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Liberty Heights (1999)

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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 »

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writer:

Barry Levinson
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Frania Rubinek ... Grandma Rose
Anthony Anderson ... Scribbles
Kiersten Warren ... 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Yiddish

Release Date:

31 December 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dometi slobode See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$95,247, 21 November 1999

Gross USA:

$3,732,398
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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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

Mention is made about courtroom scenes on TV in Perry Mason, which was not on TV until 1957. See more »

Quotes

Grandma Rose: Get a haircut.
See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD release has a "music-only" version of the film with no dialogue and only music and score. See more »

Connections

References Francis (1950) See more »

Soundtracks

Belz (Mein Shtelele Belz)
Written by Aleksandr Olshanetsky (as Alex Olshanetsky) & Jacob Jacobs
Performed by Mandy Patinkin
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A great look into American culture and history
6 November 2003 | by bsincSee all my reviews

I found "Liberty Heights" an immensely entertaining movie which shows great talent, especially actor-wise. The movie is a great portrayal of how things looked like in America in the 50's, showing religious, racial, social and other differences and also showing how these differences can easily be overcome once a person realizes(or as was the case in this movie-doesn't even consider) that different only and always means worse. Ben Foster steals the show from the first scene and Adrien Brody is in close second place. And because they had such screen persona, or power if you will, I found if distracting and a bit out of place when at the end the story shifted too much to Joe Mantegna, their movie father. I have much respect for the man, he's an immense and always fun-to-watch actor, but in this movie it was him that was overshadowed, which is ironic since HE was the one who usually did this. A great, lightheaded growing-up movie that begins and ends with a nostalgic note, once again making me wish I'd have a chance to live in that day and age. Much praise to Barry Levinson for composing "Liberty Heights". 8/10


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