MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 15 this week

Avalon (1990)

 -  Drama  -  5 October 1990 (USA)
7.3
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.3/10 from 4,229 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 20 critic

A Polish-Jewish family comes to the USA at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. There, the family and their children try to make themselves a better future in the so-called promised land.

Director:

Writer:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 30 Oct 2011
 
a list of 46 titles
created 12 Feb 2012
 
a list of 34 titles
created 07 Jun 2012
 
list image
a list of 29 titles
created 03 Mar 2013
 
a list of 42 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Avalon (1990)

Avalon (1990) on IMDb 7.3/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Avalon.
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Awakenings (1990)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The victims of an encephalitis epidemic many years ago have been catatonic ever since, but now a new drug offers the prospect of reviving them.

Director: Penny Marshall
Stars: Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, Julie Kavner
Rain Man (1988)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country.

Director: Barry Levinson
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise, Valeria Golino
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.

Director: James Foley
Stars: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Director: Robert Redford
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The life and trials of a young African American woman.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey
Sling Blade (1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town.

Director: Billy Bob Thornton
Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Dwight Yoakam, J.T. Walsh
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Upon admittance to a mental institution, a brash rebel rallies the patients to take on the oppressive head nurse.

Director: Milos Forman
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Two fly-fishing sons of a Presbyterian minister--one reserved, one rebellious--grow up in rural Montana.

Director: Robert Redford
Stars: Craig Sheffer, Brad Pitt, Tom Skerritt
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A group of 1950s high schoolers come of age in a bleak, isolated, atrophied West Texas town that is slowly dying, both economically and culturally.

Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd
All About Eve (1950)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

An ingenue insinuates herself in to the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The loons are back again on Golden Pond and so are Norman Thayer, a retired professor, and Ethel who have had a summer cottage there since early in their marriage. This summer their ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Rydell
Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leo Fuchs ...
Hymie Krichinsky
...
Dottie Kirk
Lou Jacobi ...
Gabriel Krichinsky
...
Sam Krichinsky
...
Ann Kaye
...
Eva Krichinsky
...
Izzy Kirk
...
Jules Kaye
Israel Rubinek ...
Nathan Krichinsky
...
Michael Kaye
Grant Gelt ...
Teddy Kirk
Mindy Loren Isenstein ...
Shifra Lerer ...
Nellie Krichinsky
Mina Bern ...
Alice Krichinsky
Frania Rubinek ...
Faye Krichinsky
Edit

Storyline

A Polish-Jewish family arrives in the US at the beginning of the century and they and their children try to build themselves a better future in the promised land. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Three generations of family. They shared a dream called America in a place called Avalon.

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

5 October 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avalon  »

Box Office

Gross:

$15,740,796 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Armin Mueller-Stahl (who plays Sam Krichinsky) has hazel eyes, while the actor playing him as a younger man (Michael Krauss) has brown eyes. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Sam Krichinsky: 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 ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Connections

Features Captain Video, Master of the Stratosphere (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

You Go to My Head
Music by J. Fred Coots
Lyrics by Haven Gillespie
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A very fine drama, good plot and story (Solid 7 of 10)
21 July 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

On paper, writer-director Barry Levinson's semi-autobiographical Avalon, which begins with the arrival of Polish Jew Sam Krichinsky (Armin Mueller- Stahl) in the Avalon area of Baltimore, Md., on July 4, 1914, and ends when he is in his dotage on another July 4 sometime in the sixties, is an intellectually crystalline epic about the demise of the extended family, the erosion of traditional American and European values, the growth of alienated suburban culture (organized around television) and the hegemony of materialism.

That's on paper. On screen, Avalon is unconscionably sloppy (the leaves of deciduous trees in Baltimore at Christmas are green on one block, yellow on another and non-existent on a third), structurally amorphous (the movie could end at any time or go on forever, which it seems to do), and gummily sentimental (grandparents and children are psychologically saintly). The lovely moments and fine performances in the picture can't redeem Levinson's technical carelessness - the editing is without rhythm, momentum, or even logic - nor can they compensate for Avalon's ethnographic toothlessness: imagine Mordecai Richler without the bite.

Levinson would have made Duddy Kravitz a mensch.

Avalon is more irritating than most ambitious failures because Levinson, winner of the best directing Oscar in 1988 for Rain Man, is wildly talented, and his two earlier semi-autobiographical films set in Baltimore, Diner and Tin Men, were twin peaks of Proustian purity. Structured lightly but soundly, in the esthetic version of aluminum, they vaulted over the twin valleys of bathos, sentimentality and nostalgia.

Avalon is a bridge made of lead.

But students of performance will want to see it for a quartet of reasons. The first is Armin Mueller-Stahl, the East German actor who came West in the late seventies and has not been within spitting distance of mediocrity since, whether as the tortured politician in Rainer Werner Fassbinder's Lola, the complex farmer in Angry Harvest or Jessica Lange's mysterious father in Music Box. As written, Avalon's Sam Krichinsky is fundamentally a grandchild's adoring projection of a grandfather, but Mueller-Stahl's Prussian blue eyes bespeak more depth than the character is permitted to articulate; when the script does become bluntly pedantic, Mueller-Stahl subtly softens the blows. Sadly, even this great actor is done in at the end when he is plastered with outrageously inept old-age makeup. He looks like nothing less than a blue-eyed, Teutonic E.T. about to sing a geriatric variation of Cabaret's Nazi hymn, Tomorrow Belongs to Me: Yesterday Vas Mine.

The second extraordinary actor is Joan Plowright, the British widow of Laurence Olivier; she plays Eva Krichinsky, Sam's Polish-American wife, with a flawless accent, as if she had not done Shakespeare, Chekhov, John Osborne or Peter Greenaway, all of whom she has, of course, enlivened. But technique aside, she follows Mueller-Stahl in toughening up the soft edges and in softening the rough edges of a character verging on caricature; while certainly Jewish, her meddling mother-cum-grandmother is no stage- bound Jewish mother.

The most fully dramatized conflict in Avalon involves the grandparents and their relationship to their son Jules and his wife Ann (and eventually to the young couple's children), all of whom live together. Aidan Quinn, as the cautious and contemplative Jules, and Elizabeth Perkins, as the fun-loving but responsible Ann, complete the foursome of exceptional performances: he infuses an introvert with exterior life and she captures the spirit of femininity in the fifties with eerie exactitude, as if Life had come to life (it's an asset that she looks like the Judy Garland of that period).

Four fabulous musicians, less than fabulous music for them to play: the resonant sequences (an on-going Thanksgiving argument, for example) are regularly intercut with comic schtick, the most egregious instance being the purchase of a television set - would people interested enough in TV to buy one not know that during the day there were no programs? The purchasers sit in front of the box, watch the test pattern, get disgusted, and leave it to the kids. It's a funny bit, but it's fraudulent, and it corrodes Avalon, which is trying to do something new, with the stuff of deja-vu. There are two lines delivered by Eva that express the irritation Avalon engenders: "How many times do we have to hear this story? We all heard it before." Benjamin MIller, Filmbay Editor


2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Invisible Jews nitzpitz
Television as a Metaphor gaucho54-1
My Favorite Movie lvcelluloid
Baltimore bookworm8307
Notice the diner being installed youngnehamkin
Why 'Avalon' ? honguito-2
Discuss Avalon (1990) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?