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Russell Crowe at beer-and-popcorn Vatican screening of new film

On Monday (17 October), the Vatican treated its new police force recruits as well as Swiss Guard members to beer, popcorn and a discussion about The Greatest Beer Run Ever. The meeting with Russell Crowe, one its stars, followed.

Crowe was visiting Rome to attend the Rome Film Festival. Crowe stopped by the Vatican’s small projection room (which holds 50 people) to greet the audience at two screenings.

The film is set in New York City in 1967, Vietnam. Based on John “Chickie” Donohue’s true story, Donohue sent beer cans from his local watering holes to Vietnam to cheer up Vietnam veterans.

Crowe plays Arthur Coates, a hard drinking war photographer, and Zac Efron portrays Donohue. Bill Murray plays the role of a World War Two vet, who runs Inwood Bar.


The Vatican event was organized by Father Andrew Small, a Vatican official who works for the Commission for the Protection of Minors. He also made an appearance as a neighboring priest.

Small stated that he felt a kinship with the men at the Vatican who protect ours. He thought inviting them and their friends along to a movie was the best thing to do when you want to be friendly.

The film’s background is American drinking buddies and deep divisions within families.


Donohue also had a rosary that his neighbor mother was carrying to send her son in Vietnam. But Donohue killed him before he could find it.

Small visited Pope Francis’ home nearby while the film was being projected. A number of rosaries were blessed by him and presented to the audience.

Crowe was allowed to visit St. Peter’s Basilica where he was able to see Michelangelo’s Pieta. Crowe was also permitted to go behind the bulletproof glass that seals off a side chapel.

This story has been updated with Donohue’s spelling and not Donahue.

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