7.1/10
5,899
64 user 64 critic

Liberty Heights (1999)

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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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Yussel
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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

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Release Date:

31 December 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)
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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

During the part of the film which was set in October/November, 1954, the trees had way too many green leaves on them for Baltimore at that time of the year. 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!
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Connections

References Texaco Star Theatre (1948) See more »

Soundtracks

I Feel That Old Feeling Coming On
Written by Nas Pondle Knox & Nafloyd Scott
Performed by James Brown
Courtesy of Polydor Records
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Nostalgia, many plot threads and evocative
9 June 2001 | by (Toronto, Canada) – See all my reviews

This movie is challenging on many levels and best of all is it does not insult the viewer's intelligence with pat plot lines and easy resolutions. It is very much a slice of life movie and provokes serious thought about growing up and the meaning of prejudice and racial barriers. It is a lovely film and I have resolved to see some other efforts from Barry Levinson as his is a rare talent. He lovingly captures Baltimore in the fifties in all its facets of neighbourhoods, the cast is stellar, not a false note among them, the music is wonderful and all the plot lines come together. I felt sad that it was over, I found myself quite involved with the characters who were multi dimensional with teasing snippets of background as in the disturbed Dubbie saying to Van she did not like spending time with her father and his boyfriend. And Sylvia's family being black and wealthiest by far than the others and she was following her mother and grandmother into a Black College so she could preserve the continuance. 8 out of 10. Recommended.


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