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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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)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Barry Levinson wanted someone with a Grace Kelly appeal to play the role of Dubbie the Blonde. Model Carolyn Murphy was cast, although she was ironically dubbed "The Blond Haired Gene Tierney" by Elle. She auditioned for the role after her agent encouraged her to do so, and unlike many other models turned actresses, she was praised for her work. See more »

Goofs

James Brown in 1954/55 was not a headliner, and he didn't record and release "Please Please Please" with a great deal of planning - it was cut with a single mike in a very haphazard way. 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 The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse: Marty (1953) See more »

Soundtracks

Halloween Strip
Written by Kathleen Brennan & Tom Waits
Performed & Produced by Tom Waits
Courtesy of Epitaph Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Real story w/real people…
12 August 2002 | by (New Zealand) – See all my reviews

From time to time one comes across remarkable films like Liberty Heights where simple story is told in extraordinary manner. This film is about the Jewish Kurtzman family, but we follow the father and his two sons as three separate stories. Each one of them having their own struggle and challenges to face. What struck me as the most amazing part of the story was the easiness of it, how it flowed and gently tackled serious issues in the community of that time. It portrait itself in a realistic manner, where there were no real baddies or large showdown, just people going through life. The performance of the actors was brilliant, with Joe Mantegna (the father), showing once more what a talent he is. This film won't leave anyone untouched. 8/10


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