Baltimore, Fall 1954: Schools implement the new integration law. Ben finds the "colored" girl in his class cute - upsetting his Jewish mom and granny. Ben talks to her while his brother looks for his WASP dream girl.
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
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 »
The toilet seat in the hotel room: down, then up, then down again just when she runs to it to vomit. See more »
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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