6.3/10
3,309
39 user 21 critic

Alice's Restaurant (1969)

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

Director:

Writers:

(song), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Four Friends (1981)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This story of four working-class kids in a small industrial town--who go their separate ways after high school in the innocence of 1961 and come together again at the end of the turbulent ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Craig Wasson, Jodi Thelen, Michael Huddleston
Mickey One (1965)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

After incurring the wrath of the mob, a comic flees Detroit for Chicago taking the name "Mickey One" from a stolen Social Security card from a homeless bum he witnesses being beaten up and ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Warren Beatty, Alexandra Stewart, Hurd Hatfield
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After his employer is murdered by rival cattlemen, a troubled and uneducated young cowboy vows revenge on the murderers,

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Paul Newman, Lita Milan, John Dehner
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Penn & Teller enjoy playing jokes on each other. When Penn says on an interview show that he wishes he has someone threatening his life so that he "wouldn't sweat the small stuff," each of ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Penn Jillette, Teller, Caitlin Clarke
Target (1985)
Action | Adventure | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Chris Lloyd does NOT get along with his father Walter. Walter is too careful, cautious, and boring to Chris, and never tries anything new, and Chris had to live by the same standards when ... See full summary »

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Gene Hackman, Matt Dillon, Gayle Hunnicutt
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A fledgling actress is lured to a remote mansion for a screen-test, soon discovering she is actually a prisoner in the middle of a blackmail plot.

Director: Arthur Penn
Stars: Mary Steenburgen, Roddy McDowall, Jan Rubes
Edit

Cast

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

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:

Every Generation Has A Story To Tell. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 August 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El restaurante de Alicia  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

It is said that the song "Alice's Restaurant" is as long as the length of tape erased from the President'Richard M. Nixon' Watergate tapes; 18:34. See more »

Goofs

The narration speaks of 27 8x10 color glossy photos, yet all the 8x10's shown are black and white. See more »

Quotes

Officer Obie: Want your wallets and your belts. Put everything on the desk.
Arlo Guthrie: I can understand you wanting our wallets, so we don't have any money to spend in the cell, but what do you want our belts for?
Officer Obie: Kid, we don't want any hanging.
Arlo Guthrie: [pause] Obie, do you think we're gonna hang ourselves for littering?
See more »


Soundtracks

Pastures Of Plenty
Written by Woody Guthrie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Uneven mix of comedy and drama in late 60's time capsule.
15 October 2002 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

I had all but forgotten about the film of "Alice's Restaurant", which was inspired by (as opposed to based on) Arlo Guthrie's classic and comic song of the same name. Viewing it again on DVD made for a curious experience.

Midway through the film, director Arthur Penn (fresh off of "Bonnie and Clyde", I believe) literally shoots the events on which the song is based, and they are if anything even more amusing on screen than on record. However, anyone expecting the film itself to reflect this tone overall is in for a surprise.

By the time Arlo (playing himself) has his litter-inspired run-in with the draft board (which is, again, hilarious) we have come to know him as one of a commune-like group of people in Stockbridge which is more or less centered around Alice and Ray. The two live unconventionally with their friends in an unused Church. Alice seeks to add some stability to her life by opening a restaurant, which she does successfully with the help of friend Arlo's jingle. She and Arlo are the only members of their group who look beyond the aimless lifestyle of the members of their commune, who are content to meander through life riding motorcycles and getting stoned. We see Alice affected by the drug-inspired struggle and death of addict Shelley and Arlo affected by the long illness and eventual death of his father, Woody Guthrie. Perhaps their emotional connections to their lost loved ones are what clue them in to the shallowness of the lives around them. But if Arlo has his music to move on to, Alice is fairly glued to her life with the stoned-out Ray, their friends and her restaurant. It is with great sadness indeed that she watches Arlo ride off to resume his life on the road.

The point made about the trappings of the Hippie lifestyle being so unfulfilling are well ahead of their time when juxtaposed with other movies of the era and are actually quite haunting. The problem is that they make the wonderful recapping of the events surrounding Arlo's writing of the song seem out of place. This shift in tone is never quite reconciled by director Penn, rendering the film more of a curiosity than a success.

In addition to the now-fabled Thanksgiving sequence, highlights include James Broderick's lively performance as Ray, Pat Quinn's understated one as Alice and Guthrie's ever present charm and humor. It is also a wonderful bonus to see Arlo perform his father's "Pastures of Plenty" and "Car Song" with the wonderful Pete Seeger. (That's folk music producer Harold Leventhal as Woody's manager.) The film itself is ultimately as ramshackle as the group whose story it tells, but if the era means anything to you you will find it worth watching.


32 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
who sang the Joni Mitchell song at the funeral terr-bo
What does massacree mean? musicmaninmass
Alice's Restaurant and stuff copac
Joni Mitchell's song TKCandy
Alice Brock pete2141
What kind of car was it? operation_orchid
Discuss Alice's Restaurant (1969) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?