At first glance, GONE WITH THE POPE is a human-heist film about three goombahs kidnapping His Holiness and demanding a $1 ransom from every Catholic on earth. Pretty damn brilliant. But beneath that, it’s an impossibly compelling low-budget vanity project from notorious writer/director/actor/composer/real-life nightclub entertainer Duke Mitchell, who fills every single scene with the sort of fearless flawed humanity that you rarely see on film or anywhere else. Mitchell didn’t consider himself an artist — and definitely not a gentleman — but his sincerity and devotion to his own singular vision will keep you nailed to the screen.
Tragically, Mitchell passed away before his ‘70s masterpiece could be cut together and released. BUT… decades later, the materials were rescued by Grindhouse Releasing’s co-founder, Academy Award-winning editor Bob Murawski (THE HURT LOCKER), who painstakingly assembled and completed the project. GONE WITH THE POPE finally decimated audiences a full 35 years after its production. And it’s still ahead of its time. Powerful, personal, wholly unique and 1000003% insane. (Zack Carlson)
“POPE‘s expression of unbridled id and cultural insensitivity isn’t politically correct, but as an unadulterated personal vision, it’s fascinating. The opposite of a Hollywood player, Mitchell could only make GONE WITH THE POPE if he paid his own way — which afforded him the opportunity to make his own rules.” - Karina Longworth, The Village Voice
Content Warning: GONE WITH THE POPE contains coarse dialogue on the topics of religion, race and gender, as well as a scene of several half-naked old men fumbling with a lady in a motel room.