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Alice's Restaurant (1969)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  20 August 1969 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 2,933 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 23 critic

A cinematic adaption of Arlo Guthrie's classic song story.

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Writers:

(song), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Alice's Restaurant (1969)

Alice's Restaurant (1969) on IMDb 6.3/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Patricia Quinn ...
Alice Brock (as Pat Quinn)
...
Ray Brock
...
Himself
Lee Hays ...
Himself - Reverend at Evangelical Meeting
Michael McClanathan ...
Shelly
Geoff Outlaw ...
Roger Crowther
...
Mari-chan
Kathleen Dabney ...
Karin
William Obanhein ...
Himself - Officer Obie
Seth Allen ...
Evangelist
Monroe Arnold ...
Blueglass
Joseph Boley ...
Vinnette Carroll ...
Draft Clerk
Sylvia Davis ...
Marjorie Guthrie
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Storyline

Arlo Guthrie's song is converted into a motion picture. Arlo goes to see Alice for Thanksgivng and as a favor takes her trash to the dump. When the dump is closed, he drops it on top of another pile of garbage at the bottom of a ravine. When the local sheriff finds out a major manhunt begins. Arlo manages to survive the courtroom experience but it haunts him when he is to be inducted into the army via the draft. The movie follows the song with Arlo's voice over as both music and narration. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Where the heads of all nations meet See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El restaurante de Alicia  »

Box Office

Gross:

$6,300,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

After discovering that the character "Officer Obie" was modeled after him, actual Stockbridge (Massachusetts) Sheriff William Obanhein demanded that he play the role himself. His reason: "If anyone is going to make a fool out of me, it might as well be me!" See more »

Goofs

Arlo and Roger drive to the police station in Arlo's van, whereupon they immediately get arrested. However, after Alice bails them out, they ride away in the back of Alice's car, prompting the question, what happened to the van? See more »

Quotes

Arlo Guthrie: Obie, when do we get our bread and water?
Officer Obie: Shut up, kid.
See more »

Connections

Featured in 100 Years of Comedy (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Boiling Cabbage Down
  • traditional (uncredited)



Performed by James Broderick
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Watch it on its own terms
14 January 2002 | by (Melbourne, Australia) – See all my reviews

This movie is generally not highly regarded. Criticisms refer to the lack of plot or "aimlessness" and draw unfavourable comparisons with the song.

It is hardly ever appropriate to criticise a film by comparing it with the source from which it is derived. The film is a work in its own right, and it is no criticism to say that it is not like something else. There is no reason why a comic song should not be used as the basis for a tragic movie. The only such comparison that has any validity is one which uses the source work as a basis for demonstrating how a weakness in the derived work could have been avoided; or conversely, one which contrasts a virtue in the derived work with a corresponding deficiency in the source work.

On its own terms, "Alice's Restaurant" succeeds very well as a movie. The song on which it is based does no more than provide a sequence of events around which the movie is constructed. It is not a narrative; it is a portrait of a particular time and a particular section of American society. It meanders, but it is never tedious; there is always something interesting to see on the screen. It demonstrates how that section of society, or the representatives of it with whom the film is concerned, although rejecting many of the rules by which American society has historically been governed, nevertheless accepts that society's basic values and cannot avoid the consequences of the rejection of some of the rules. It is not a great movie, but it is a very good one.

I rate it as about 7.5 out of 10. The film that I find most similar to it is the French film "Round Midnight"; not because of its subject-matter, but because of its dreamy, unhurried mood.


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