Martin Scorsese interviews his mother and father about their life in New York City and the family history back in Sicily. These are two people who have lived together for a long time and ... See full summary »
Despite admitting that she was scared of him in her never-ending quest to please him, thirty-five year old housewife and mother Alice Hyatt is devastated when her husband Donald is killed in an on the job traffic accident. With few job skills except that as a singer, Alice, along with her precocious eleven year old son Tommy, decides to move from their current home in Socorro, New Mexico to her home town of Monterrey, California, the only place she has ever felt happy. She plans on getting singing gigs along the way to earn money to get back to Monterrey by the end of the summer and the start of Tommy's school year. Alice's quest for a job at each stop leaves Tommy often to fend for himself, which may make Tommy even more precocious. His behavior is fostered by Alice, as their relationship is often more as trouble-making friends than mother and son. Alice's plans often do not end up as she envisions, especially as she is forced to take a waitressing job at Mel and Ruby's Diner in ...Written by
The day after winning her Oscar, Ellen Burstyn received a congratulatory phone call from Jackie Gleason. In her early days, as Erica Dean (one of her many stage names), she worked on his show as a "Glea Girl", a cast of pretty faces who introduced various segments of the program. "I haven't heard from him in twenty years," she told The New York Post's Earl Wilson. See more »
Tommy says the A7 chord hurts his fingers. A7 is one of the easiest chords, even for beginners. Kristofferson would know this and could have asked the script be altered, and recommend a more difficult chord. See more »
The joke is *where* the dog grabs him.
On the nuts! That's the punch line of the joke.
The dog grabs the gorilla by the nuts is the punch line?
No, no. That's a major part of the story. You have to know that to get the punchline. Now, do you know what nuts are?
See more »
This was a lighter film than I am used to seeing from director Martin Scorsese, known for his movies with gangsters and other blighters. Of course, there are some such characters in this movie--mostly malevolent men. At first, Scorsese showcases some of his directorial ingenuity; the film opens with an old-fashioned credits screen, with Mack Gordon and Harry Warren's "You'll Never Know" playing in the background. The opening scene was in homage to "The Wizard of Oz". (The fences also reminded me of "Gone with the Wind".) But then, Alice, as a child (played by Mia Bendixsen), says "if anybody doesn't like it, they can blow it out their ass."
"All the Way from Memphis," by Ian Hunter, carries us to Alice, 27 years older (played by Ellen Burstyn in her Oscar-winning performance). Foul language and wisecracks are the brighter part of Alice's life; the other part is hopping from one abusive relationship to the next, while searching for employment. Alice eventually becomes a waitress at a diner (the scenario was revived in the lousy sitcom "Alice" (1976-1985)).
Diane Ladd earned an Oscar nomination for her performance as smart aleck waitress Flo. Jodie Foster does well as an assertive child. Ellen Burstyn and Alfred Lutter, who plays Alice's kid, carry the movie most of the way, though. When done right, teaming an adult and a child together for the majority of conversation in a film results in an enjoyable, light movie (which this one is). This was Scorsese's first commercial success; with editing and a moving camera among other tricks, his presence is revealed throughout.
18 of 24 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this