Anti-Semitism, race relations, coming of age, and fathers and sons: in Baltimore from fall, 1954, to fall, 1955. Racial integration comes to the high school, TV is killing burlesque, and ... See full summary »
Janne, a 60 year old party promoter is arranging a nightclub at the annual tennis week in the small coastal town of Båstad, where he also teams up with his older sister Jackie. But an ... See full summary »
Colm is a Catholic and George is a poetry-loving Protestant. In Belfast in the 1980s, they could have been enemies, but instead they became business partners. After persuading a mad wig ... See full summary »
Jimmy Alto is an actor wannabe who stumbles into the role of a lifetime. He becomes a vigilante crime-fighter, aided by his sidekick William, who has suffered a head wound and has problems ... See full summary »
When Barry Levinson wrote the movie Diner, he created characters based on a composite of various guys he hung out with at the local diner. The Original Diner Guys documentary follows the ... See full summary »
The streetcar wreck scene was staged with a plywood replica of a Baltimore PCC streetcar, with assistance by Baltimore-area streetcar historians. The location of the "wreck" actually was on an original Baltimore streetcar route. See more »
When Baltimore's Bromo-Seltzer clock tower is shown at the movie's opening, that 1914 depiction omits the brightly-lit 51-foot tall blue Bromo-Seltzer bottle that had adorned the top of the tower from 1911 through 1936. Descriptions from the time period report the blue glow could be seen from miles around. The oversight is particularly notable because the film's concurrent narration mentions the city's bright lights. See more »
I came to America in 1914 - by way of Philadelphia. That's where I got off the boat. And then I came to Baltimore. It was the most beautiful place you ever seen in your life. There were lights everywhere! What lights they had! It was a celebration of lights! I thought they were for me, Sam, who was in America. Sam was in America! I didn't know what holiday it was, but there were lights. And I walked under them. The sky exploded, people cheered, there were fireworks! What a welcome ...
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The credits roll over a photograph of Avalon, which begins as a sharp color photograph, but fades into a worn black-and-white picture at the end. See more »
If you want a film that celebrates a way of life that's almost gone, that's well-acted in every department, and that gives you a major case of the warm fuzzies in a way the movies seem to have forgotten how to, Barry Levinson's "Avalon" is definitely it.
First, let's examine the cast: Armin Mueller-Stahl, Aidan Quinn, Elizabeth Perkins, Elijah Wood (some ten years pre-"LOTR"), Joan Plowright and Lou Jacobi ("Time to make the donuts!") all give fine, understated performances. Mueller-Stahl, in particular, is the sort of gentle, old-world grandfather anyone might have wished for.
But, as I said earlier, what this film is mainly about is a loving salute to a way of life that's almost gone. As a second generation American growing up in New York, what strikes me about "Avalon" is how real it all is, especially if you grew up in this era, as I did. Young Michael Kaye might have been myself in many ways. And a recent family reunion brought this feeling all back again.
A Wonderful, warm movie. See it!
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