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Sweet Liberty (1986)

PG | | Comedy | 16 May 1986 (USA)
After selling the rights of his book to a movie production company, a writer finds himself fighting the many egos and varying views around him.


Alan Alda


Alan Alda




Cast overview, first billed only:
Alan Alda ... Michael Burgess
Michael Caine ... Elliott James
Michelle Pfeiffer ... Faith Healy
Bob Hoskins ... Stanley Gould
Lise Hilboldt ... Gretchen Carlsen
Lillian Gish ... Cecelia Burgess
Saul Rubinek ... Bo Hodges
Lois Chiles ... Leslie
Linda Thorson ... Grace James
Diana Agostini Diana Agostini ... Nurse (as Diane Agostini)
Antony Alda Antony Alda ... Film Crew Member
Alvin Alexis ... Male Student
Christopher Bregman Christopher Bregman ... Running Boy
Leo Burmester ... Hank
Cynthia Burr Cynthia Burr ... Assistant Cameraperson


Michael has written a scholarly book on the revolutionary war. He has sold the movie rights. The arrival of the film crew seriously disrupts him as actors want to change their characters, directors want to re-stage battles, and he becomes very infatuated with Faith, who will play the female lead in the movie. At the same time, he is fighting with his crazy mother who thinks the Devil lives in her kitchen, and his girlfriend who is talking about commitment. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Michael Burgess wrote a book about the American Revolution. Now, Hollywood's come to his town to make a movie of it -- Plunging him into a summer of madness.




PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Theatrical movie debut of John C. McGinley (Floyd). See more »


Michael Caine and Lois Chiles go up in a helicopter alone. Several shots establishes them being the only people in it. However, when they've landed and get out of the helicopter, the hand of a third person is briefly visible within the helicopter. See more »


Bo Hodges: You realize who goes to see movies. Eighty percent of them are between the ages of 12 and 22. And you know what the kids like?
Michael Burgess: What?
Bo Hodges: Well, this may sound silly to you, but kids go completely ape if you do three things in a picture: defy authority, destroy property, and take people's clothes off.
Michael Burgess: [bollixed] What does that have to do with American history?
Bo Hodges: Oh, come on, Michael, think about it for a second. Why do kids defy authority? Because they're in rebellion. The American revolution, Michael, was ...
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the UK, the film was cut by 2 seconds to get a "PG" for cinema release and removed one mouthed use of the word 'fuck'. The 15 rated video and 12-rated DVD releases were uncut. See more »


References Match Game (1973) See more »


Written by Howie Rice and Allan Rich
Performed by Patti La Belle
Courtesy of MCA Records, Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

Fact, fantasy and Banastre Tarleton
28 January 2004 | by £ynetteSee all my reviews

Alan Alda plays an historian who has written about an historical character. When his book is made into a film, the character he feels he knows so well is brought to life by an actress. The history he knows so well is translated into an "historical" film, with the fact gradually draining away. The film gently, lyrically plays on the interface between reality and fantasy.

An irony is that in "Sweet Liberty" Michael Caine plays an actor who plays a character based on Banastre Tarleton, a British commander of Tory troops in America during the Revolution. In 2000, the German director Roland Emmerich made a film called Patriot in which Jason Isaacs plays a character based on Banastre Tarleton. In the Emmerich film, the fact has drained away and the British commit atrocities more appropriate to Germans in the Second World War.

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Release Date:

16 May 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Sweet Liberty - What a Liberty See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,160,891, 18 May 1986

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Pictures See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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