Arthur Penn, Alice’s Restaurant, 1969 (still); image: courtesy MGM/UA

Film

Alice’s Restaurant

Part of Modern Cinema: Sparks on Celluloid

Selected by Christine Vachon

“Mother-to-all Alice (Pat Quinn) and her hippie hubby Ray (James Broderick) establish a commune in a converted church in Stockbridge, Massachusetts (the very town where [Arthur] Penn resided, along with Norman Rockwell), where artists and dropouts, folkies, and just plain folks congregate. After a huge Thanksgiving dinner, Arlo (himself) is assigned to dispose of the trash; his subsequent arrest for littering makes this young peacenik unfit for military duty. Using a mostly amateur cast of flower children, Alice’s Restaurant has an incense-tinged naturalism that wafts with authenticity. And at its center is not Arlo but Alice herself, desirable, compassionate, and tragic as she watches this beautiful, generational moment disappear.”
— Steve Seid, BAMPFA

“Arthur Penn, who collaborated on the screenplay with Venable Herndon, has made a sort of folk movie — wise, fantastic, technically superb (especially the color photography by Michael Nebbia), sometimes wildly funny, sometimes touching in ways that are most agreeable because they are completely unforeseen.”
— Vincent Canby, The New York Times



Film Details

Country: USA
Language: English
Year: 1969
Running time: 111 min
Format: 35mm
Director: Arthur Penn
Screenwriters: Venable Herndon, Arthur Penn
Producers: Hillard Elkins, Joe Manduke
Cinematographer: Michael Nebbia
Editor: Dede Allen
Source: Park Circus


Films and schedules may be subject to change.

Modern Cinema’s Founding Supporters are Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein. Support is provided by Nion T. McEvoy and the Susan Wildberg Morgenstein Fund. This season of Modern Cinema is generously supported by James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen.