paulie(Eric Roberts)two guys who have big ambitions Charlie wants to have his own restaurant and Paulie a schemer that wants to make money but the two have financial troubles. With no other options,Charlie and Paulie with the help of clock repairman and locksmith Barney(Kenneth McMillian)decide to rob a safe at a local business. When the robbery goes wrong Charlie and Paulie have to deal Italian Mob Boss Bed Bug Eddie(Burt Young)as well as the cops in order to get out of danger.

Released in 1984,The Pope Of Greenwich Village is a brilliant Crime Drama while earning decent reviews from critics and receiving an Oscar nomination wasn't a hit at the Box Office and didn't get much attention from movie audiences at the time. But,thankfully overtime The Pope Of Greenwich Village has found Cult status throughout the years and is not only seen as a great Crime Drama but is also seen as one of the most underrated movies of the 1980s. I think that one of the reasons The Pope Of Greenwich Village has found Cult status and is an entertaining film is because the film gives viewers a different kind of Crime Drama that combines Crime Drama,Gangster Film and a Buddy Movie and gives the movie not only a incredible energy that keeps you glued to the screen for 121 minutes. What I also like about The Pope Of Greenwich Village is that despite having all of the trademark elements of Crime Dramas such as vicious Criminals,Gangsters,Cops as well as common elements including violence and betrayal,the story in POGV is handled with a great balance of dark and light elements with the dark elements being the Drama,Gangsters and violence and the light elements being the Comedy and Humor showing the friendship and antics of Charlie and Paulie or Paulie by himself which is funny and at times over the top. Another thing that I like about POGV is the authentic feel of the film whether it's the New York locations throughout the city or neighborhoods or the characters and their streetwise attitudes that don't feel forced or fake but real and accurate. The New York locations and attitudes of the characters at times reminded me of Martin Scorsese's classic Gangster Films such as Goodfellas and Mean Streets(a film that The Pope Of Greenwich Village is often compared to)and like Scorsese's New York City Crime Dramas,POGV brings you into a world that is dangerous,violent and at times funny and you are absorbed and mesmerized. The screenplay by Vincent Patrick(adapted from his own novel)is terrific and well-written with Patrick giving the characters dialog that is tough and gritty as well as rich and amazing with most of the characters having depth and power. Patrick also has great scenes in the film that are memorable and truly unforgettable and match the world and tone that The Pope Of Greenwich Village is showing. Like I said before POGV is a buddy movie and it is very true with the main characters Charlie and Paulie because even if the characters aren't always likable we relate to the two because like a lot of people in the world they are both dreamers and have big aspirations to get what they want whether it's owning a restaurant or making money. While Charlie and Paulie have problems with each other they are still family and care about one another even when bad things are happening all around them and it is the relationship between Charlie and Paulie is one of the things that drives the film and is the film because it's funny,real and true to life. The ending of The Pope Of Greenwich Village is amazing,funny and surprising and leaves with a smile feeling like everything will be alright for Charlie and Paulie in the long run. A great ending.

The whole cast is outstanding. Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts are excellent and at their best as Charlie and Paulie,with Rourke bringing a coolness and charisma and Roberts being funny and over the top and the two have great scenes and chemistry together. Daryl Hannah does a wonderful job as Diane,Charlie's girlfriend. Geraldine Page earned a best supporting Actress Oscar Nomination for her small but terrific performance as Mrs. Ritter,Bunky's Mother. Kenneth McMillan is outstanding as Barney,a locksmith that helps Charlie and Paulie. Burt Young is fantastic and menacing as Bed Bug Eddie,a vicious Gangster. M. Emmett Walsh is great as always in his small role as Burns,a New York cop. Tony Mustaine is effective as Uncle Pete,Paulie's Uncle. Jack Kehoe is sensational as Bunky,a New York Cop.

The direction by Stuart Rosenberg is great,with Rosenberg with Rosenberg doing a simple but effective job and sometimes moving the camera and giving the movie a great style and pace. Wonderful job,Rosenberg.

The score by Dave Grusin is fantastic,moody,dramatic and light and matches the tone of the film perfectly. Great score,Grusin. There is also a memorable use of Frank Sinatra's classic song Summer Wind which is used a few times in the film.

In final word,if you love Crime Dramas,Gangster Films,Mickey Rourke or Eric Roberts,I highly suggest you see The Pope Of Greenwich Village,an excellent,underrated and overlooked Crime Drama that is Rourke and Roberts at their best. Highly Recommended. 10/10.
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8/10
Highly recommended.
Hey_Sweden23 May 2013
Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts are well matched in this nicely directed, acted, and written character study / drama. The characters they create are definitely memorable and the situations in which they find themselves are compelling. Scripted by Vincent Patrick from his own novel, it's simply fine storytelling that keeps its grip for two solid hours.

Rourke plays Charlie, a regular Joe whose loyalty to his screw-up cousin Paulie (Roberts) gets him into all sorts of trouble. Paulies' schemes get Charlie fired from his job, and when Paulie draws Charlie into a plan to steal some money, he doesn't tell him from whom they're stealing. And that man is Bed Bug Eddie (Burt Young), a mafia boss who is understandably going to be more than a little angry.

There are all sorts of interesting characters in this involving, heavily layered story, and the film has a hell of a phenomenal cast as well, full of incredibly good character actors. Among the many familiar faces are Kenneth McMillan (endearing as the third participant in the robbery), Tony Musante, M. Emmet Walsh, Jack Kehoe, Philip Bosco, Val Avery, Joe Grifasi, Tony DiBenedetto, John Finn, Ed O'Ross, Frank Vincent, Anna Levine, and William Duell. They're all entertaining to watch, but Geraldine Page is especially riveting as the mother of a corrupt detective. Her scenes are the best in the film.

Roberts - who totally rocks a perm hairdo - really goes all out sometimes in his performance; one can't accuse this guy of phoning it in. Rourke, overall more restrained, is quite likable; Daryl Hannah isn't bad as Rourkes' frustrated girlfriend.

Director Stuart Rosenberg ("Cool Hand Luke") has a great feel for the neighbourhood in his handling of the material. And Patrick injects some amusing comedy bits - such as Paulies' revenge against a portly parking patrol officer - into the story that provide some counterpoint to the drama. The denouement really is too abrupt, but on the whole this is a really enjoyable tale worth catching for fans of the performers and genre.

Eight out of 10.
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10/10
The Hope of A Good Movie
Richie-67-48585225 December 2011
I was raised in New York. Those are my credentials and I say we got a winner of a movie on our hands here. Everything presented and discussed is a bulls eye bar none. The dialog, eating habits, dress, attitudes, cops, locations, high buildings, local goombahs, music, sports (stickball), mother of a cop, and on and on. That is why this movie fits like a comfortable glove to anyone watching it. It is so natural and real life. That is the secret. When I was a kid, looking for opportunities never stop and here we have a couple of guys looking for the same although sloppily. That is what draws you in. You know they are going to fail and that could be you. I mean you don't rob a place in your own neighborhood. Even dumb criminals know that. As far as the story and plot go, it is neat and doesn't waste time setting you up and pulling you in. The actors all take their parts and send them back with vigor on the the screen and into your memory quite effectively. Grab something to snack on to turn up the enjoyment meter although its running high and join those that have seen this movie several times over.
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9/10
a near classic of modern film acting
Quinoa198419 March 2009
Eric Roberts and Mickey Rourke make an unforgettable pair in Stuart Rosenberg's film (by way, in part I've read, of Michael Cimino), because they both take skills they've picked up as actors and applied them wonderfully to two roles that bring out their best. They play, essentially, a version of the Mean Streets characters ten years later: one wants to go straight in the Little Italy world they've grown up in, have a legitimate business like a restaurant, maybe start a family or settle down with his girl, and is a good guy - except, of course, for the 'black sheep' in his cousin who's a waiter sometimes, and also has other schemes going on like owning part of a racing horse, and gets himself into some very deep, hot water with local gangsters.

The story may sound familiar, but the performances make a very big difference; in fact this is essential viewing for those intense male actors looking to break into theater or independent films. Some have criticized Eric Roberts for going over the top as Paulie, but he imbues this character with a complete and unnerving (or just nerving) sense of desperation. Paulie wants to be good too, and one can sense that, but being on the streets have messed with his head past the point of no return; he isn't quite as "I-don't-give-a-bleep" like Johnny Boy in Scorsese's picture, but the same tendency to tick off the wrong people is right there. And watching Roberts go to town in some really big scenes, like when he comes back from losing his thumb or a more subtle and intense scene like when he's getting questioned by Burt Young's mob boss, he shows why for a short while he was a star (maybe not his sister, but close enough).

And yet one can't help but feel that for all of Roberts excellent work, for all of the superior supporting performances from Darryl Hannah and Geraldine Page (the scene where she tells the cops to get out of her apartment, holy hell is that fantastic), Young, the actor playing the locksmith, it's Mickey Rourke's time to shine. He had that quiet voice that one could tell could just crack at any second, and here he makes his tough guy in Rumble Fish look like a wuss; here one knows he could just erupt and go to town on someone, and does sometimes like on Paulie when the time comes (which is relatively often), but Rourke's power is in what he holds back, or appears to be holding back. He came out of the same school of acting as De Niro and Pacino and it shows, as if he were (or rather still is) one of the most gifted of the pupils of the method, and even as he gives that smirk or has a deceptive twinkle in his eye you just know he's got this character so damn down. He could wrestle with Keitel (no pun intended) and it would be hard to say who would win for pure on-screen chops.

The story, I should add, is also very good, one of those very tightly constructed morality plays in the guise of a film-noir that operates so strongly because it doesn't make anyone too black or white- even the detective, who meets his sad end down an elevator shaft by accident, has a whole history that is developed perfectly in just one scene with his mother, and so he's no more or less unsympathetic than Paulie. It also ends in a peculiar way: after the volcanic climax, which comes as something of a surprise, it just shows Paulie and Charlie walking down the street, and the camera rises on a note of uncertainty. It is not quite as open and shut as Mean Streets might be, but it has its own level of doom: these two guys probably wont be able to rid each other of one another unless there's death, or worse.

Some slightly dated 80s music notwithstanding (some of it weird synth Irish music), The Pope of Greenwich Village is exciting, occasionally funny, and gives all in the audience a taste of delicious New York style film acting. Everyone's on their A-game, and for a brief moment it looked as though the two stars could go anywhere with their careers...
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8/10
Salutz Chalutzzz
VideoKid150017 May 2005
Excellent movie in my opinion.

Eric Roberts, Mickey Rourke and Darryl Hannah all at their prime.

Eric played "Paulie" quite well, even the Italian accent was fine. Not every Italian has the perfect accent. He was hilarious in many scenes such as "cop s*** his pants!!!!", and Chawlie "dey took my thumb Chawlie". Mickey plays a stubborn Italian looking for success the easy way and would rather be successful at that than start a family with Hannah.

I am surprised this movie does not get more recognition.

My best line in the movie was when Paulie and Charlie were at the bar and Paulie toasted Charlie "SALUTZZZZ CHALUTZZZZ".
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7/10
Evocative Tale of Two Promoters,.
rmax30482321 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Nobody would accuse this tale of being taut. It meanders around sufficiently that we get to know the characters, their families, their values -- and therein lies its charm. Eric Roberts is Pauli, the reckless Italian optimist, and Mickey Rourke is his more sensible, principled Irish cousin. The milieu is New York City and it is captured most impressively. These two street proletarians -- waiters and busboys -- ooze with the desire to own a Coupe deVille. Roberts brags that he never ordered a brandy that wasn't Courvoisier VSOP. Their ambition and their taste are palpable. I say this despite having grown up in the area without the slightest desire to live their life styles and lacking any intense affection for Frank Sinatra.

Basically, the plot is a cross-cousin of "Mean Streets", with Rourke in the Harvey Keitel role and Roberts as the maniacal DeNiro. Not to suggest that this is an imitation of anything else. The writer, Vincent Patrick, has street lingo down pat, even to the smallest parts, and Stuart Rosemberg has executed it flawlessly. Even "mozarella" comes out properly as "moozarell." The two cousins alternately joke and fight with one another, depending on their position on the regression line between Robert's wild schemes and Rourke's more banal impulses. Roberts puts a "horse physic" in the drink of a ruthless cop. He engineers a lucrative burglary with the help of Rourke and a locksmith, Kenneth MacMillan, that results in the accidental death of a corrupt police officer, Jack Kehoe, whose only motive for being corrupt was to make enough money to move him and his sickly mother, Geraldine Page, to Phoenix in order to improve her health. (As I said, the script meanders, but meaningfully.) Geraldine Page gives a fine performance, by the way, as the self-destructive tough-as-nails street-savvy Mom.

The money from the burglary belonged to the neighborhood Mr. Big, a villainous and revengeful Burt Young, who forces MacMillan to leave his family and blow town. He also removes one of Eric Roberts' digits. And just as he is having a duel of wits with the third party to the crime, Rourke, Roberts feeds Burt Young a cup of espresso filled with lye. The poisoned Young leaps through the storefront window and runs off down the street. The last shot has Roberts and Rourke strolling off, carefree, down the street, arguing about whether it would be better to live in Miami. That's a bit of a weak ending. Given Burt Young's vengeful nature and his position in the organization, I wouldn't give two cents for either of their well-clad behinds. If they wind up as lowly waiters again they'll be lucky.

Well, I suppose I've made the film sounds like a terrible tragedy, but it's not. The street lingo and many of the incidents make it as much comic as anything else. One of Roberts' schemes has to do with betting a bundle on a horse that absolutely cannot lose. But Roberts' knows as little about racing as he does about keeping out of trouble. He's confused about which part of a stallion must be removed to turn it into a gelding. He's concerned about the colors of the jockey because it makes him look like a fairy. Roberts bets the whole shebang on a win, and the horse loses in a photo finish. The more prudent Rourke has made twenty large by betting on the horse across the board.

It's a pretty good movie, full of well-drawn colorful characters and considerable suspense and humor.
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9/10
The sounds and smells of the Village. Great authenticity
johnnie01688 July 2008
Warning: Spoilers
The way to see this movie is the way I did. Other than Page or Kehoe I had no idea who any of these actors were. This imparts an authenticity in the character unfettered by the popularity of the actor playing him (or her). Since (and because of) this movie I look for movies with actors who are unfamiliar to me. I have seen much criticism of Eric Roberts on these pages but as far as I'm concerned he WAS Pauly. Love him or hate him, I can't imagine anyone better suited for that particular role. Pauly was a weasel and Roberts delivered a weasel. That pretty much goes right on down the line. the story flowed seamlessly from scene to scene and came together as one beautiful whole with a few minor exceptions. One of these exceptions being how upset Bedbug Eddie became when he learned of the tapes. It seem to me that the existence of these tapes would have been a MUCH bigger problem for the police than they would have been for him. They were TAKING the bribes. The other 'weakness', if you will was the ending. A little too Hollywood. They had just poisoned the most notorious dude in the Village and they are walking away arguing about how it should have been done instead of running for their lives. Only these few things kept this from being a perfect ten and I highly recommend it. Even if you DO know all of the actors.
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7/10
Pretty good
zetes17 May 2015
Pretty entertaining, low-key crime flick. Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts play two going-nowhere punks in NYC. Roberts in particular works as a waiter in a club for gangsters and wishes he could be more like them. He overhears things, and picks up some information that he thinks could lead him and his cousin/best buddy Rourke to big money. Of course, everything goes wrong (you'd have to be nuts to try to commit a crime with nutjob Eric Roberts by your side). Rourke is a bit of an overactor, but looks extremely subtle next to Roberts. As bad an actor as Roberts is, though, there's some crazy there that always makes me kind of like his performances. Geraldine Page has a small role and got nominated for an Oscar for it. This is an example of an aging star giving a serviceable character actor performance, and it's nothing special. My choice for best in show would actually be Daryl Hannah as Rourke's girlfriend. She has a couple of really good scenes. Kenneth McMillan is also good as the Irish safe cracker Rourke and Roberts hook up with, and Rocky's Burt Young is good as the mob boss they're ripping off. M. Emmet Walsh also co-stars but doesn't get much to do.
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2/10
Allegorical joke with no punch line
MartianOctocretr519 April 2008
Two smart-alec losers in the Village want to be big shots, and so get messed up with some obnoxious loudmouth local crime boss. All of the actors you'll see in this thing have done much better, and even seem to be approaching their roles here zealously. Problem is, the script really offers nothing and the director's approach exudes an air of self-important wanna-be artistry.

The soundtrack features some old Sinatra tunes, so if you like his music, you'll at least get a tidbit of entertainment value. Beyond that, though, there is little to see. The story trudges along as the two underdogs try to turn the tables on the crime lord guy. One has some brains, the other is a goof ball who spends his time mumbling or screaming, and the contrast is meant to be amusing--kind of a cross between the Abbott & Costello and and Bill & Ted approaches. The action is both metaphorical and improbable in the real world, meaning the director's intent apparently was for an offbeat allegory. It does not accomplish this, since there really is no ultimate point, even if the viewer tries to insert one on their own.

One scene, for example, which is meant to have deep inferences, makes a big deal out of a guy drinking coffee. Hitchcockian tecniques such as close-ups and numerous different camera shots are used. But this director is no Hitchcock: it's awkwardly done and drags on forever. Worst of all: no substance to it.

A movie that is noteworthy for its level of failure only.
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5/10
Nothing Infallible About This Pope
bkoganbing25 February 2010
The Pope Of Greenwich Village is a film that absolutely I can't decide about. I love it for some of the acting, especially Eric Roberts as this hopelessly stupid schemer. But I'm not sure if the makers of this film intended it to be a comedy or a serious drama. It really falls somewhere in between and doesn't come up for air.

I also cannot believe Mickey Rourke's character. He seems intelligent enough, but how he can get involved with this cousin who is not only beyond stupid, but a liar and a con artist to boot?

This latest scheme that Roberts has is a real beauty. He's going to steal some money out of an easy to crack safe and bet it on a horse that he has a really good tip on. That's bad enough, but of course he doesn't tell his partners Kenneth McMillan and Rourke that not only does the money belong to the local Mafia head Burt Young. And it's to be used as police payoff money. So we've got crooks and crooked cops looking for the perpetrators.

The main reason to see The Pope Of Greenwich Village is Roberts. Because you cannot believe how anyone can lie and cheat and doublecross people and have lived as far as he has. Geraldine Page as the mother of a cop killed accidentally (yes accidentally) during the robbery got an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress, but the film such as it is belongs to Eric Roberts.

The film does have some nice location cinematography in Greenwich Village and Little Italy. This is not the Bohemian Village nor is it the Gay Mecca that it is now known for. This is the Greenwich Village that elected Carmine DiSapio, the last great boss of Tammany Hall as its Democratic leader. Little Italy has shrunk considerably, but it's still there.

But after you watch it, mesmerized as you are by Roberts, you'll be scratching your head wondering just exactly what did you see?
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6/10
A great movie
JasparLamarCrabb9 June 2007
Warning: Spoilers
SPOILER ALERT! Aside from COOL HAND Luke, this is the best film Stuart Rosenberg ever directed. Mickey Rourke and Eric Roberts are a couple of losers with big dreams (Rourke wants to open his own restaurant) who run afoul of both the mob and the law after committing a robbery in which crooked cop is accidentally killed. Rosenberg handles his actors very well with Rourke giving a particularly exceptional performance. His scenes with not only Roberts, but Daryl Hannah are terrific. Roberts, on the other hand, overacts a lot...taking his wacko role in STAR 80 and acting even creepier. He's not helped at all by the creepy perm he dons. You really can't ask for a better supporting cast: Kenneth MacMillan, Burt Young, and, best of all, Geraldine Page as the quintessential tough-as-nails, Irish/American mother. Her brief scenes are real showstoppers. She justly deserved her Oscar nomination!
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5/10
What a hilarious performance!
SnoopyStyle8 June 2015
Charlie (Mickey Rourke) is a slick restaurant manager who dreams of owning his own restaurant. His petty criminal cousin Paulie (Eric Roberts) is a waiter. The owner discovers Paulie stealing and fires both of them. Paulie has a scheme to break into a safe. He brings in locksmith Barney and a reluctant Charlie. A cop is killed in the heist. They steal $150k. Charlie is besides himself that Paulie kept the fact that the money belongs to mob boss Bed Bug Eddie (Burt Young) from him. Charlie's girlfriend (Daryl Hannah) tells him that she's pregnant.

Wow! What a performance! The DVD comes with supposed praises like "Explosively funny." (LA Times) and "high-voltage movie that produces tears of laughter" (NY Daily News). The problem is that the movie doesn't come with jokes. The unintentional hilarity all comes from the ridiculous over-the-top Eric Roberts performance. It is an incredible thing to behold and crazier than Al Pacino's Scarface. It almost comes off as a spoof of a gangster movie. One should see this to believe it. I almost didn't believe it.
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