Alice's Restaurant (1969)
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as Arlo Guthrie
as Alice Brock
as Ray Brock
as Roger Crowther
as Officer obie
as Lady Clerk
as lst Deconsecration Minister
as 2nd Deconsecration Minister
as Funeral Director
as Group W Sergeant
as 1st Cop
as Music Teacher
as 2nd Cop
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Critic Reviews for Alice's Restaurant
[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.
Audience Reviews for Alice's Restaurant
Very much of its decade, this sixties' iconoclastic film features the best of the folk era and also re-imagines a true story about the complications of morality in a Vietnam tinged landscape. The movie's premise is based on a true story from the life of lead character and guitarist Arlo Guthrie, who was arrested in 1964 for dumping in a ravine on Thanksgiving when the local dump was closed. His crime made him ineligible for service in Vietnam, which Guthrie found preposterous because the army's atrocities were much worse than his discretion. He wrote an 18-minute long song about the incident which became popular and led to this film being made. That gimmick sustains this in many people's minds as one of the more iconic films of the sixties because it speaks about the revolutionary spirit of that time, the atrocities of a war that would rage for another four years, and the free love attitudes of many young people at this time. Though many elements of the story were true, a large bit was fictionalized in order to stretch it to a longer runtime. Parts of this are entertaining, fluid, and show a lot about what made the sixties so important. Other times it becomes painfully clear that no one can act in this film, especially Arlo Guthrie. Each of these characters is painfully bland and the performances are very wooden. This film also can't decide whether it is a comedy or a dramatic biopic with leanings towards political revolution. This film is simply fueled by the paranoia and hatred from the war, and that last refrain in the song, and in this film, was very powerful and thought provoking. The problem is that the film is bogged down in extra bits that try to make it funny and strange, trying to build off the views of communes, flower power, and other sixties' staples when it accomplishes so much without it.
Yes it's an off beat off key kind of movie, but that's not always good. I thought this movie was pretty boring for the most part. Maybe that's because I'm not familiar with Guthrie's work outside of the film, but I think the movie could have been more cohesive and entertaining. Overall, it's okay, though.
One of those 'generational anthems' that's more endearing because it's a tad off key. Arlo Guthrie's semi-autobiographical homage to his father and his friends.
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