The Story: Arthur Penn's film, based on Arlo Guthrie's famous song of the same name, takes an exuberant look at the 1960s counterculture, draft dodging, social intolerance, law enforcement, and the hardships of growing older. Like the 18-minute song itself, Alice's Restaurant follows Arlo Guthrie (played by Arlo Guthrie) as he gets kicked out of school and travels back east to visit his old friends Alice and Ray Brock. After a huge Thanksgiving feast, Arlo is assigned the duty of disposing of the garbage. When he finds the local dump closed, he tosses the mound of garbage over a cliff, which leads to his arrest for littering. When Arlo is eventually drafted into the army and is filling out the paperwork, he finds a simple question on the back of one of the forms: Kid, have you ever been arrested? Arlo quickly discovers that the U.S. Army has a very low opinion of litterbugs. The rambling song "Alice's Restaurant" was Guthrie's greatest success. The film version maintains the freewheeling spirit of the song while adding some new layers of character development and subplots, with Alice becoming a more central character to the story. Arlo Guthrie gives a fine performance as himself, and Pat Quinn is outstanding as the aging but bright-eyed Alice. Penn's direction balances a wild, fun-loving spirit with frank seriousness to make for a multi-layered and moving film.
Studio: Olive Films
Run Time: 111 minutes