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Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore
Actors: Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Mia Bendixsen, Alfred Lutter III, Billy Green Bush
Director: Martin Scorsese
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
PG     2004     1hr 52min

When housewife Alice is suddenly widowed and left with no money and no job to support herself and her son, she sets off across the country to find a new life. — Genre: Feature Film-Drama — Rating: UN — Release Date: 17-AUG-20...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Mia Bendixsen, Alfred Lutter III, Billy Green Bush
Director: Martin Scorsese
Creators: Kent L. Wakeford, Marcia Lucas, Audrey Maas, David Susskind, Sandra Weintraub, Robert Getchell
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Love & Romance, Family Life
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 08/17/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 52min
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English, French, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French

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Member Movie Reviews

Christine A. (WriteReviseEdit) from ROCHESTER, NY
Reviewed on 1/28/2013...
What I love about this film (esp. for someone like me, a Gen Xer too young to have seen it originally but who watched the TV version and remembers hearing bits and pieces about the film) is its unexpected quirkiness. There are some laugh-out-loud moments and goofy scenes, but that's not to say they're contrived or that the film isn't serious.

Add in Scorsese's smart, cinematic approach and fantastic performances by Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Alfred Lutter III (the actor who originally played Alice's kid, Tommy), Vic Tabec (sp?), Diane Ladd, Harvey Kietel, a young Jodie Foster and others and this is too good to pass up. In fact, for me, the cast turns it into something like David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" for a late '60s/early '70s audience.

This version includes interviews with Burstyn and Kristofferson; they truly add to the film's interest and reveal how the film was conceived, how Scorsese was brought into the mix and what each of the actors experienced in their own lives (at the same time) which helped them develop their characters in ways which felt true to life.

If you're interested in '70s cinema, you have to see "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" at least once.
3 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
S A A. (Learned2Heal)
Reviewed on 10/13/2008...
A classic. Just look at the awards. Speaks for itself. My most memorable character in this is Harvey Keitel as the boyishly charming boyfriend who turns out to have a hair-trigger violent temper, as well as other unexpected surprises in store for all. He should have had some nominations and awards too.

A must-see, must-own movie. Right up there with the likes of "The Goodbye Girl" and "Five Easy Pieces"

Movie Reviews

Exceptional Film
Adam Dukovich | 09/17/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There is a scene in the film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore which sums up the entire film. It is the scene in which Alice (Ellen Burstyn), newly-widowed and desperate to get a job, convinces a bar owner to see her perform across the street (the owner doesn't even have a piano in his bar). Reluctantly, he comes, and Alice sings the old Sinatra ballad, "When Your Lover Has Gone." It is a testament to Burstyn's acting that this scene is so hauntingly beautiful, and one senses a personal connection that she has with this song, it almost sounds as if it were written just for her. And the emotions that come through in this scene--pain, loss, but also a great deal of hope--are essentially the film in spades.

It is almost passe to mourn the passing of the cinema of the 1970s, but this is exactly the sort of movie that was made then but isn't now. It is a penetrating, intensely personal but unceasingly honest portrait of a single mother's struggle to survive. Even though several decades have passed, the story remains timely because it is ultimately the story of humanity, and will have resonance for anyone who has had to leave the familiar and try to make it on their own. Some might dismiss it as an extended metaphor for feminism (which it is) but it is also much more than that--it cuts far deeper, but it is ultimately a very humanistic film.

I can't stop singing this movie's praises. It inspires without being "inspirational". It is not an exultation of the human spirit, but rather the embodiment of it. It never sounds a hollow, false, or obvious note, but rather sticks with utter realism throughout, and as a result is immensely satisfying. I would highly recommend the movie to anyone who appreciates a good drama that doesn't unfold along the expected path."
A powerful drama and an absolute acting marathon
Dave | United States | 12/15/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

""Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" tells the story of a woman who attempts to forge her own path following her husband's sudden death. The general concept of a woman having her own career and not just being a housewife certainly isn't as radical today as it was when this first came out in 1974, but "Alice..." nevertheless remains a powerful drama thanks to thoroughly terrific performances, and to that trademark Scorsese grittiness.

You can tell that while filming this movie, Ellen Burstyn really WAS Alice Hyatt--her performance is brilliant and flawlessly convincing. Alice's husband Donald (Billy "Green" Bush) dies early in the film in a traffic accident, and it becomes apparent that Alice relied on his financial support while not really being in love him. As we see in the dreamlike opening scene, Alice had aspired to be a singer as a child, a dream that she let fall by the wayside in favor of a typical role as a housewife. With her husband out of the picture, Alice has an 'everything-must-go' type garage sale, sells the house, and hits the road, leaving Socorro, New Mexico with her often annoying, yet sharp 11-year-old son Tommy (Alfred Lutter).

When in Phoenix, a sympathetic bar owner is impressed enough by Alice's audition to hire her to play piano and sing, leading to her meeting of Ben Eberhardt, a character brilliantly portrayed by Harvey Keitel. Ben displays a certain laidback charm, and Alice, who deep down does want to have a man around, falls for him, only to discover that he's already married and prone to fits of violence. Keitel is absolutely devastating in the unforgettable "break in" scene that occurs at the motel Alice and Tommy are staying at, a scene which prompts Alice to get out of town immediately.

Their next stop is Tucson, where Alice despairingly settles for a waitressing job. At the restaurant begins her initially rocky relationship with fellow waitress Flo (Diane Ladd). She also meets at the restaurant the charming, divorced farmer David, played by Kris Kristofferson in a natural, engaging performance. Despite her wariness, Alice does fall in love with David, but the relationship isn't exactly smooth sailing, and it leads Alice into a painful realization about her own son. Meanwhile, Tommy is hanging out with his new friend, the mischievous Audrey, played astonishingly by an 11 or 12 year old Jodie Foster.

Ultimately, we do get a full-blown happy-ending, and that's okay, because it's touchingly done, and the path that leads to that ending is such a rewarding one. "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" is a film no serious viewer should miss.

As usual for a Martin Scorsese direction, this DVD release of "Alice..." is very, very well done, featuring an absolutely superb widescreen transfer of the film. Additionally, there's an excellent, informative documentary featuring interview segments with Burstyn and Kristofferson; and there's also insightful and unfailingly entertaining commentary from the often motor-mouthed Scorsese."
A real life "over the rainbow" search for meaning.
Steven Sprague | Newport Beach, CA | 01/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"A dream-like sequence begins this film with Alice, looking very much like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, fantasizing about becoming a singer in Monterey. This whimsical, nostalgic scene is abruptly ended when Alice exclaims, "If they don't like it they can blow it out their ass!" Suddenly the muted, highly stylized images of Oz become starkly realistic and we are no longer in dreamland! It's the early 70's and Alice, 27 years removed from her Dorothy period, is middle aged with a smartass difficult boy, and a not so smart husband she can't seem to please and who makes no attempt whatsoever to please her. Her dream is now somewhere over the rainbow until fate steps in, removing her husband and freeing Alice from drudgery. Now what? Broke, no job, no one to lean on and yet having a child that needs support, Alice sets out on the road with her dream as the ultimate destination. Soon Alice will discover that real life has a way of lowering expectations, and Martin Scorsese's film is a slice of real life. The struggle and uncertainty, especially for a woman in a man's world, can be daunting, but Alice is nothing if not determined. This film works due to the genuineness of the characters, the outstanding performance of Ellen Burstyn, and because it glorifies something everyone can strive for: small victories. Sometimes less is more."