Despite admitting that she was scared of him in her never-ending quest to please him, thirty-five year old housewife and mother Alice Hyatt is devastated when her husband Donald is killed in an on the job traffic accident. With few job skills except that as a singer, Alice, along with her precocious eleven year old son Tommy, decides to move from their current home in Socorro, New Mexico to her home town of Monterrey, California, the only place she has ever felt happy. She plans on getting singing gigs along the way to earn money to get back to Monterrey by the end of the summer and the start of Tommy's school year. Alice's quest for a job at each stop leaves Tommy often to fend for himself, which may make Tommy even more precocious. His behavior is fostered by Alice, as their relationship is often more as trouble-making friends than mother and son. Alice's plans often do not end up as she envisions, especially as she is forced to take a waitressing job at Mel and Ruby's Diner in ... Written by
When Alice and her son leave in their station wagon for Arizona, the rear view mirror is removed during close-ups of Alice and Tommy together shot through the windshield (56:53-58:14 and 59:33-59:35). See more »
[to Alice, disparaging David's style of music]
Shit-kicking! shit-kicking! shit-kicking!
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I loved this movie when I saw it in its initial release - after "The Exorcist", I thought Ellen Burstyn ruled the world. This movie is still good today, has many interesting and funny characters. There are touches that suggest director Martin Scorsese was still getting familiar with actors and camera movement - when Alice cries at an audition in a bar, and goes to another bar because they have a piano..its Marty all the way. Harvey Keitel & Jodie Foster are in the movie in small parts; maybe they were having their own audition - for "Taxi Driver". Diane Ladd is very funny as filthy-mouthed Flo, but Ellen Burstyn is fantastic in the part that won her an Oscar against some pretty stiff competition - Faye Dunaway in "Chinatown" among them - and she holds the movie together.
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