Review: ‘Popi’

Alan Arkin is cast as a Puerto Rican father, living in Spanish Harlem, whose fantastic plan to improve the lot of his two small sons backfires.

Alan Arkin is cast as a Puerto Rican father, living in Spanish Harlem, whose fantastic plan to improve the lot of his two small sons backfires.

Arkin is given too much free rein for his very personal style, and is sometimes guilty of working a scene, meant to be poignant or even dramatic, for a laugh, which he usually gets. The undecided mood of the film works against it for any lasting impression on the viewer.

The character played by Arkin is the little man vs the big odds and he does what he can with it but the story is too much for him.

Script is riddled with illogical loopholes, some of which, hopefully, will only be apparent to those familiar with the Spanish Harlem scene.

Moreno is dropped midway through the film, but makes a good impression while she’s on scene. If any viewer believes that Arkin would turn down such a doll, they’ll believe the rest of the story.

Popi

Production

United Artists. Director Arthur Hiller; Producer David B. Leonard; Screenplay Tina Pine, Lester Pine; Camera Andrew Laszlo; Editor Anthony Ciccolini; Music Dominic Frontiere; Art Director Robert Gundlach

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1969. Running time: 115 MIN.

With

Alan Arkin Rita Moreno Miguel Alejandro Ruben Figueroa John Harkins
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