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Liberty Heights (1999)

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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 »



2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvia's Father
Frania Rubinek ...
Annie the Stripper


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


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


Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



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Release Date:

31 December 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dometi slobode  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$95,247, 21 November 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,732,398, 2 April 2000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Film debut of Carolyn Murphy. See more »


When Nate goes to pick Ben up from Little Melvin the Key Bridge can be seen. The Key Bridge was not completed until 1977. See more »


Ben Kurtzman: You don't walk out on Sinatra, sir.
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I Got a Woman
Written & Performed by Ray Charles
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Wonderful Story About Segregation and Love
6 October 2003 | by See all my reviews

In Baltimore, 1954, the Kurtzman family is a Jewish family living in the area of Liberty Heights. Ben (Ben Foster) is a rebel teenager, who has a crush on his black friend Sylvia (Rebekah Johnson). His college brother Van falls in love with Dubbie (Carolyn Murphy – why this gorgeous actress has just this movie in her filmography?), a very problematic girl. He becomes friend of Trey Tobelseted (Justin Chambers), a young man from a very wealth family and boyfriend of Dubbie. Nate (the excellent Joe Mantegna) is the father, who lives from an illegal lottery of numbers. Nate loves his family and keeps them apart of his legal problems. Ada (Bebe Neuwirth) is the mother, who keeps the tradition of their family. Little Melvin (Orlando Jones) is a drug dealer, who wins a fortune of US$ 100,000 (in 1954) in Nate's lottery, raising a serious situation in the plot.

This movie is wonderful: the soundtrack, photography and costumes are marvelous. The story, about segregation of Jews and blacks and love between races, is very beautiful. The viewer will not be disappointed with this entertainment. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Ruas de Liberdade" ("Liberty Streets")

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