Gone With The Pope/Fun Facts

From The Grindhouse Cinema Database

< Gone With The Pope
  • Originally shot in 1976. Was not finished until 2009.
  • The film premiered on 12 March 2010 in the Hollywood Egyptian's Theatre.
  • The film negative and unfinished cut work print were discovered in Mitchell's parking garage several years after his death.
  • Although some have mistakenly thought this to be a sequel to Massacre Mafia Style, it's a completely unrelated story.
  • Was inspired by a real incident Duke Mitchell read about in a Newspaper.
  • The film was was assembled into a rough cut, but Mitchell ran out of funding and was unable to finish it.
  • The original rough cut ran close to 3 hours long. Bob Murawski and Sage Stallone went through the rough cut and all the available outtake footage to assemble the new version which is considerably much shorter. Murawski stated most of the footage left out was excess dialogue not important to the film and badly effected the comic pacing.
  • Reassembling the film was a challenge because there was no existing script. They had to use scenes written out in notebooks, on pieces of paper, and even on envelopes and cocktail napkins. Another challenge was that 5 reels of the rough cut were missing and never found (reels 9-13). They had to go through the negatives to find missing material.
  • The new version of the film took 15 years to complete.
  • Although finished in 2009, the trailer for the film was made in 1999. This was done to create awareness of the film since no one had ever heard of it.
  • The instrumental music in the trailer is Duke Mitchell's. The guitar music is his son Jeff's. The movie features music by Frankie Carr & the Novelites.
  • Originally titled "Kiss The Ring". It was renamed "Gone With The Pope" by Grindhouse Releasing (The Film's distributor).
  • Discovered when Bob Murawski, Bill Lustig, and Sage Stallone met with Jeff Mitchell to discuss re-releasing Massacre Mafia Style (AKA The Executioner). Jeff told them he didn't know about that movies print, but his father had an unfinished film lying around if they wanted it.
  • Shot for around $35,000, Less then Mitchell's previous film The Executioner (which was shot for around $50,000).
  • Due to the lack of script and the loose plot, Murawski has stated "I think he was just coming up with ideas for scenes, and shooting as he went along."
  • Shot using almost exclusively 35mm short ends. The Rome part was shot by a 4th unit crew.
  • Jeffrey Mitchell has joked that despite the Christian themes in his father's movies, the only time he was religious was while on small planes having engine problems.
  • Restoring the sound was a problem particularly because Duke Mitchell fired his sound guy so he wouldn't have to pay him. This made the Director of Photography Peter Santoro in charge of cameras and microphones.
  • Filming began in November 1975 and finished in January 1976. It was only shot on weekends.
  • In order to raise money, Mitchell was constantly giving donors bit parts in the film and writing new scenes to include them. He also used his connections from being a crooner to secure locations in Las Vegas and California.
  • The boat used for most of the film was borrowed from Duke's friend in promise of profits from the film which never materialized.
  • The film makers requested a meeting with the Pope to discuss the validity of his kidnapping scenes in person. The Pope's people refused. This aspect of requesting a meeting with the Pope was used in the film.
  • In 2010, the same year this film was distributed, an actual plot to kidnap Pope Benedict XVI was foiled in London.
  • Grindhouse Database Newsletter
  • Exploitation books
  • Kung fu movies
  • Giallo BluRay