The slivovitz (a.k.a. "block and fall") the immigrant brothers recall their father drinking ("he never drank water, only slivovitz") is a real type of high-proof Hungarian plum brandy or schnapps made with the same kind of plums that give Sloe Gin its flavor. Slivovitz is not a brand name, but a generic term for this type of drink, and a definition of it can be found in some dictionaries. 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 »
Although this film takes place 15 years before I was born, growing up in an ethnic family in the early 60's had changed very little.
My family is Greek, but this film will appeal to any ethnic group especially first or second generation Americans. Back then we all still gathered at one member's home for holidays and on Sundays. We all dressed up (and still do) for church and holiday gatherings. Watching little Elijah Wood with his bow tie reminded me of myself at that age.
Mr. Levinson through film, and Randy Newman through his haunting musical score did a magnificent job of recreating a world that has all but disappeared. A time when family was the center of our lives, children respected the adults and were expected to behave in a civilized manner, people didn't spend Sundays running all over town to football, soccer games etc, and the elder members of the family were revered instead of ignored or worse, placed in a home.
We, those of us in the post-war generation would to well to look at this film as a guideline for how to bring values back into our lives and realize that we all need to re-think our priorities.
If you want to relive your childhood for 2 1/2 hours laugh one minute and cry the next, I HIGHLY recommend this film
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