Martin Scorsese interviews his mother and father about their life in New York City and the family history back in Sicily. These are two people who have lived together for a long time and ... See full summary »
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
As is common in casting child actors, 'Alfred Lutter''s personality contained many of the characteristics the filmmakers sought for his character, Tommy. Martin Scorsese mentions (11:33 in the 53 minute selected scene commentary) that the pointless shoot-the-dog story was improvised into the script after a long van ride back from a location shoot during which Alfred incessantly repeated the story to Martin. Martin wanted to get that feeling of being a captive audience subject to the relentless retelling of the nonsense story into the film, so they improvised it into the script as Tommy repeating it to his mother and later to David. See more »
While David and Alice are arguing in the restaurant, the plate on the tray Alice is holding shifts from one side of the tray to the other, and back again between shots. See more »
[after Tommy, was being a smart aleck]
If you open your mouth, once more, I swear to God, I'm gonna nail it shut.
[Opens his mouth]
I'm warning you, Tommy. I'm gonna throw you out, and you're gonna walk the last mile home.
[Tommy makes, faces at his mother]
[Kicks Tommy, out of the car, and Alice drives away]
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I actually prefer this film to Mean Streets or Raging Bull. Ellen Burstyn was always a personal favorite and she is absolutely brilliant as Alice. This film bears no resemblance to the sitcom that would spin off from it. This is a textured, touching and humorous look at a woman's journey BACK towards independence. It is far superior and a much more mature film than, say, Thelma & Louise. If you're looking for female "empowerment" movies. Alice is reality. The fine cast also includes, Harvey Keitel and Diane Ladd. Both in fantastic performances. This is just a great movie and very overlooked. If you're getting into Scorsese, don't miss this one!
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