Sweet Liberty (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sweet Liberty (1986)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Alan Alda wrote, directed, and starred in this satirical film about the corruption of the film industry's approach to history. Alda plays Michael Burgess, a college professor who has written a historical novel about the American Revolution. The book has been turned into a script, and a Hollywood film crew descends on his North Carolina hometown to make the movie. Predictably, the director and actors make a mess of his concept, and Burgess becomes frustrated as the town is turned upside down. Desperately, he tries to salvage his concept with some last-minute script changes. To make things more complicated, Burgess falls in love with the glamorous female lead in the film, Faith Healy (Michelle Pfeiffer). Meanwhile, his long-time girlfriend, Gretchen (Lise Hilboldt) is pressuring him to get married. The film's male star, Elliott James (Michael Caine), finally shows up in town and becomes Burgess's rival for Faith's affections. Silent film star Lillian Gish appears as Burgess's smother.
  • Rating:
    PG (adult situations/language, nudity)
  • Genre:
  • Directed By:
  • Written By:
  • In Theaters:
  • On DVD:
  • Runtime:
  • Studio:
    MCA Universal Home Video


Alan Alda
as Michael Burgess
Michael Caine
as Elliott James
Michelle Pfeiffer
as Faith Healy
Bob Hoskins
as Stanley Gould
Lise Hilboldt
as Gretchen Carlsen
Lillian Gish
as Cecelia Burgess
Saul Rubinek
as Bo Hodges
Anthony Alda
as Film Crew Member
Antony Alda
as Film Crew Member
Alvin Alexis
as Male Student
Cynthia Burr
as Asst. Camera
Bryan Clark
as Gov. Swayze
Bonnie Deroski
as Female Student
Michael Flanagan
as Frank Stirling
David Gideon
as Camera Operator
Katherine Gowan
as TV Interviewer
Terry Hinz
as FX Man
John Leonidas
as Teamster
William Parry
as Teamster
Christopher Loomis
as Cinematographer
Polly Rowles
as Mrs. Delvechio
Fred Sanders
as Soundman
Eric Steven Stahl
as Hotel Clerk
Richard Whiting
as Johnny Delvechio
Robert Zarem
as Publicist
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Critic Reviews for Sweet Liberty

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (1)

OK light comedy, directed by and starring Alan Alda, about filming of movie in small town.

February 22, 2008

free-wheeling and enjoyable

April 18, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

A sweet, funny comedy about the perils of being a writer and making a movie. An underrated charmer.

December 15, 2003
KFOR Channel 4 News

"featherweight farce, performed agreeably"

July 29, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

Audience Reviews for Sweet Liberty

Charming film. Feather light, and shallow as hell, but its' sunny disposition makes it hard to resist Alda stars and directs this movie about the problems a professor / writer faces when his beloved book about a woman living during the Revolutionary War, is transformed into a movie. As the movie company takes over his small New England town at the start of summer, Alda soon realizes the cruel and sometimes silly compromises he is forced to make to appease the filmmakers. Wonderful supporting cast headed by a luminous Michelle Pfieffer, that Alda falls for as the embodiment of his wartime heroine, but soon realizes she also is a facade Bob Hoskins brings high energy as the Hollywood scribe who Alda fights with over every word and scene change. And old pro Michael Caine, as a womanizing cocky lead actor, could of been a cliche, but he brings delight and nuance to the role. The end of the movie is bittersweet. The summer is over and the film company is packing up and leaving the small town, and we, and Alda soon realize, despite all the grief and misadventure, we will miss them. For me, that's always the sign of an enjoyable movie. ....

Del Taco
Del Taco

Pretty consistenly amusing, although pretty light too. Lillian Gish is clearly having a good time in her small role, and the last 10 minutes or so are really hilarious. Also Bob Hoskins. This movie could have used a bit of a punch-up with the script or maybe about 10 minutes trimmed from it to quicken the pace a little bit. I did enjoy myself though.

Matt Kendrick
Matt Kendrick

what a cute movie with a young Michelle Pfeiffer, Michael Caine, Alan Alda, and Lillian Gish. This movie was written, directed and starring Alan Alda whom did a good job. Alda is a writer who's book is being turned into a movie with Caine and Pfeiffer. This movie shows what a Hollywood crew can do to a little town while filming...it is too crazy.

Mason Williams
Mason Williams

Super Reviewer

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