7.1/10
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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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Sylvia's Father
Frania Rubinek ...
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Scribbles
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Annie the Stripper
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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 »

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Details

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Release Date:

31 December 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dometi slobode  »

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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

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to 'Barry Levinson', this film came out of a derogatory comment about Dustin Hoffman's character in Sphere (1998). The critic's comment got Levinson thinking about his experiences growing up in Baltimore, and Liberty Heights was born. See more »

Goofs

Movie was set in 1954 yet there is a 1957 Buick parked outside the synagogue. See more »

Quotes

Ben Kurtzman: By the way, where's the jawbone of the ass?
Ada Kurtzman: What?
Ben Kurtzman: The jawbone of the ass, where is it?
Grandma Rose: Is he crazy? What kind of talk is this?
Van Kurtzman: [walks in] Your ass does not have a jawbone.
Ben Kurtzman: Well, Samson slew the Philistines with the jawbone of an ass!
Ada Kurtzman: Not your ass, an animal!
Ben Kurtzman: [shocked] There's an animal called an "ass"?
Grandma Rose: [frowning] Such a mouth...
Ben Kurtzman: Look, I loved 'Samson and Delilah'. I hope they bring that movie back.
[...]
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Connections

References The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse: Marty (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Sh-Boom (Life Could Be a Dream)
Written by James Keyes, Carl Feaster, Claude Feaster, Floyd McRae & James Edwards (as James W. Edwards)
Performed by The Crew Cuts (as Crew-Cuts)
Courtesy of Mercury Records
By Arrangement with Universal Music Special Markets
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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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