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The Pope of Greenwich Village is a 1984 Americanmarker film starring Mickey Rourke, Eric Roberts, Daryl Hannah, Geraldine Page, Kenneth McMillan and Burt Young. Page earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her two-scene role in the film. It was adapted by screenwriter Vincent Patrick from his novel of the same name. Stuart Rosenberg directed.


In the Italian section of New York's Greenwich Villagemarker, two cousins have expensive tastes but not much money. They are Charlie, a well-dressed maƮtre d' with aspirations of someday owning his own restaurant, and Paulie, a schemer who works in the same restaurant as a waiter.

Paulie gets caught skimming the checks, whereupon he and Charlie are both fired. Now out of work and in debt, Charlie must find another way to pay his alimony, support his pregnant girlfriend Diane (an aerobics instructor) and try to buy an available restaurant in the country.

Paulie goes to loan sharks to buy into a racehorse. He comes to Charlie with a can't-miss robbery, based on a tip, involving a large amount of cash stashed in the safe of a local business. Charlie reluctantly agrees to participate, and they do manage to crack the safe with help from an accomplice, 58-year-old Barney, a clock repairman and locksmith.

But things go sour, resulting in the accidental death of Bunky Ritter, a cop. Bunky has been secretly taping "Bedbug" Eddie Grant, a criminal who specializes in mutilating people who cross him. Charlie soon learns that Paulie neglected to mention that the money they took belongs to Bedbug Eddie.

The mob figures out that Paulie is involved and not even his Uncle Pete, part of Bedbug Eddie's crew, can help him. One of Paulie's thumbs is severed as punishment.

He gives the mob Barney's name but refuses to identify Charlie as the third man involved. And when Charlie makes $20,000 on a bet on Paulie's horse, things begin to look up.

Diane, however, leaves Charlie and takes his money to support their unborn child. And under pressure, Paulie is forced to work as a waiter for Bedbug Eddie and he eventually rats on his cousin.

Charlie prepares for a showdown with Bedbug Eddie, armed with a copy of the tape that the police officer secretly made. But at the moment of truth, Paulie puts lye in Bedbug Eddie's coffee. Then he and Charlie walk as fast as they can from Greenwich Village, bickering all the way.


Michael Cimino

There have been some discrepancies over the directing credits in The Pope of Greenwich Village. Although it is officially credited to Rosenberg, there have been differing accounts as to who directed what scenes. According to author Peter Biskind as well as Eric Roberts and Mickey Rourke, Michael Cimino was the original director but was fired in the middle of filming by the studio. Other accounts claim that Cimino directed a few scenes as a favor when Rosenberg suffered from influenza.

In an interview with John Kerwin, Roberts told a story about clashing with someone he referred to as "the original director" over Paulie's look. Roberts lost 30 pounds and grew his hair into a perm specifically for the role, imagining the character as a "momma's boy," while the original director thought Paulie was more of a street tough.

Because of this, Roberts said, the original director asked the actor to resign. This prompted Roberts and Rourke to call the producer, who eventually had the director replaced with Rosenberg before filming began. It is unclear if Roberts was talking about Cimino, since he never mentioned "the original director" by name in the interview.

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