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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 »

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2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Van Kurtzman
... Ben Kurtzman
... Little Melvin
... Ada Kurtzman
... Nate Kurtzman
... Sylvia
... Yussel
... Charlie, Nate's Assistant
... Pete, Nate's Assistant
... Trey Tobelseted
... Dubbie the Blonde
... Sylvia's Father
Frania Rubinek ... Grandma Rose
... Scribbles
... 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:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

31 December 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dometi slobode  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$95,247, 21 November 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$3,732,398, 2 April 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Nate goes to pick Ben up from Little Melvin the Key Bridge can be seen. The Key Bridge was not completed until 1977. See more »

Quotes

Guy: So where are you from?
Alan Joseph Zuckerman: Forest Park.
Guy: [surprised] Forest Park?
Alan Joseph Zuckerman: Yeah, off Liberty Heights.
Guy: That's, uh, Jewish, right?
Alan Joseph Zuckerman: [nervous pause] Damn near, yeah... Seems, uh, more's moving in too, y'know? So it's really... it's really getting that way.
See more »

Connections

Features Strangers on a Train (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Oyfn Pripetshik
Written by Emmanuel Rubin
Performed by Mandy Patinkin
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Reality at its Best
4 December 2002 | by See all my reviews

This movie is sort of like the concept of the TV show Seinfeld-- it's about nothing. By this I don't mean that it lacks substance, in fact, it has plenty, but I mean rather that it does not involve an intense plot line. It's more like a series of snapshots taken out of one family's album, like a brief recording of one year in their lives. It's as if these people were real, simply going about their lives in their times, and we got to peek in on them, and it is acted in just that way. I think it's very true to director Barry Levinson's vision, a vision that is clear upon viewing his other films that he includes with Liberty Heights as his "Baltimore" films. These include Diner, Avalon, and Tin Men. Because this is not the typical problem arises-conflict ensues-climax is reached-conclusion is found film, Levinson shows us that these people's lives were a series of ups and downs, joys and losses, that summarize American middle-class youth in all ages in history. There connections between the different walks of life and the idea of growing up and discovering diversity around you is what makes this film universal and beautiful, all without handing you morals and themes on a silver platter. This film takes a wonderfully objective viewpoint that allows you to make meaning of it rather than spelling it out for you.


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