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Top Customer Reviews
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!
Part of the problem seems to the director's insistence on making the film "relevant" and "meaningful" in the heavy-handed manner that too many Sixties films did. The movie is most successful when following the mood and theme of the song on which it is supposed to be based; much less so when trying to pad out the plot. The Woody hospital scenes are a nice poignant touch, but the bike races are boring and the character of Shelly is just plain annoying. The acting throughout is inconsistent. Arlo Guthrie is likeable but lightweight and flashes his toothy grin once too often. Pat Quinn as Alice comes off best. Officer Obie is a nice touch but many of the rest of the cast seem to be Hollywood versions of very clean hippies wearing the latest fashions straight off the costume rack.
The biggest problem in the film for me is the character of Ray who I find rather sinister. His background is never really explained and he comes across as a kind of cult leader, always going on about "our kids". His source of income is a mystery - he buys the church and sets up the restaurant but has to borrow $80 from Arlo. He's not very nice to Alice but she seems drawn to him. The hippies follow him without question, apparently happy to trade one establishment for another. The film seems unnecessarily dark whenever Ray is on the scene.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Movie won't play in America...weirdest thing I've ever seen. Seller should have disclosed.Published 4 days ago by Melissa Vernon
Anyone of the 60's generation should see this movie!!Published 12 months ago by Deborah Barraclough
We have all heard the song. The movie to brings it all into perspective. Great movie.Published 13 months ago by Chris Noe