Alice's Restaurant
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This uneven film is based on Arlo Guthrie's popular song "The Massacre At Alice's Restaurant." Arlo, son of famous folksinger Woody Guthrie, wrote the almost 19-minute song after being arrested for littering when he threw out some food. He visits his dying father in the film, and Pete Seeger also makes an appearance. Arlo sings three songs including the title track, and Joni Mitchell's "Songs To Aging Children" is appropriately played during a funeral scene. Pat Quinn plays Alice, with James Broderick as her husband Ray. Arlo's criminal past is exposed when… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[Penn] has transformed a charming shaggy-dog story into a melancholy epitaph for an entire era."
‑ , TIME Magazine
"Brilliantly visualised."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"To his credit, Penn refused to romanticize his subjects, and the film stands as a fairly accurate chronicle of the times."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"This is one of those time capsule films - for that it is important"
‑ Emily Blunt, Blunt Review
"In the end, the slap-dash narrative loses focus and credulity, particularly when the tale turns to the disintegrating relationship of Alice and Ray, and to an ill-developed subplot involving the ex-con drug addict Shelly."
‑ Dan Jardine, Apollo Guide
"Penn's genius overtakes the dropout romance, like a final post-bacchanal hangover that suggests liberation as an El Dorado dream."
‑ Nick Pinkerton, Village Voice
"Good work in a minor key."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Penn's strong sympathy with the outsider and anti-Establishment stance comes across in a film that appealed to those who could identify with this communal hippie haven, but now seems too naive and distant."
‑ , Film4
"Not nearly as good as everyone keeps telling you that it is."
‑ Alex Sandell, Juicy Cerebellum
"...the film itself remains a pleasant, oddball, and highly diverting glimpse into one of the country's most confusing times."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"There are occasional flashes of wry humor and some rib-tickling sequences. But they are all too few."
‑ , Variety
"It's worth checking out for the marvelous look back at how the counterculture dropouts related to each other and to the straight older generation in the late 1960s."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Inspired by Guthrie's ballad, Arthur Penn's film is a summation of the anti-establishment, anti-Vietnam War generation, clinging to the ideal of a collectivist life in a Stockbridge commune."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"The movie hasn't improved any over the years, but fortunately this version has Arlo Guthrie supplying commentary, making the DVD worth some historical value for '60s junkies."
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
More reviews for Alice's Restaurant on Rotten Tomatoes