Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976)

Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976)

“I’m a grown man — I’m not a little boy anymore!”

In 1950s New York, aspiring actor Larry Lapinsky (Lenny Baker) leaves his father (Mike Kellin) and overbearing mother (Shelley Winters) to go live in Greenwich Village, where he works for a deli owner (Lou Jacobi) and spends time with his girlfriend (Ellen Greene) and circle of bohemian friends — including Connie (Dori Brenner), Bernstein (Antonio Fargas), Anita (Lois Smith), and Robert (Chrisopher Walken).

Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:

  • Actors and Actresses
  • Aspiring Stars
  • Christopher Walken Films
  • Coming of Age
  • Historical Dramas
  • Jeff Goldblum Films
  • Lois Smith Films
  • New York City
  • Paul Mazursky Films

Response to Peary’s Review:
As Peary writes, in this “seriocomic autobiographical piece” “writer-director Paul Mazursky takes us back to 1953,” where we follow the travails of a young man hoping “to make it as an actor in Greenwich Village.” Larry “has troubles with his girlfriend”:

… “falls in with a group of young eccentrics”:

… “and tries repeatedly “to break free from his grasping, often hysterical Jewish mother (Shelley Winters), whose goals in life seem to be to stock her son’s refrigerator and make him feel guilty.”

Peary points out that “not everything works” in this film — for instance, “talented Baker is not always appealing”:

… “but Mazursky beautifully creates a fifties ambience, populates his film with real characters, effectively blends humor and tragic elements,” and “has included several stunning scenes.”

He notes that his “favorite moment has Winters, who has been hysterical throughout, sitting in her son’s apartment and, like a sweet schoolgirl with a crush on a singer, tearfully listening to an opera record” — at which “point we can perceive the beauty and depth of emotion in this woman.”

He argues that this “film would work double-billed with Carl Reiner’s 1967 memory piece Enter Laughing, in which Winters played a Jewish mother to another aspiring actor” — but I recommend this film over that one. Particularly noteworthy in Mazursky’s screenplay is the complexity of Larry’s relationship with his lover, played with depth and zest by Greene (of Little Shop of Horrors fame). Film lovers will also appreciate seeing a few well-known actors in supporting roles — including Christopher Walken as a seamy lothario:

… Jeff Goldblum as a fellow aspiring actor:

… Antonio Vargas as a Black gay friend with a Jewish name:

… and Lois Smith as a young bipolar woman the group regularly cares for.

Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments:

  • Ellen Greene as Sarah
  • Lenny Baker as Larry Lapinsky
  • Shelley Winters as Larry’s mom
  • Fine period sets and costumes
  • Arthur Ornitz’s cinematography
  • Bill Conti’s jazzy score

Must See?
Yes, as a good show, and for Greene’s performance.


  • Good Show
  • Noteworthy Performance


One thought on “Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976)

  1. Rewatch (5/31/21). Not must-see. Even a somewhat-better Mazursky film isn’t necessarily a good one. But, in its favor, this one has a fine sense of period design.

    There is a certain earnestness in Mazursky’s depiction of his early life as an actor but not a whole lot of depth. I kept thinking that most of the real-life characters filtered here may have had more layers to them (and more interesting things to say) in real-life.

    Even if she is a bit OTT at times (as is often the case), Winters is allowed some moments to shine. And Fargas stands out in a small capacity as a gay ‘trailblazer’.

    This film was released around the time that I moved to NYC. I have vivid memories of what Greenwich Village was like – in all its vivid splendor (before it slowly began to disappear completely) – and, fortunately, the film manages to capture something of the flavor of that period (one that seemed to creatively grow steadily from post-WWII and that reached its high point in the ’70s). But I also remember Greenwich Village as being a lot more fun than this film would have you believe – or maybe it’s that it was particularly more fun for gay people (at least post-Stonewall).

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