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Two Bits

4.3 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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(May 24, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Award-winning actor Al Pacino (Righteous Kill) stars in this heartwarming, critically-acclaimed motion picture about a boy, his grandfather and the lucky quarter that brings them together. Gennaro is a youngster who'll do anything to earn Two Bits, a quarter, to get into the brand-new neighborhood theatre. It's a magical place where dreams come true. But after a day of unforgettable adventures, he finds that his pockets are still empty...until his mischievous Grandpa (Pacino) offers him an intriguing bargain.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Jerry Barone
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG-13
    Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • Studio: Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: May 24, 2011
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004SUDQ1S
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #146,858 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 5, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
I saw this movie on cable recently, and was very much taken with it. I had never seen it before, but I would like to watch it again with my children. The way it simultaneously portrays the perspectives of 3 generations, and their own imperatives, is beautiful. The camera work is wonderful, as is the soundtrack. This film also portrays very compellingly the pressures people were under during the great American depression, which helped me understand my parents much more than these WWII movies everybody is so excited about. I liked those when I was an adolescent though. I will purchase this when it is available on DVD. (I will only purchase VHS in very exceptional circumstances now, DVD being the far superior format.)
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
You rarely ever come across such films, and those films which are very rare to see or hear are the best ones. I am a fan of Al Pacino and I was really very happy to see him in a totally different role. A heartwarming, excellent performence by Pacino. So was Jerry Barrone who played the role of Pacino's grandson. Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio did her part very well indeed. A very interesting film, a heartwarming drama that will touch your heart, specially the wonderfull chemistry between the grandfather and his grandson and the beautifull Scenario of Italy in the 1930's. The film will make you smile and shed tears too. A film you would love to see on a calm and quiet afternoon or on a rainy day. If you like intense films, good drama, this is a must for your collection.
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By A Customer on September 25, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Sometimes the very best movies are those you never hear about. I never knew about this movie until it came out on video. A different kind of role for Pacino - low key and though he isn't actually on screen for that long, he's very effective in the role of the young hero's Italian grandfather (He's certainly come full circle from the Godfather movies). EXCELLENT MOVIE - A GEM!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This film is a touching coming-of-age drama set in 1930s Philadelphia, being based on a memoir of that time period. Alec Baldwin provides the thoughtful narration framing this tale of a young boy searching for an elusive 25 cents to see a show at the brand-new movie palace opening in his neighborhood. But this little independent film is far more involving in its execution than this generic summary suggests. The boy lives with his single mom (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and ailing grandfather (Al Pacino) in an Italian-American immigrant family and his adventures in pursuing the money are as entertaining as they are episodic. What sets this film apart is the pitch-perfect depth of emotion in the relationships between characters. Rather than being a postmodern caricature of this time period, or descending into cartoonish humor as American movies often do when depicting immigrant families, the film depicts this particular family in such a realistic heartfelt way that it feels like you're looking in on your own relatives. In particular, it reminds you of the love that a grandfather can share with his grandchildren, and how important that relationship (quickly fading in our modern culture) can be in the life of a young child. The film's style is sincere and uplifting without being forced, mature without being prurient, and deeply moving without being melodramatic. Pacino gives an understated and authentic performance as the Italian immigrant grandfather that is rare compared to some of his more scenery-chewing roles. Mastrantonio makes a quiet, caring, and passionate mother to young Jerry Barone who plays the lead character to perfection. I don't know how widely this film was released in 1995, or why it's been forgotten, but I highly recommend it to anyone who likes good drama.
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Format: DVD
"Two Bits" (1995) is directed by James Foley (Glengarry Glen Ross, Perfect Stranger). This gentle film that takes place in the Recession during 1933 is about a boy who is trying to raise two bits (a quarter) so that he can see a movie in the new movie theatre that is being advertised in the neighbourhood. His grandfather (Al Pacino) offers to give his grandson the quarter, but only if he dies. The boy decides that he can't wait for however long that might take so he takes matters into his own hands and tries to earn the money from various sources. Along the way we meet various individuals from the boy's neighbourhood. This idyllic film, seen from a child's point of view, portrays life as if it were a marvellous carnival, even in a time when people had little money, when the opening of a new movie theatre could enchant a child.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I purchased this movie for my Mom who loves it. It's a great story, with a great performance from Al Pacino, and all of the supporting cast. It really does have a nice message about the importance of family and the things that really matter.
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Format: DVD
Here is a nice, low-key film which features appealing storytelling. There are no good guys vs. bad guys, no action, no blood, no sex: just a story of a day back in the Depression era in South Philadelphia. It also looks very good on this widescreen DVD.

The story centers around a young boy "Gennero" (Jerry Barone) trying to raise "two bits" (25 cents) to see a movie. It features his dying grandfather, played nicely by Al Pacino. Along the way the 12-year-old encounters interesting people and events.

Some have criticized Pacino for taking this role. I guess they want him to be a cop in every film. Well, he's a great actor and shows his diversified talents well in here. Whatever.....this film is loaded with charm and a nice story that's like a good book: hard to put down once you start.

At 84 minutes, it doesn't overstay its welcome, either. Even though there is little profanity, I'm not sure I would recommend this as family fare because the film touches on a sexually-disturbing doctor and his wife.
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