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Liberty Heights (1999)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 5,360 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 63 user | 64 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

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 »

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Title: Liberty Heights (1999)

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Stars: Barry Levinson
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Charlie, Nate's Assistant
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Pete, Nate's Assistant
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Frania Rubinek ...
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Storyline

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 rock and roll is pushing the Four Lads off the Hit Parade. Ben, a high school senior, and his older brother Van are exploring "the other": in Ben's case, it's friendship with Sylvia, a Black student; with Van, it's a party in the WASP part of town and falling for a debutante, Dubbie. Sylvia gives Ben tickets to a James Brown concert; Dubbie invites Van to a motel: new worlds open. Meanwhile, their dad Nate, who runs a numbers game, loses big to a small-time pusher, Little Melvin; a partnership ensues. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You're only young once, but you remember forever.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for crude language and sex-related material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

17 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dometi slobode  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$95,247 (USA) (19 November 1999)

Gross:

$3,732,398 (USA) (31 March 2000)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Barry Levinson:  [Ralph Tabakin]  (Phil, Spotlight Man at the Gaitey) has appeared in every Levinson picture from Diner (1982) to Liberty Heights (1999). See more »

Goofs

In Nate Kurtzman's office, Little Melvin refers to someone as the "Pillsbury Jew-boy," a slur obviously derived from the Pillsbury Doughboy. But Pillsbury's famous advertising icon didn't appear until 1965. See more »

Quotes

Ada Kurtzman: How are the coloureds doing at school?
Ben Kurtzman: Okay, they're doing okay. They're getting better grades than I am. The girl's pretty attractive.
Ada Kurtzman: What?
Ben Kurtzman: ...She's attractive.
Ada Kurtzman: [angrily] Oh, just kill me now! Just kill me now!
Ben Kurtzman: What are you talking about...
Ada Kurtzman: What do you mean "she's attractive"?
Ben Kurtzman: Pretty.
Ada Kurtzman: Oh my God...
Ben Kurtzman: Mom, I said she was attractive, that doesn't necessarily mean I'm attracted to her!
See more »

Connections

References Marty (1955) See more »

Soundtracks

Teach Me Tonight
Written by Sammy Cahn & Gene de Paul
Performed by Jo Stafford
Courtesy of Corinthian Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Reality at its Best
4 December 2002 | by (Houston, Texas) – See all my reviews

This movie is sort of like the concept of the TV show Seinfeld-- it's about nothing. By this I don't mean that it lacks substance, in fact, it has plenty, but I mean rather that it does not involve an intense plot line. It's more like a series of snapshots taken out of one family's album, like a brief recording of one year in their lives. It's as if these people were real, simply going about their lives in their times, and we got to peek in on them, and it is acted in just that way. I think it's very true to director Barry Levinson's vision, a vision that is clear upon viewing his other films that he includes with Liberty Heights as his "Baltimore" films. These include Diner, Avalon, and Tin Men. Because this is not the typical problem arises-conflict ensues-climax is reached-conclusion is found film, Levinson shows us that these people's lives were a series of ups and downs, joys and losses, that summarize American middle-class youth in all ages in history. There connections between the different walks of life and the idea of growing up and discovering diversity around you is what makes this film universal and beautiful, all without handing you morals and themes on a silver platter. This film takes a wonderfully objective viewpoint that allows you to make meaning of it rather than spelling it out for you.


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