Taking its title from a quoted-to-death line in ‘On The Water Front,’ Palookaville is the story of Jerry, Russ and Syd – three friends who feel so trapped in their no hoper jobs and one horse town that they decide to escape the rut by embarking on a life of crime, at one point using the1950 b-movie ‘Armored Car Robbery’ as their instruction manual.
Palookaville was directed by Alan Taylor who has since directed some impressive TV shows such as Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos and Deadwood. This genuinely charming and touching film was written by David Epstein who based the splendid screenplay on a story by Italo Calvino. Reminiscent in tone to early Bill Forsyth, especially That Sinking Feeling, or a downbeat Ealing Comedy, Palookaville is more than a little close to my heart. As far as I know, Epstein has written nothing since, which a shame.
William Forsyth, Vincent Gallo and even Frances McDormand are part of the wonderful cast, along with a cracking bunch of character actors who play a collection of quirky but painfully true characters.