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Next Stop, Greenwich Village

4.4 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A stage-struck Jewish boy leaves his mother in 1950s Brooklyn. Directed by Paul Mazursky.

Amazon.com

Writer-director Paul Mazursky's transparently autobiographical Next Stop, Greenwich Village is a film of considerable charm and appeal. His alter ego in this case is Larry Lapinsky (Lenny Baker), an aspiring actor in his early twenties who leaves his Brooklyn home, kvetching mother (Shelley Winters), and hen-pecked pop (Mike Kellin) and moves to Greenwich Village, a few subway stops and several worlds away. This is the Village of the mid-'50s; Dylan and the folkies wouldn't take root there for years, and even the beat poet scene wasn't yet in full bloom. But it was the hippest place in town, filled with counter-culture artist types, and Larry, an aspiring actor, settles right in, hooking up with a gang of pals and a foxy girlfriend Sarah (Ellen Greene) almost immediately and then dealing with life's various triumphs and vicissitudes. Baker, who made only a couple more films before dying of cancer in 1982 (Greenwich Village was released in '76), is fine in the central role; an actor playing an actor, he has a field day with the rapid-fire repartee and shtick Mazursky writes for him (Greene would go on to play Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, but it's the young supporting actors, notably Chris Walken, Jeff Goldblum, and Lois Smith, who would have the more stellar careers). Overall, the film is smart and well-observed, with ample humor and warmth, along with an improvisational feel. It also tends to play very real, especially the scenes involving the two young lovers; only Winters's scenery-chewing Jewish stereotype gets tiresome. The sole bonus feature is a commentary track with Mazursky and Greene. --Sam Graham

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Lenny Baker, Shelley Winters, Ellen Greene, Lois Smith, Christopher Walken
  • Directors: Paul Mazursky
  • Writers: Paul Mazursky
  • Producers: Paul Mazursky, Anthony Ray
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: December 13, 2005
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000B7QCRW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #21,835 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Next Stop, Greenwich Village" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stanley H. Nemeth on July 21, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This early Paul Mazursky film could well be his finest achievement. Wonderfully mixing irony and affection, it examines bohemian New York in the 50's, its scenes generously filled with the assorted types - from fragile to vicious - who then flocked to Greenwich Village, seeking personal freedom and frequently a career in the arts. Mazursky's knowledge of that time and place is unerring; the pubs, the street life and the character types he presents are accurately, hilariously and, often, movingly drawn. From the frequenters of the San Remo to the Brando imitators at the Actor's Studio, he recreates the aspiring young people of a time long since gone but still fresh in the memories of some persons who were part of it.
A nostalgic invocation of the past, however, is not the film's sole or even chief strength. That honor goes instead to the amazing part of the actor hero's mother brilliantly portrayed by Shelley Winters, clearly in the role of her career. She is the Jewish Mother On Film for all time. Not just a stereotypical devotee of the classic formula - control guilt feelings and you control the child - she is also, surprisingly and freshly, herself a frustrated artist. When she weeps over the radio singing of Jussi Bjorling, vowing to hear him in person at the Met, or unconventionally jitterbugs, mad glint in her eye, with a black gay guy at a Greenwich Village party she crashes, we feel affection for her despite her cluelessness and manipulations. Hers is an unfulfilled life in Brooklyn, for she's bursting with an artist's energy which has no outlet. This becomes the ground of her aspiring actor son's and then our eventual respect and affection for her despite her meddling as the would-be power behind the son's throne. "Next Stop Greenwich Village," all told, is a film of considerable distinction, and it deserves to be far better known.
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Format: VHS Tape
It's hard to explain the lack of public response to this charming comedy in 1976. Perhaps because it was released when all cities, especially New York City, were having such hard times. Or maybe it was the casting of mostly unknowns that sank it.
For whatever reason, Paul Mazursky's NEXT STOP GREENWICH VILLAGE is a classic movie about youthful ambition, betrayal, tragedy, and never-ending surplus of hope. While most directors ultimately wind up knee-deep in schlock when making a movie about their youths, Mazursky keeps his focus on honesty. There's an integrity in his examination of these young characters, as they support and/or abuse each other in pursuit of their aspirations.
The performances are sparklers. The late Lenny Baker contributes just the right amounts of comedy, self-doubt and, ultimately, self-confidence the role demands. And, as others have mentioned, Shelley Winters is totally priceless! NEXT STOP GREENWICH VILLAGE should be your next purchase.
PS--When will the dvd version come out?
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Format: VHS Tape
This is an autobiographical film by Mazursky featuring young, then unknown New York actors like Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum, and Bill Murray, and it gives us one of Shelly Winter's best performances (it's unforgettable). Greenwich Village in the 50s, the Bohemian era with its cafes, rent parties, and blossoming sexual freedoms. Lenny Baker promised to be our own Jean-Paul Belmondo--he died young--and this is his best performance: sensible, yearning, funny, and blossoming with talent and ambition, he catches it perfectly. The remaining cast is surprisingly powerful, and the mood that Mazursky catches is memorable: freedom and youth, humor and youthful hypocrisy in an era cracking at the seams to reinvent the world and still have it all.
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Format: DVD
Next Stop, Greenwich Village was one of the smaller, gems of a movie, that came out in 1976, and for whatever reason was diffcult to find even on vhs (except for overly priced copies) for years, so I was happy to come across a copy of the dvd- which was a low-key dvd release. The quality of the dvd is great for such a bargain price. Set in the early 1950's, you forget that this a 30 yr old film, except when you see the much younger Chris Walken, Jeff Goldblum, and a brief glimpse of Bill Murray. Wonderful acting performances by the entire cast. Buy this dvd, sit back, and take the subway to the Village and you will be in for a real treat.
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Format: DVD
Poignant and supremely well-written & insightful film capturing a magical (somewhat 'mythical') time and 'scene' in 1950's Greenwich Village. It relates a compelling story of a struggling actor 'breaking-away' from conventional expectations and trying to make a mark in the creatively burgeoning world of NY theater & Arts, which was just starting to open-up to greater experimentation & realism in theatrical presentation, poetry, Music, etc. during that time (a little prior to Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, et al) - but that 'free-spirited' creative Ethos was definitely already in the air! (when I was in college in the Late nineteen Eighties, I discovered a highly enjoyable 'avocation' reading about this historically fascinating period of the early 'beat-poets' and other artistic experiments/adventures leading directly to the later 1960's 'folk' decade, and of course immensely enjoyed Listening to recordings of the brilliantly inspired/inspiring Music/poetry that originally emanated from that historical Greenwich Village scene*!)

But this authentically Great (but undervalued/ underappreciated) Film from Paul Mazursky at its 'heart' is really about that earlier 1950's period, and the burgeoning 'clash of cultures' and departure from conformity/ traditions, etc. (i.e. the main protagonist Larry Lipinsky = played by Lenny Baker = being raised in a more conservative Jewish traditionalist upbringing).

In this new world, Larry begins to discover and 'bond' with the quirky & irreverent cast of colorful characters, all seeking a Life more fulfilling, and more in-line with their highly creative dispositions! Some of these charismatically 'quirky' characters include Christopher Walken, Ellen Greene and Jeff Goldblum, to name a few!
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