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Liberty Heights (1999)

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Anti-Semitism, race relations, coming of age, and fathers and sons: in Baltimore from fall, 1954, to fall, 1955. Racial integration comes to the high school, TV is killing burlesque, and ... See full summary »

Director:

Barry Levinson

Writer:

Barry Levinson
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Adrien Brody ... Van Kurtzman
Ben Foster ... Ben Kurtzman
Orlando Jones ... Little Melvin
Bebe Neuwirth ... Ada Kurtzman
Joe Mantegna ... Nate Kurtzman
Rebekah Johnson ... Sylvia
David Krumholtz ... Yussel
Richard Kline ... Charlie, Nate's Assistant
Vincent Guastaferro ... Pete, Nate's Assistant
Justin Chambers ... Trey Tobelseted
Carolyn Murphy ... Dubbie the Blonde
James Pickens Jr. ... Sylvia's Father
Frania Rubinek Frania Rubinek ... Grandma Rose
Anthony Anderson ... Scribbles
Kiersten Warren ... Annie the Stripper
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Storyline

Anti-Semitism, race relations, coming of age, and fathers and sons: in Baltimore from fall, 1954, to fall, 1955. Racial integration comes to the high school, TV is killing burlesque, and rock and roll is pushing the Four Lads off the Hit Parade. Ben, a high school senior, and his older brother Van are exploring "the other": in Ben's case, it's friendship with Sylvia, a Black student; with Van, it's a party in the WASP part of town and falling for a debutante, Dubbie. Sylvia gives Ben tickets to a James Brown concert; Dubbie invites Van to a motel: new worlds open. Meanwhile, their dad Nate, who runs a numbers game, loses big to a small-time pusher, Little Melvin; a partnership ensues. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You're only young once, but you remember forever.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for crude language and sex-related material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Yiddish

Release Date:

31 December 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dometi slobode See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$95,247, 21 November 1999

Gross USA:

$3,736,868

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,736,868
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where they are teeing off at the 'golf course', they are actually standing on the lawn in front of the Mansion House in Baltimore's Druid Hill Park. The Mansion House is the current day administrative offices for the Baltimore Zoo. There is no real golf course in Druid Hill Park. See more »

Goofs

On Halloween 1954 Adrien Brody's character states that he is dressing as a beatnik. The word "beatnik" was coined by Herb Caen in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle on April 2, 1958. See more »

Quotes

Ada Kurtzman: How are the coloureds doing at school?
Ben Kurtzman: Okay, they're doing okay. They're getting better grades than I am. The girl's pretty attractive.
Ada Kurtzman: What?
Ben Kurtzman: ...She's attractive.
Ada Kurtzman: [angrily] Oh, just kill me now! Just kill me now!
Ben Kurtzman: What are you talking about...
Ada Kurtzman: What do you mean "she's attractive"?
Ben Kurtzman: Pretty.
Ada Kurtzman: Oh my God...
Ben Kurtzman: Mom, I said she was attractive, that doesn't necessarily mean I'm attracted to her!
See more »

Alternate Versions

DVD release has a "music-only" version of the film with no dialogue and only music and score. See more »

Connections

References Perry Mason (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock Island Line
Written by Lonnie Donegan
Performed by The Lonnie Donegan Skiffle Group
Courtesy of The Decca Record Company Limited/London
Under license from Universal Music Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A Wonderful Story About Segregation and Love
6 October 2003 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In Baltimore, 1954, the Kurtzman family is a Jewish family living in the area of Liberty Heights. Ben (Ben Foster) is a rebel teenager, who has a crush on his black friend Sylvia (Rebekah Johnson). His college brother Van falls in love with Dubbie (Carolyn Murphy – why this gorgeous actress has just this movie in her filmography?), a very problematic girl. He becomes friend of Trey Tobelseted (Justin Chambers), a young man from a very wealth family and boyfriend of Dubbie. Nate (the excellent Joe Mantegna) is the father, who lives from an illegal lottery of numbers. Nate loves his family and keeps them apart of his legal problems. Ada (Bebe Neuwirth) is the mother, who keeps the tradition of their family. Little Melvin (Orlando Jones) is a drug dealer, who wins a fortune of US$ 100,000 (in 1954) in Nate's lottery, raising a serious situation in the plot.

This movie is wonderful: the soundtrack, photography and costumes are marvelous. The story, about segregation of Jews and blacks and love between races, is very beautiful. The viewer will not be disappointed with this entertainment. My vote is eight.

Title (Brazil): "Ruas de Liberdade" ("Liberty Streets")


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