Sidewalk Stories (1989)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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A young artist living in New York, tries to make a living sketching passers-by on the street. He survives on his meager means and has found refuge in an abandoned building. One night, on the corner of a back alley, he finds a little girl whose father has just been murdered. While struggling to take care of her, he meets a young rich woman who immediately falls in love with this awkward couple. Twenty years before The Artist, Sidewalk Stories portrays the friendship of a tramp and a child, in a moving and funny homage to Chaplin's The Kid. Both witty and tender, Charles Lane's gorgeous black and white comedy pays tribute to the silent film era, as well as capturing the life of homeless New Yorkers.
Comedy , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Carlotta Films US

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Charles Lane
as Artist
Sandye Wilson
as Young Woman
Trula Hoosier
as Mother
Michael Baskin
as Doorman / Street Cop
George Riddick
as Street Partner
Tom Hoover
as Portrait Artist
Pier Robinson
as Park Mother
Olivia Sklar
as Librarian
Michael Luciano
as Detective Grasso
Bill Sage
as Carriage Couple
Ed Kershen
as Detective Brooks
Joseph Verhaus
as Cab Driver
Eric Payne
as Penny Pitcher
Ian Klapper
as Juggler
Herb Reynolds
as Ventriloquist
Mary Ann Orbe
as Park Mother
Jomo Wilson
as Magician
Jody O'Neil
as Customer No. 1
Angel Cappellino
as Bully's Mother
Robert Tuftee
as Carriage Driver
Frank John Trezza
as Kidnapper
Robin McWilliams
as Breakdancer
Tom Wallace
as Precinct Cop
Ellia English
as Bag Lady
Goma Sellman
as Fine Woman
Gerald Lane
as Shelter Director
Henry Steen
as Three-Card Monte Man
Chris Kapp
as Homeless Mother
Marcel Smith
as Jazz Quartet
Elizabeth Lesser
as Pregnant Park Mother
Joe Solomon
as Jazz Quartet
Jeffrey Carpentier
as Homeless Native American
Bobby Johnson
as Homeless Youth
Ben Schneeberg
as Homeless Raver
Luis Alberto García
as Homeless Spanish Speaker
Luis Garcia
as Homeless Spanish Speaker
Franklin Gordon
as Alley Tough
Nell Gutman
as Park Mother
Deena Engle
as Park Mother
Jimmy Clehessy
as Precinct Cop
Robert Clohessy
as Alley Tough
Edwin Anthony
as Penny Pitcher
Jan Leder
as Jazz Quartet
Bobby Howard
as Alley Tough
Raymond Jenkins
as Precinct Cop
Ronald Shannon Jackson
as Jazz Quartet
Lewis Jordan
as Penny Pitcher
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Critic Reviews for Sidewalk Stories

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (2)

Laughs, romance, and even something of an adventure flower in Lane's New York.

Full Review… | November 5, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

The interplay between Lane and his real-life daughter Nicole Alysia-who plays the foundling-is touchingly tender.

Full Review… | October 22, 2014
The Dissolve

Charles Lane's follies are enmeshed within bigger pictures of reality, reestablishing the film's thesis of comedy as a mode of survival.

Full Review… | November 4, 2013
Slant Magazine

This lively forgotten film, which says so much without speaking, is certainly worthy of DVD salvation. Criterion, are you listening?

Full Review… | November 8, 2009

Quote not available.

Full Review… | May 24, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sidewalk Stories

While there is rioting happening over a taxi on Wall Street, things are much more peaceful a couple miles north as a homeless street artist(Charles Lane, who also wrote and directed) plies his trade while waiting for the IFC Center to open. As he observes the world going by, he also witnesses a brutal murder in an alley. During which, he shields an infant girl(Nicole Alysia) from danger. First off, I applaud Charles Lane trying to do something different by doing something retro where he gives the homeless characters the only spoken words of "Sidewalk Stories." And I am always a sucker for views of a bygone New York City, in this case, from a movie made in 1989. However, there is also the sad irony of a film steeped in realism having a story, especially involving one incident, that does not really ring true at the same time.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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