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Alice's Restaurant (1969)

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



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

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


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Quinn ...
Alice (as Pat Quinn)
Pete Seeger
Lee Hays ...
Lee Hays
Michael McClanathan ...
Geoff Outlaw ...
Kathleen Dabney ...
Seth Allen ...
Monroe Arnold ...
Joseph Boley ...
Vinnette Carroll ...
Draft Clerk
Sylvia Davis ...


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


Every Generation Has A Story To Tell. See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

20 August 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El restaurante de Alicia  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Gross USA:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The real Alice Brock and Ray Brock appear as extras in the film. In the scene where "Ray" is putting up insulation, she is wearing a brown turtleneck and has her hair in a ponytail. In the Thanksgiving scene she wears a bright pink satin blouse. In the party scene she's wearing a Western-style dress. See more »


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


Arlo: What funny smell?
[covering up the weed box]
See more »


Featured in Arthur Penn (1995) See more »


Pastures of Plenty
Written by Woody Guthrie
Performed by Pete Seeger (uncredited) and Arlo Guthrie (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Watch it on its own terms
14 January 2002 | by 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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