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Alice's Restaurant (1969)

Arlo Guthrie , Patricia Quinn , Arthur Penn  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Arlo Guthrie, Patricia Quinn, James Broderick, Pete Seeger, Lee Hays
  • Directors: Arthur Penn
  • Writers: Arlo Guthrie, Arthur Penn, Venable Herndon
  • Producers: Harold Leventhal, Hillard Elkins, Joseph Manduke
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 23, 2001
  • Run Time: 111 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000053VAR
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #72,549 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Alice's Restaurant" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Audio Commentary
  • This is the never before seen Rated R version

Editorial Reviews

"It is hard to imagine a more beautiful movie" (Time) than this critically acclaimed chronicle of hippie life during the late 1960s, which garnered the acclaimed director of Bonnie and Clyde his second Oscar(r) nomination*. Based on the song by folk music troubadour Arlo Guthrie, son of legendary "Dust Bowl" balladeer Woody Guthrie, this tribute film to "the lost generation" features memorable scenes with other folk artists like Pete Seeger, who join Arlo in song to make a profound statement about war, protest and change. In the late '60s, a changing social and political climate inspired a new generation to create a lifestyle outside of the mainstream. Twenty-two year-old Arlo's journey to find a place for himself and his music includes a visit to his dying father in the hospital, gigs in New York and romps with his friends Alice and Ray, who run a small restaurant in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. And when an incident at Alice's Restaurant plays a pivotal role inArlo's avoidance of the draft, it sends him down a road that he will consider a small price to pay to keep his freedom and his beliefs. *Arthur Penn: Director; Alice's Restaurant (1969); Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
240 of 257 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD - But... April 1, 2001
I had fun doing a running commentary for this new DVD release which I know you'll enjoy. However, because MGM/UA would not allow our small company to purchase the DVD at a decent wholesale price, they've cut us out from selling the product through our own retail outlet (we can buy it cheaper here at Amazon) where we've been selling our CDs and VHS movies (including Alice's Restaurant) for years. We are boycotting the sale of the DVD until changes can be made. Stick with us and wait. Then buy it here or anywhere. Thanks, Arlo Guthrie
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice's Restaurant: A Vision of Joyful Abundance March 6, 2001
The excellent-quality Alice's Restaurant DVD is a cultural gem! Thanks to audio commentary by Arlo Guthrie himself, Alice's Restaurant merits nomination as the greatest movie ever about the 60s or, for that matter, any time of profound social and spiritual change! What adds human depth to this movie is that many people involved in the real-life drama are here, in the same locations, playing themselves!
The 60s social/intellectual/spiritual divide is illustrated in Alice's Restaurant by this insane question: can anyone who dumps litter be sufficiently moral to help kill people in another land? The social divide of the 60s has additional clarity in Alice's Restaurant because the movie director was in one ideological camp and Arlo Guthrie was in the other! In addition, an extremely valid spiritual dimension is provided to the story because Alice's restaurant was in a church; a fertile and far-reaching symbol! It makes the movie and real-life story into one wonderful (but never utopian) heart-warming adventure!
The movie has an amazing number of dimensions. What amazes most, however, is the Alice's Restaurant song, on which the movie was partly based. It still sounds wonderfully fresh and naïve! It maintains its power because it is not only a celebration of the genuine joys of life, love, and friendship but also an indisputable anthem that fully affirms the great natural value of simply having fun in life when you can `get anything you want'. It seems a totally innocuous, irrelevant song ... yet, that remains its overwhelming strength rather than its weakness. After the movie, how life-affirming and universally joyous an anthem the song becomes!
My hat is off to you Mr. Guthrie! Thank you!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice is a GrOOOOOvy cook August 7, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
This movie embodies the contrasts of the 60's. It shows the freedom of being young and the joys that accompany it. It also shows the fear of being drafted into a war in which the counterculture was determined to stifle. "Alice" also shows the sensitivity and the integrity that Arlo Guthrie possessed and continues to possess in his 50's. Although this movie is so timely with the issues of the 60's (war, drugs, and nonconformity), it is also timeless because no matter what the decade, or what the issues at hand, everyone is, at one point, the idealistic child (represented by Arlo and friends) and the "Not young but not old" confused, mid to late 20'something adult (represented by Alice and Ray). Both represent phases of life common to all of us. Do not be mistaken, it has its moments of drama and tragedy, but it is ultimately humorous and making a mockery of the establishment that rejected a generation. Arlo is quirky and hilarious. He is a brilliant storyteller, and most would agree that this is his best story of all. A MUST SEE!
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24 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From someone who knows Arlo October 6, 2002
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I am a folksinger and have known the Guthries for a very long time. I knew Marjorie Guthrie, but not woody because I was just little when he died.
I can tell you that Marjorie Guthrie loved this movie and would be very happy that people are still watching it. Marjorie died of cancer back in the 1980's.
I myself love this movie and have seen it many times. As I'm writing this, the movie is on TV right now. I ran to the computer to see if it's on DVD. I really thought it wasn't out on DVD yet but to my surprise it is and I ordered it right away. This is a movie I will love all my life time and my son too,
who I named ARLO. Please do watch this movie. It's one of the best in movie history.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Question September 9, 2004
This isn't so much a review, but just a question - what's the deal with the "Special R rated version" advertised under "Special features" at the back of the dvd case? When I played the dvd, there was no special r rated version in the features menu. Is this some kind of joke? The irony really struck home when I listened to Arlo's commentary about the limited nature of the sex scenes - "that's all you could show at that time". Anyway, I would have bought the dvd regardless of the bogus extra feature. I wouldn't say its a great movie, but it does really capture the essence and atmosphere of the late sixties (even though Arlo manages to point out some of the inaccuracies of the director's presentation of the hippie life style). Also has some nice autumn scenery of Stockbridge, Mass. And an interesting jam session with Pete Seeger. All in all, a keeper.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great document of the times. Less than great movie. August 30, 2006
`Alice's Restaurant', directed by Arthur Penn, following on his great success with `Bonnie and Clyde' is a great bookend to that other 1960's cinematic document, `Easy Rider'. Both movies are less well known for their quality as works of film art as they are for statements of the counter-culture state of mind in the late 1960's.

I saw the movie when it was first released in theaters and I even bought Arlo Guthrie's `Alice's Restaurant' album (his first) when it was first released in 1967. At the time, I was not especially impressed with the quality of the movie; however the thrill of seeing the ceremonial passing of the torch from Woody Guthrie's generation, represented in the flesh by Pete Seeger, to the next generation was really nice, in spite of the irony that Arlo Guthrie was much less a standard-bearer of that torch than the far greater talents such as Bob Dylan, Richard Farina and Phil Ochs. And yet, it was Arlo that managed to capture the spirit of 1960's counterculture dropouts driven less by doctrinal zeal than by simple self-interest.

Like `Easy Rider', `Alice's Restaurant', the movie has a depressing ending, albeit not quite so tragic. If Penn and his collaborators are to be given any credit, it is that they took the sweet little story behind the 15 minute `talking blues' which was the album cut (the full first side of the album of the same name), and expand it into a morality play about great counterculture ambitions and less great drug culture dangers.

The weakest part of the movie may be the fact that at this age, Arlo Guthrie was simply did not have what it took to hold up a major role in a feature length movie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by David Chmielewski
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
bought this for a friend, who absolutely likes it!
Published 2 months ago by Georgina Orozco
3.0 out of 5 stars Looks like a re-pop
Looks like a re-pop. Doesn't display on my flat screen full size. Have to set the tv to zoom mode to fill the screen and that crops the sides a bit and leaves a little black top &... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Richard Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Marian
1.0 out of 5 stars very very disapointed
if there was a negative star rating I would give it a negative 5 star after purchasing the movie it says would not play and because we did not have a player for the region listing... Read more
Published 4 months ago by richard meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Preview
Arlo was coming to our town and I had tickets for the show. Decided to get the movie for a refresher of life in that era. Read more
Published 5 months ago by cdsanger
5.0 out of 5 stars am classic
a favorite for thanksgiving, the moral of the story is careful how you get rid of your garbage group W bench or you will be on the
Published 6 months ago by alkymist
4.0 out of 5 stars Just like the song it was a great step back in time. Funny but has a...
Great to have this in my library. Fun to watch from time to time. Helps keeps the reality of the way it was alive.
Published 7 months ago by Richard L. Clements
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice's Restaurant movie
This is a classic American movie. Very funny with the best music! Also has drama and relationships. I love the 1960's USA.
God bless Arlo!
Published 7 months ago by Bionicman
5.0 out of 5 stars Just like I remember it, and It plays fine

Just like I remember it.

It is PAL region 2 on the disk. However, it plays fine on my US computer using the VLC Media Player available here: [... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Gary
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