Review of John Paul by Jag:
I finally received a copy of "John Paul II", a.k.a., "The Pope" and watched it yesterday. Although the movie is listed as being a 1984 film, the copyright date is 1983. There is a *very* young looking Valentine Pelka in it -- although he was 27 at the time, he looks like a teenager -- which is what he is playing. His character's name is -- and I *am* spelling it correctly -- "Bogulslaw Banas". He plays one of Karol Wojtyla (the young pope-to-be)'s school chums in Poland during a time shortly before Hitler invaded the country in 1939. Because Pope JP II will be played by Albert Finney, the young Karol had to be played by someone who physically resembled Albert -- otherwise, I think VP should have had that part instead.
In any case, VP's screen time is minimal -- approximately 5 minutes out of a 147 minute film. But, we get to see him playing soccer, graduating from school, serving beer to his friends, and -- in his best scene -- imitating the town's constable while he holds the gun he found in his father's store (the gun accidentally discharges, and we get to see VP looking wide-eyed and very vulnerable *thunk*). Unfortunately, VP disappears after that as Karol leaves his little village and goes on to bigger and better things.
Because of VP's minimal screen time, I would not recommend buying the tape unless you are also a history buff (very interesting depiction of the suffering of the Polish people at the hands of the Germans and then the Russians), or you are of Polish extraction (like my ex-hubbie and kids are), or you are an Albert Finney fan (Albert was brilliant!). On the plus side, you do get to see a young and very drooliscious VP -- if only for a short time!