Alice's Restaurant (1969)
Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 15
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 5
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 4
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 1
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 3,576
Intrigued by the counterculture tale of Arlo Guthrie's epic 1968 talking-blues record The Alice's Restaurant Massacree, director Arthur Penn, co-scripting with playwright Venable Herndon, adapted the song into the 1969 feature Alice's Restaurant. Hippie outsider Arlo (Guthrie, playing himself) encounters suspicion from the straight world; visits his dying father, renowned leftist activist/singer Woody Guthrie (Joseph Boley), in the hospital along with friend Pete Seeger; and hangs out in the
Aug 20, 1969 Wide
Jan 23, 2001
MGM Home Entertainment
Pol. Chief William O...
lst Deconsecration M...
Rev. Dr. Pierce Midd...
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M. Emmet Walsh
Group W Sergeant
Eleanor D. Wilson
Judge James Hannon
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[Penn] has transformed a charming shaggy-dog story into a melancholy epitaph for an entire era.
Penn's genius overtakes the dropout romance, like a final post-bacchanal hangover that suggests liberation as an El Dorado dream.
There are occasional flashes of wry humor and some rib-tickling sequences. But they are all too few.
It's worth checking out for the marvelous look back at how the counterculture dropouts related to each other and to the straight older generation in the late 1960s.
To his credit, Penn refused to romanticize his subjects, and the film stands as a fairly accurate chronicle of the times.
Penn's strong sympathy with the outsider and anti-Establishment stance comes across in a film that appealed to those who could identify with this communal hippie haven, but now seems too naive and distant.
Inspired by Guthrie's ballad, Arthur Penn's film is a summation of the anti-establishment, anti-Vietnam War generation, clinging to the ideal of a collectivist life in a Stockbridge commune.
This is one of those time capsule films - for that it is important
Not nearly as good as everyone keeps telling you that it is.
The movie hasn't improved any over the years, but fortunately this version has Arlo Guthrie supplying commentary, making the DVD worth some historical value for '60s junkies.
In the end, the slap-dash narrative loses focus and credulity, particularly when the tale turns to the disintegrating relationship of Alice and Ray, and to an ill-developed subplot involving the ex-con drug addict Shelly.
...the film itself remains a pleasant, oddball, and highly diverting glimpse into one of the country's most confusing times.
Audience Reviews for Alice's Restaurant
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