Alice's Restaurant

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Brilliantly visualised, Arlo Guthrie's very funny 20-minute talking blues - about how, fined $50 for being a litterbug, he was subsequently rejected for service in Vietnam as an unrehabilitated criminal - is retained as the centrepiece of a film which expands into a sort of chronicle of Arlo's hippy wanderings through rural America. The context is different, but the reference point powerfully echoed throughout is his father Woody Guthrie's experience as the troubadour of the dying Dustbowl during the American Depression of the '30s, with the ballad this time asking what went wrong with the dropout dream of the '60s. Criticised at the time for a certain opportunism, Penn's lyrical vision of the end of an era looks increasingly apt in the perspective of passing time.

By: TM

Release details

Duration: 111 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Arthur Penn
Screenwriter: Arthur Penn, Venable Herndon
Cast: James Broderick
William Obanhein
Pat Quinn
Michael McClanathan
Geoff Outlaw
Arlo Guthrie
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