Nunzio Film Details
Overview: Protected by his brother, a mentally impaired Brooklynite pretends he’s Superman and becomes a hero.
Tagline: You’ll Feel So Good After You See Nunzio
Review: ****SPOILERS**** Forgotten little movie set in what looks like the Blythbourne-Boro Park section of Brooklyn about a child-like young man Nunzio, David Proval,working as a delivery boy at Angelo’s, Joe Spineli, grocery store. Nunzio has a Superman fixation that’s so far out of hand that he made himself a make-shift Superman costume that he wears while delivering groceries. Nunzio also puts on a pair of fake glasses as if he has a secret identity like Clark Kent. Liked by the local pre-high school kids in the neighborhood who Nunzio plays stick-ball with but he’s constantly harassed and tormented by a gang of local bullies who make life unbearable for the poor man. The bullies trying to trip him up on his delivery bike and even stealing the groceries that he’s delivering has Nunzio’s older brother Jamesie, James Andronica, take matters into his own hands.Jamesie puts the troublemakers into line with a couple of well placed kicks and swings. Nunzio isn’t weak, he’s much stronger then Jamesie, but he’s a quite and meek young man who helps his mother Mrs. Sabatino, Morgana King, around the house and works like an ox at the store to make the few dollars to make things better at home by helping to pay the bills, it seems that Nunzio’s father had passed away and his mom is a widow. Nunzio also seems to feel bad about his brother Jamesie always having to defend him against the local tough guys where he can, if he wanted to, really do a number on them. Yet he’s so harmless and non-violent that he can’t even lift a finger to fight back so he takes every rock and insult that they throw at him. Nunzio also has a crush on Michelle, Tovah Feldshuh, a pretty and sweet girl who works at the local neighborhood bakery. One afternoon when he runs, or drives with his delivery bike, into her he uncontrollably lets out his feeling that he has by telling Michelle that he loves her. Michelle is both flattered and surprised at hearing this from the love-sick Nunzio. Sadly Michelle tells him that when you tell someone that you love them it means a lot more than just being friendly. It also breaks Nunzio’s heart for him to find out, almost at once, that Michelle is married and has a little girl. Michelle in her very understanding way tries to make Nunzio realize that love is not a word that you just throw around lightly. She practically apologizes to him that she’s not single by saying almost in tears “Please Nunzio don’t hate me for this”. After that incident Nunzio starts to get more and more detached from reality and more and more hooked on his Superman fetish to the point where he wouldn’t take tips from the people that he delivered the groceries too saying that “Superman doesn’t take tips”. Nunzio one afternoon delivers a box of groceries to Maryann, Theresa Saldana, who’s mother is away at work. Maryann then playfully seduces him to the point that it makes Nunzio feel guilty and hurt just like he felt when the local toughs, who Maryann hangs around with, made fun and abused him. Maryanns in her manipulating him by doing what she did was more for hurting Nunzio then for loving or liking him. It then when Nunzio starts to go off the deep end and doesn’t even come to work at Angelo’s grocery store anymore. This has his brother and mom feel that he may very well need psychiatric help or even be put away in an institution before he ends up getting killed or even killing himself. One evening Nunzio just about had it with his life and packed up his meager belongings in a suitcase and left home going to who knows where. Hurt and alone Nunzio runs into local neighborhood bullies who made his life hell. It’s them where destiny in it’s own strange and peculiar way both intervened and before the night was over Nunzio wasn’t Superman just only to himself but to the entire city of New York. David Proval is wonderful as the quite and likable and in the end heroic man-child Nunzio giving a once in a lifetime performance that was worthy of an Academy Award.Proval was every bit as Nunzio good as the role of Lennie played by Lon Chaney Jr. in “Of Men and Mice”. Without the tragic ending in that film. The heart-lifting as well as heart-stopping final in “Nunzio” is admittedly a bit contrived and predictable but the movie wouldn’t be human if it didn’t end any other way then the way that it did. Both James Andronica and Tovah Feldshuh were both warm and touching as Nunzio’s protective brother and the object of his affection as well as Morgana King as Nunzio’s and Jamesie’s long suffering mother. Joe Spineli and Theresa Saldana were very good in their parts as Nunzio’s boss and the girl who drove him almost to the point of insanity. “Nunzio” is the kind of movie that you just can’t help loving because it’s title character is both so likable as well as tragic at the same time. Not that the movie lacks a happy ending. The story about a simple but noble man has been done in dozens of movies over the years but I honestly have to say that in all the movies I’ve seen about that same type of person none were ever as moving as well as poignant as “Nunzio”.
Duration: 85 min
Also known as: Nunzio,The Eagle Flies