6.6/10
2,314
13 user 25 critic

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

Learn more

More Like This 

Kill the Poor (2003)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

When a marriage of convenience becomes the real thing, Joe moves his pregnant French wife to a tenement building on New York's Lower East Side. The street is like a war zone with none of ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Taylor
Stars: Clara Bellar, Jon Budinoff, Heather Burns
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

During Napoleon's exile on St. Helena, some loyalists hire a look-alike to swap places with the deposed Emperor. While the impostor lives in luxury on the island, the real Napoleon returns to Paris in order to retake the throne.

Director: Alan Taylor
Stars: Ian Holm, Iben Hjejle, Tim McInnerny
Johnny 316 (1998)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The impossible love story between a preacher and a beautiful woman.

Director: Erick Ifergan
Stars: Vincent Gallo, Nina Brosh, Seymour Cassel
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A young, naive Hollywood studio assistant finally turns the tables on his incredibly abusive producer boss.

Director: George Huang
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Frank Whaley, Michelle Forbes
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

Crime scene photographer, Johnny Scardino (aka Johnny Skidmarks), is working on the side for a group of blackmailers, photographing wealthy guys in seedy motels with prostitutes. One such ... See full summary »

Director: John Raffo
Stars: Peter Gallagher, Frances McDormand, John Lithgow
Passed Away (1992)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A bunch of eccentric relatives gather for their patriarch's funeral.

Director: Charlie Peters
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Jack Warden, William Petersen
Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This is the story of a young Irish woman who comes to Spain to escape from the pressures she feels about her impending marriage to a political activist in Ireland. But in Spain in the 1930'... See full summary »

Director: Nick Hamm
Stars: Polly Walker, Vincent Perez, Franco Nero
Doc's Kingdom (1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Doc lives on the edge of Europe where it imperceptibly slides over into the Third World. As a doctor, he knows that the illness he has contracted ten years before in war-torn Africa is ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Kramer
Stars: Paul McIsaac, Vincent Gallo, Ruy Furtado
The Way It Is (1985)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A group of actors in the East Village of New York City have been rehearsing for a play when the lead actress in the play turns up dead.

Director: Eric Mitchell
Stars: Kai Eric, Boris Major, Vincent Gallo
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A group of crooks, an ex con, his friend and a gun crazy gangster plan a drug heist, but not everything goes as planned.

Director: Kiefer Sutherland
Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Kim Dickens, Vincent Gallo
Always (1989)
Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The spirit of a recently deceased expert pilot mentors a newer pilot while watching him fall in love with the girlfriend that he left behind.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, Brad Johnson
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A burglar holds a knife to Karen's throat while her husband does nothing. The couple ends befriending the cop that comes. The friendship ends when the cop beats up the culprit. Karen isn't ready to end it. Things get ugly with the cop.

Director: Jonathan Kaplan
Stars: Kurt Russell, Ray Liotta, Madeleine Stowe
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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 »

Edit

Box Office

Gross USA:

$365,284

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$365,284
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The title comes from Marlon Brando's monologue in On the Waterfront (1954) See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

References Big Deal on Madonna Street (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Lovin' You
Written by Rudolph Riperton and Kimiko Kasai
Courtesy of Dickiebird Music and Publishing Co.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Slight but well written and well acted
26 April 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

In New Jersey three friends are out of work and out of prospects for improvement. Their first attempt at crime fails when they break into a bakery they mistake for the back of a jewellers shop. Russell's brother in law is a cop who knows that he is up to no good, however Russell still wants the trio to do one reasonable job to help them onto their feet. The next step is the robbery of an armoured car. However, are they bad at being bad or just to good to be bad.

There have been quite a few films that make comedy of inept criminals, however this film is more than that. Rather than being figures of fun, these are good people without much hope who resort to crime in rather amateur way, for example to help plan their job they hire a 1950's crime thriller called `Armoured Car Robbery' from the video store. There are no pratfalls or physical humour but instead gentle stuff that is amusing.

The title comes from the line in On The Waterfront in which Marlon Brando bemoans his failure as a fighter as a `one-way ticket to Palookaville' or being a loser. The three men of the title are losers, but they are good, likeable people in difficult situations. Happily the film allows us into their lives so that they are not just `inept criminals' caricatures. The dialogue is involving but also snappy and witty. The strong cast help this enormously. Gallo is really good in the lead and the actual moment when he realises that he may be in a tough spot but he is not a bad person is really quite touching. Forsythe is good and wears his sensitive side well on his sleeve. Trese has the most difficult character – the danger would be he becomes the `drama' side of the film, but he handles it well with good support from his on-screen wife Hamilton. The support cast of family and lovers all are really believable characters, although the film really belongs to the lead three.

Overall I suspect many will find this slight and not as funny as they expected. However I found it a well written (sharp yet real dialogue) with respect for it's characters – finding humour in their situations and approach rather than making them comedy characters. Add this to some well pitched performances and it makes for a film that does what it sets out to do and does it better than many of it's ilk.


7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 13 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed