IMDb > Liberty Heights (1999)
Liberty Heights
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Liberty Heights (1999) More at IMDbPro »

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Liberty Heights -- 1950s Baltimore -- a period of great change with issues of race, religion and class distinction causing turmoil between two generations of a Jewish family.
Liberty Heights -- US Home Video Trailer from Warner Bros.


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Writer (WGA):
Barry Levinson (written by)
View company contact information for Liberty Heights on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
31 December 1999 (USA) See more »
You're only young once, but you remember forever.
Anti-Semitism, race relations, coming of age, and fathers and sons: in Baltimore from fall, 1954, to fall... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Wonderful Liberty Heights, Another Best for 1999 See more (64 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Adrien Brody ... Van Kurtzman

Ben Foster ... Ben Kurtzman

Orlando Jones ... Little Melvin

Bebe Neuwirth ... Ada Kurtzman

Joe Mantegna ... Nate Kurtzman

Rebekah Johnson ... Sylvia

David Krumholtz ... Yussel

Richard Kline ... Charlie, Nate's Assistant

Vincent Guastaferro ... Pete, Nate's Assistant

Justin Chambers ... Trey Tobelseted

Carolyn Murphy ... Dubbie the Blonde

James Pickens Jr. ... Sylvia's Father
Frania Rubinek ... Grandma Rose

Anthony Anderson ... Scribbles

Kiersten Warren ... Annie the Stripper

Evan Neumann ... Sheldon (as Evan Neuman)

Kevin Sussman ... Alan Joseph Zuckerman
Gerry Rosenthal ... Murray

Charley Scalies ... Louie

Shane West ... Ted

Cloie Wyatt Taylor ... Gail

Susan Duvall ... Teacher #2
Carlton J. Smith ... James Brown at the Royal (as Carlton Smith)

Elizabeth Ann Bennett ... Mary
Ellyn O'Connell ... Anne Whittier

Doug Roberts ... Assistant D.A.

Al Brown ... Bailiff
Kenny Raskin ... Burlesque Comic
Peter Wilkes ... Butler
Kimberlee Suerth ... Buxom Nurse
Mary Lynn Ray ... Woman in Court #1

Marty Lodge ... Defense Attorney

Gideon Jacobs ... Ben Kurtzman - Age 8
Jan Austell ... Judge
Timothy J. Scanlin Jr. ... Nick
Ralph Tabakin ... Phil, Spotlight Man at the Gaitey
Shelley Stokes ... Box Office Attendant
Patsy Grady Abrams ... Woman in Court #2
Jay Hillmer ... Matt
Stan Brandorff ... Morris

Katie Finneran ... Mrs. Johnson
Kate Kiley ... Nurse

Jake Hoffman ... Turk
Joseph Patrick Abel ... Lenny
Sekiya Billman ... Halloween Stripper

Brenda Russell ... Singer
Barry Black ... Cantor
Dennis N. Math ... Rabbi (as Rabbi Dennis N. Math)
Judith Knight Young ... Teacher #1 - 1944
Stephen Williams ... Wilbert Mosely
Ty Robbins ... Sylvia's Mother
Emily Chamberlain ... Ben's Teacher
Christian T. Dockins ... Flame
Kenny Pitt ... Flame
Zahmu Sankofa ... Flame

Paul Majors ... Party Fight Guy
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Matthew Bowerman ... Student - Orthodox Worshipper (uncredited)

Misha Collins ... Guy (uncredited)

Christina DeRosa ... Student (uncredited)

Jacques Derosena ... Thug Member (uncredited)

Dawn Douglas ... Concert Goer (uncredited)
Joe Gerety ... FBI Agent #2 (uncredited)

Art Hall ... Youth in Synagogue (uncredited)
Cathy Hurley ... Prarie Girl / Ice Skater (uncredited)
Pete Karas ... Graduation Goer (uncredited)

Stacy Keibler ... Extra (uncredited)
Michael Luckeroth ... Gym Teacher (uncredited)
John Martineau ... Party goer (uncredited)

Matt Nicholas ... Partygoer (uncredited)
Carolyn Rawleigh ... Pedestrian (uncredited)

Norm Rebadow ... Father (uncredited)

Eric Alan Wendell ... Synagogue Member (uncredited)

Directed by
Barry Levinson 
Writing credits
Barry Levinson (written by)

Produced by
Michael Haley .... associate producer
Barry Levinson .... producer
Patrick McCormick .... executive producer
Amy Solan .... associate producer
Paula Weinstein .... producer
Original Music by
Andrea Morricone 
Cinematography by
Christopher Doyle  (as Chris Doyle)
Film Editing by
Stu Linder 
Casting by
Ellen Chenoweth 
Production Design by
Vincent Peranio 
Art Direction by
Alan E. Muraoka 
Set Decoration by
William A. Cimino 
Costume Design by
Gloria Gresham 
Makeup Department
Eileen Barrett .... hair stylist
Gina W. Bateman .... makeup artist (as Gina Wilgis Bateman)
Betty Beebe .... key makeup artist
Sherri Bramlett .... hair stylist
Cheryl 'Pickles' Kinion .... second makeup (as Cheryl Kinion)
John Quaglia .... key hair stylist
Patricia Regan .... makeup artist: Ms. Neuwirth (as Patricia Reagan)
Production Management
Blair Daily .... post-production supervisor
Lenny Vullo .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Robert C. Albertell .... second assistant director (as Robert Albertell)
Michael Haley .... first assistant director
Eric Henriquez .... second second assistant director
Art Department
Genevieve Abate .... props supplier
Randy Bobbitt .... art department coordinator
Alfred J. Caragay .... greensperson
William Catania .... set dresser
F. Dale Davis .... head set dresser
Michael Davis .... construction coordinator (as Michael E. Davis)
Lisa Dietrich .... set dresser
Susanna Glattly .... scenic artist
Kristina Kilpe .... assistant property master
Jay Klein .... lead man
Ted Lubonovich II .... propmaker
Ted Nolan .... prop maker
Willy Richardson .... painter
Rob Simons .... assistant art director (as Rob Simmons)
Jeff Stacy .... key set dresser
Sammy Steward .... greens
Jay Stump .... greens
Thomas Turnbull .... construction foreman (as Tom Turnbull)
Lorraine Walker .... property master
Steve Walker .... property master
Elizabeth Weber .... on-set dresser (as Liz Weber)
Billy Crush .... assistant picture car coordinator (uncredited)
Joseph E. Stone .... supplier (uncredited)
Sound Department
Steve Cantamessa .... sound mixer
Tony Eckert .... foley mixer
Dan Engstrom .... assistant dialogue editor
Sue Fox .... adr editor
J.R. Grubbs .... sound effects editor
Lora Hirschberg .... sound re-recording mixer (as Lora Hirshberg)
Tim Holland .... supervising sound editor
Tom Johnson .... sound re-recording mixer
Scott La Rue .... cable person (as Scott LaRue)
Mary Helen Leasman .... foley editor
Cheryl Nardi .... assistant dialogue editor
Tim Nielsen .... supervising assistant sound editor
Claire Sanfilippo .... dialogue editor (as Claire Sanfillippo)
Steve Slanec .... assistant adr editor
Gary Thomas .... boom operator
Dennie Thorpe .... foley artist
Dave Tinsley .... assistant sound engineer
Jana Vance .... foley artist
Marshall Winn .... dialogue editor
Jennifer Barin .... sound re-recordist (uncredited)
Sean Landeros .... machine room operator (uncredited)
Special Effects by
Michael Bird .... special effects coordinator
Thomas Fife .... special effects (as Tom Fiffe)
Dave Gerlach .... special effects (as David Gerlach)
Douglas Retzler .... special effects coordinator
Visual Effects by
Jeffrey Castel De Oro .... digital compositor
Phil Holland .... scanning & recording operator
Douglas Smith .... visual effects supervisor
Brandon Craig .... render coordinator (uncredited)
Betsy Paterson .... 2D supervisor: Rhythm & Hues (uncredited)
Craig Seitz .... digital effects compositor: Rhythm & Hues (uncredited)
G.A. Aguilar .... stunts (as George Aguilar)
Peter Epstein .... stunts
Sean Kelly .... stunts
Chris O'Hara .... stunt performer
Conrad E. Palmisano .... stunt coordinator (as Conrad Palmisano)
Shawnna Thibodeau .... stunt performer
Camera and Electrical Department
Colin Anderson .... Steadicam operator
Colin Anderson .... camera operator
Kevin Barnes .... electrician
Garrett Benson .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Eric Blair .... assistant camera
James Boniece .... key rigging grip
Michael Bonsignore .... dolly grip (as Michael 'Mikael' Bonsignore)
Clyde E. Bryan .... first assistant camera: "a" camera
A. Anthony Cappello .... first assistant camera: "b" camera (as Anthony Cappello)
Tony Chiu .... film loader
Rodney French .... dolly grip (as Rodney G. French)
Brian Hamill .... still photographer
Mike Keelty .... rigging gaffer
Brett Laumann .... assistant chief lighting technician
Mitchell Andrew Lillian .... key grip (as Mitch Lillian)
Charlie Marroquin .... best boy grip
Steve Mathis .... gaffer
Paul Murphey .... video assist operator
Rick Strodel .... grip
Suzanne Trucks .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Peter Clemence .... best boy grip (uncredited)
Rob Coughlin .... grip (uncredited)
Rusty Gardner .... lamp operator (uncredited)
Lisa Hartjen .... lamp operator (uncredited)
Richard H. Kryder .... best boy: rigging crew (uncredited)
Thomas Loizeaux .... camera operator: "c" camera (uncredited)
Eric Martin .... lamp operator (uncredited)
Chaz Rainey .... grip (uncredited)
Clay Valenti .... second assistant camera (uncredited)
Casting Department
Kathleen Chopin .... additional casting
Tracy Kaplan .... additional casting
Amanda Koblin .... casting associate
Pat Moran .... additional casting
Debra Zane .... additional casting
Eric Zuckerman .... casting assistant
Abe Forman-Greenwald .... casting assistant (uncredited)
Michael Hothorn .... casting assistant (uncredited)
John Strawbridge .... casting associate (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Deb Dalton .... set costumer
Steve Ellsworth .... key costumer
Mitchell Ray Kenney .... costume supervisor (as Mitchell Kenney)
David Mayreis .... set costumer
Nancy McArdle .... costume supervisor
Barbara Miller .... set costumer
Kelly Porter .... set costumer
Eva Prappas .... key costumer (as Eva L. Prappas)
Editorial Department
Blair Daily .... associate editor
Dale E. Grahn .... color timer (as Dale Grahn)
Mo Henry .... negative cutter
Jason Joseph .... assistant editor
Bill Daly .... post-production executive (uncredited)
Music Department
Nancy Allen .... assistant music editor
Enrico DeMelis .... music score consultant
Marylou Eales .... assistant music supervisor
Allan Mason .... music supervisor
Andrea Morricone .... conductor
Andrea Morricone .... music producer
Andrea Morricone .... orchestrator
Suzana Peric .... music editor
Joel Sill .... music supervisor
Fabio Venturi .... music scoring engineer
Transportation Department
Charles E. Bauer .... transportation co-captain (as Chuck Bauer)
Thomas F. Lombardi .... precision driver
Thomas F. Lombardi .... vehicle coordinator
Michael Luckeroth .... transportation coordinator
Gerald Titus .... transportation captain (as Gerry Titus)
Douglas A. Walk .... driver
Jacqueline L. Hurd .... picture car coordinator (uncredited)
Other crew
Wayne Arnold .... additional second assistant
Kathi Ash .... location coordinator
Denise A. Beale .... set production aide (as Denise Beale)
Alicia Beytes .... office production aide
Leonard Clarke .... location coordinator (as Leonard Clark)
Tracey Colvin .... set production aide
Rob Coughlin .... rigging & skinning supervisor
Ted Criswell .... medic
Rick Eggers .... catering chef
John Erby .... set production aide
Jeff Flach .... location manager
Betsy Friedman .... set production aide
Nicole Furia .... production accountant
Ginny Galloway .... production secretary
Donna Lee Greber .... assistant: Mr. Levinson
Ronald Bruce Holtman .... key craft service (as Bruce Holtman)
Jon Jolles .... set production aide
Chris Kable .... assistant: Ms. Weinstein
Kate Kelly .... production coordinator
Martin Kircher .... projectionist
Linda Labov .... assistant: Ms. Weinstein
Eric Layne .... assistant accountant
Stephanie Lovell .... set production aide
Michele Lynch .... assistant choreographer
Ryan McCormick .... assistant: Mr. McCormick
Jerry Mitchell .... choreographer
Eric Morgan .... production secretary
Eric Morgan .... script coordinator
Kendra Pasker .... office production aide
Luis Perez .... choreographer: Cha-Cha
Julie Pitkanen .... script supervisor
Karen Radzikowski .... set production aide
Chris Rosenbery .... office production aide
Kenneth Roth .... set production aide (as Ken Roth)
Marie Rowe .... executive assistant
Andrew Sachs .... assistant: Mr. Levinson
Scott Schaeffer .... production assistant
Scott Schaeffer .... set production aide
Patrick Shiffrar .... assistant accountant
Drew Tidwell .... assistant production coordinator
Mira Tweti .... publicist
Mikki Ziska .... set production aide
Janette Evans .... payroll accountant (uncredited)
Kimberly Masimore .... production assistant (uncredited)
Martha Newman .... stand-in (uncredited)
Kevin Weaver .... security supervisor (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for crude language and sex-related material
127 min | Germany:122 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Director Trademark: [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 »
Anachronisms: The car driven through the pumpkins and crashing into the barn during the Halloween party sequence appears to be a 1960s Austin Healey. This car did not exist during the 50s period of the movie.See more »
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.
See more »
Movie Connections:
References "Texaco Star Theatre" (1948)See more »
La BasuraSee more »


Is "Liberty Heights" based on a book?
What is this movie about?
How does the movie end?
See more »
2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
Wonderful Liberty Heights, Another Best for 1999, 14 January 2000
Author: Joe Moretti from New York, NY

Many films in the later part of 1999 came on like gangbusters with huge marketing and advertising campaigns and much hype; some before they even appeared in theaters. Some did not live up to these expectations (Man on the Moon, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Being John Malkovich), others did (American Beauty, The Insider). One particular film though entered very quietly with little fanfare and turned out to be a gem and is maintaining its stay at theaters along with the big guns. That film is the wonderful, intelligent and funny "Liberty Heights", Barry Levinson's fourth in his Baltimore series (Diner, Tin Men, Avalon). Like those films Levinson relies on great dialogue, real characters and good actors to bring it all to life (again its amazing how that works).

"Liberty Heights" explores the issues of race, class and religion mainly through the eyes and experiences of two Jewish brothers, college student Van Kurtzman (Adrien Brody) and his younger brother, Ben (Ben Foster) during 1954. They live in the predominately Jewish community of Forest Park with their parents (Mantegna and Neuwirth) along with their grandmother. Their father owns a burlesque house and runs the local numbers business. They are a relatively normal loving middle class family. But both brothers are beginning to explore the outside world of their Jewish circle and the changes that are taking place within the world. While eldest brother Van is breaking class barriers by pursing a rich upper class socialite, Ben is knocking down the color barrier by starting a relationship with a pretty black classmate. Eventually all their worlds collide to varying degrees and both boys learn and grow along the way. This is a wonderful heartfelt picture with none of the sentimentality that marred "The Green Mile". It is honest with its emotions and does not force them or any message onto the audience. "Liberty Heights" is a true delight and a must see for those who are pursuing all those big guns in the theaters now.

Levinson has created such a rich and wonderful universe that is so real and has chosen a near perfect cast to pull it off. The always-reliable Joe Mantegna as Nate gives a good, solid performance as the patriarch of the Kurtzman family. He is a strong and loving figure for his family and Mantegna does a good job of it. The very talented Neuwirth also does fine work and Richard Kline who was awful as Jack's buddy in the TV show "Three's Company" does an outstanding job as Nat's business partner Charlie, but this picture belongs to the brothers (Brody and especially the young Foster). Brody who has proven himself to be an up-and-coming actor (The Thin Red Line, Summer of Sam) should have a long shelf life compared to some of his flash in the pan contemporaries. His performance shows a very focused and compelling character. But the acting of Ben Foster is pure joy and he carries the picture and lights up the screen every time he appears with his very natural and charismatic performance. This is one talented actor who I hope to see more of in the future. Although both Brody and Foster do not have the so called "movie star good looks" they are in a league of their own as far as talent is concerned. We need less pretty faces that can't act and more of their kind.

Although "Liberty Heights" does not have any of the hype of the other pictures and the acting and directing do not have Oscar written all over them, it is still a great picture that stands tall and can go head to head with all the major contenders out there. Do yourself a favor and check out this wonderful picture, you will not be disappointed. Highly Recommended.

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