Alice's Restaurant is the phantasmagorial account of the misadventures of a young folk singer in his brushes with the law and his draft board. Based on folk singer Arlo Guthrie's 18 minute, 20 second hit recording, 'The Alice's Restaurant Massacree,' in which he limned some of his real-life experiences, the whole is a rather weird collection of episodes losely strung together.

Alice’s Restaurant is the phantasmagorial account of the misadventures of a young folk singer in his brushes with the law and his draft board. Based on folk singer Arlo Guthrie’s 18 minute, 20 second hit recording, ‘The Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,’ in which he limned some of his real-life experiences, the whole is a rather weird collection of episodes losely strung together.

There are occasional flashes of wry humor and some rib-tickling sequences. But they are all too few.

The opening sequences particularly are too wispily-contrived to rivet full attention, their sole purpose seemingly to introduce Arlo as a very odd fellow indeed. Plotline is virtually nil.

Some of the acting is very good, but Arlo’s performance is of the uncertain type and he appears to be living in a world of his own.

1969: Nomination: Best Director

Alice's Restaurant

Production

United Artists/Florin. Director Arthur Penn; Producer Hillard Elkins, Joe Manduke; Writer Venable Herndon, Arthur Penn; Camera Michael Nebbia Editor Dede Allen; Music Arlo Guthrie, Garry Sherman (sup.), Fred Hellerman (dir.) Art Warren Clymer

Crew

(Color) Widescreen. Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1969. Running time: 111 MIN.

With

Arlo Guthrie Pat Quinn James Broderick Michael McClanathan Geoff Outlaw Tina Chen
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