This picture featured a number of scenes with Baltimore Transit Co. 7407, the only original Baltimore PCC streetcar that is still complete and in running condition. It was built by Pullman-Standard in 1944, and was the last PCC to run on the streets of Baltimore, on November 3, 1963. It was purchased by a Mr. John Engelman and presented to the Museum. It has since undergone two restorations; the second was performed in the old Carroll Park shops by the Maryland MTA and had been completed when Barry Levinson filmed "Avalon", which used 7407 for some night scenes and interior shots, but he had a wooden rubber-tired PCC replica built for the scenes on Baltimore streets, including the derailment scene. The replica was thereafter donated to the museum. See more »
Although the beginning of the picture is set in the late 1940s, the Christmas song "Silver Bells" is heard on Jules' car radio, sung by Bing Crosby. That version of the song was released in 1950. 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 »
Levinson does a spectacular job in showing us the life of a man and his family after coming to America and the different ways his offspring grows up. This film also shows how values have changed from the time that Sam was a young man to when his son Jules was in the workforce (the father, Sam was a wallpaper hanger eking out a meager existence and his son, Jules was a well to do salesperson with a country club membership). The father (Sam) could not understand why his son wanted to golf or why golfing was necessary at one point in the movie. It also dealt with the issue of the family eventually moving to the suburbs and how Jules' mother commented that she could not any longer take the streetcar when they lived in the suburbs. This film also shows us how television has changed the face of America. For example, Thanksgiving in an earlier part of the movie was spent at a dinner table, before the television was invented, and after the family has television, Thanksgiving dinner was spent in front of the TV.
Not bad performance acting wise by the cast the cinematography is also spectacular especially when Sam arrives in America on July 4th, 1916.
Barry you have done a great job of reminding us that what makes this a great country is fact that we should never forget our families, our traditions or where we come from.
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