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
Diane Ladd's daughter Laura Dern can be seen in the final diner scene - she is the little blonde girl with glasses sitting at the end of the counter eating an ice cream cone. As Dern would recall years later, it was after the 19th take - and exactly that many cones consumed - that director Martin Scorsese informed Ladd that if her daughter could do that without throwing up, she had to be an actress. 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 »
Mom, are we in Arizona yet?
If you ask me that one more time, I'm gonna beat you to death. Just sit back there and relax and enjoy life, huh?
Life is short.
So are you.
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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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