Liberty Heights (1999)

R   |    |  Drama, Music, Romance


Liberty Heights (1999) Poster

Baltimore, Fall 1954: Schools implement the new integration law. Ben finds the "colored" girl in his class cute - upsetting his Jewish mom and granny. Ben talks to her while his brother looks for his WASP dream girl.


7/10
6,392


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  • Ben & Sylvia
  • Bebe Neuwirth as Ada Kurtzman
  • Adrien Brody as Van Kurtzman
  • Adrien Brody and Carolyn Murphy in Liberty Heights (1999)
  • Nate & Charlie
  • Barry Levinson and Carolyn Murphy in Liberty Heights (1999)

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4 July 2003 | gmr-4
I am neither Jewish nor Baltimorian (?), but . . .
this was a fine film, if not anything to blow one's hair back, leave one humming, or slipping into the dialogue. The story was set in the mid-1950s, accurately looks the part, and is actually three tales involving the three males in a middle class family.

Yes, there is the treatment of racism and the self-consciousness that it spawns on both sides, and yes, the death throes of anti-semitism (at least among decent people). A middle-aged man finds he has outlived the world in which he came to prosper, and does not know what to do. There is something else: the "grass is always greener" hypothesis in ethnic/social class mixing. One of the protagonists meets his "shiksa goddess" and her lot, longs to cross a divide he does his best to bridge -- and finds his betters have feet of clay for all their poise and social standing.

LIBERTY HEIGHTS is in the best sense a North American story. Leaving one's ghetto, the benefits of learning to do so, and creation of a better world. Note how toward the end, the flawed and even cruel W.A.S.P. society boy becomes better for having accepted the hand of friendship of someone his father might have avoided.

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Details

Release Date:

31 December 1999

Language

English, German, Yiddish


Country of Origin

USA

Filming Locations

Hippodrome Theater, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$95,247 21 November 1999

Gross USA:

$3,736,868

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,736,868

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