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Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore

Ellen Burstyn , Kris Kristofferson , Martin Scorsese    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Brand New factory sealed


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
I saw this movie when I was very young (at least 16 years ago). To me it was just a comedy film that launched "Alice" (which was one of my favorite shows at the time). I now saw it after all these years and was amazed by all that I saw this time around.
This is one of the best-acted films I've ever seen. Nothing more needs to be said about Ellen Burstyn here other than she still remains in my mind as one of the luminary, top-drawer actresses in American cinema these past 30+ years. She is flawless here; even breathtaking! And the performance by Alfred Lutter as her son Tommy was one of the finest performances I've seen by a teen/pre-teen. And of course there's Diane Ladd as the infamous Flo, who revels (and excels) in a small meaty role that usually wins Best Supporting Actress Oscars (she unfortunately lost). And Jodie Foster (as butch as can be) is a riot. And Kris Kristofferson gets his part just right, as do Harvey Keitel and the late Vic Tayback as the overbearing but lovable Mel.
I don't know if the perfect acting in this film is a tribute to the actors or to Martin Scorsese (or both). But this film shows that Martin Scorsese is truly a monumental talent. High praise also goes to Robert Getchell for a screenplay that is as hilarious as it is moving. The purity and spirit of this film is obvious and very affecting.
I think this is one of the great films of the 1970s. Be sure to put it on your list if you're a student of cinema. I think it is a landmark film in the human comedy/drama genre.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars There's a new girl in town... July 27 2000
By linus
Format:VHS Tape
It has always seemed one of the odder facts of pop culture that a Martin Scorsese film actually inspired a sitcom starring Linda Lavin. (Does that mean we had Scorsese to thank, or blame, for the whole "Kiss my grits" thing and the spin-off "Flo"?) Anyway, this early Scorsese feature is atypical - no pulsating urban life, not much in the way of brutality - but extremely entertaining, with a classic Oscar-winning performance by Ellen Burstyn as Alice, the widow who packs up her belongings and son (the impressive Alfred Lutter) and takes off for parts unknown, hoping to make it as a singer but settling for a waitressing gig at Mel's Diner. For a while, this was seen as something of an anomaly in the Scorsese portfolio, and as of this writing it's still unique among his films in that it's woman-centered. In an odd way, this film is an interesting companion piece to "Kundun" as both movies follow a character very unlike the usual Scorsese protagonist on a journey Scorsese can't really relate to personally but is willing to explore anyway. The good cast includes Harvey Keitel, Kris Kristofferson, and a very very young Jodie Foster.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mean Deserts Nov. 28 2003
By R Jess
Format:VHS Tape
Although a stop-gap movie for Martin Scorsese, 'Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore' proved to be the pinnacle of Ellen Burstyn's career. Her academy award winning performance in this film crosses back and forth between careful tenderness and passionate intensity with intelligent ease. In most of his best work Scorsese encourages the actors in his films to play around with the script and improvise extensively. In 'Alice' he allows Burstyn's instincts about her character to come to the fore in the scene in the kitchen with Kris Kristofferson where she talks of her early showbiz career with her brother. Practically all of the dialogue was improvised by Burstyn herself, so much so that Scorsese had to cut the scene down to 3 minutes from 15! In fact there seems to have been a lot of cutting going on in this film. Alice's husband comes across as a totally unsympathetic character until you realize that much of his more tender scenes with Alice were cut in order to make the film move faster.
And move faster it does, for with Scorsese's deep aversion to static shots and his use of a hand-held camera in the small claustrophobic environments in which Alice and her son are confined, all the characters in this film look deeply unsettled in personality as well as in geography.
Ironically, filming had to be stopped on this movie for a couple of days because Ellen Burstyn had to go to the Oscars as she was nominated for her role in 'The Exorcist' that year. She returned unawarded to the work that would eventually reward her.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One Of Scorsese's Very Best. Time Will Tell... Jan. 18 2003
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Do you notice how little one hears about "Raging Bull"
lately? Well, there's a reason--it's not so hot. There is a
lot of repetition, a lot of improvisation, a lot of falsity in
that movie. And in "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore"?
There's a lot of truth and humor.
This was Scorsese's first studio picture; it was a hit,
and Ellen Burstyn got the Oscar for Best Actress. (In
England, the movie won Best Picture, Best Actress, Best
Supporting Actress, Best Newcomer, and Best Screenplay,
but--inexplicably--not Best Director). The movie was so
popular in America that CBS made a series out of it, and
the series ran for nine full years--the second longest
hit series ever made from a feature film (next to MASH).
I notice that some of the people who have visited this
site have downed the movie, but I also notice that the
one who downed it most didn't even know how to spell
the director's name correctly. (It's Scorsese).
Anyway, time will tell. This heartfelt, true little movie will
work its way very close to the top of Scorsese's ouevre.
It's hilariously funny and also touching and, at times,
harrowing. A well directed, well acted, well written
movie. What a rarity. Watch it and enjoy it.
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