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Avalon

( 4 )

Overview

The third of director Barry Levinson's autobiographical "Baltimore Trilogy" the first two entries were Diner and Tin Men, Avalon covers nearly forty years in the lives of an immigrant Jewish family. Sam Krichinsky Armin Mueller-Stahl emigrates to Baltimore in 1914, where Sam's brothers Gabriel Lou Jacobi, Hymie Leo L. Fuchs, and Nathan Israel Rubinek are awaiting his arrival. By and by, Sam meets his future wife, Eva Joan Plowright. With the introduction of the Krichinsky's grown son Jules Aidan Quinn, the film ...
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Overview

The third of director Barry Levinson's autobiographical "Baltimore Trilogy" the first two entries were Diner and Tin Men, Avalon covers nearly forty years in the lives of an immigrant Jewish family. Sam Krichinsky Armin Mueller-Stahl emigrates to Baltimore in 1914, where Sam's brothers Gabriel Lou Jacobi, Hymie Leo L. Fuchs, and Nathan Israel Rubinek are awaiting his arrival. By and by, Sam meets his future wife, Eva Joan Plowright. With the introduction of the Krichinsky's grown son Jules Aidan Quinn, the film ventures into culture-clash country. Unwilling to become a manual laborer like his dad, Jules opts for the life of a door-to-door salesman. Eventually, he teams with his cousin Izzy Kevin Pollak to open the first TV store in Baltimore. Thereafter, the disintegration of the Krichinsky family is paralleled by the rise of TV's omnipresence in the American home. Avalon's elegiac and melancholy effect is underlined by Randy Newman's soulful musical score.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
The final installment of director Barry Levinson's Baltimore Trilogy which also includes Diner and Tin Men is a richly sentimental, unapologetically nostalgic film that celebrates the virtues of family life. Avalon begins with the July 4th arrival on American shores of Jewish immigrant Sam Krichinsky beautifully portrayed as an older man by Armin Mueller-Stahl, who settles in Baltimore with his brothers and raises a family. The bulk of the film unfolds in the late '40s, concentrating on Sam's son Jules Aidan Quinn, daughter-in-law Ann Elizabeth Perkins, and grandson Michael Elijah Wood. Levinson traces various transitions within the Krichinsky family and conveys his appreciation of the anxieties that afflicted middle-class people in nascent suburbia. His affection for place and period comes through in every scene, and, in addition to assembling a strong ensemble cast including Kevin Pollak, Lou Jacobi, and Joan Plowright, he suffuses the entire film with warm, gentle humor. The emotion in Avalon is always heartfelt, never contrived for cheap effect; this film shows Levinson at his most vulnerable and introspective, and as such rates a special place in his oeuvre. The DVD includes production notes and talent files.
All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Barry Levinson's sentimental family saga is an engaging and affecting film, particularly in its sense of comic detail, but is less persuasive in its overall design. The film covers half a century in the life of the Krichinsky's, a family of Russian immigrants, from their arrival in Baltimore in 1914. Levinson, who began his life in show business and a stand-up comic before becoming a comedy writer, and eventually a director, reminds one of the kind of genial uncle who dissolves tense moments at family gatherings with a joke. This often applies to his approach to the film, in which members of the extended Krichinsky family are more likely to become entangled in some comic byplay involving the movie Stagecoach (1939), than to have a real fight. And even their squabbles are more a ritualized form of communication than evidence of real hostility. Given the personal nature of the material, one understands the director's desire to put a golden halo over these characters, but one guesses that the reality of the lives of these struggling immigrants was more tension-filled than he's willing to acknowledge. Levinson's ambivalence about the arrival of television, and a sense of the double-edged nature of assimilation are touched on by the director rather than explored.Armin Mueller-Stahl is superb as the focal character of the immigrant generation, one who reflects the melancholy of the diaspora of the family from the city to the suburbs after WWII. Aidan Quinn as his ambitious son Jules, and Elizabeth Perkins as Jules' wife Anne are also excellent as a couple trying to live their lives while coping with the demands of an older generation.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/21/1994
  • UPC: 043396705432
  • Original Release: 1990
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Armin Mueller-Stahl Sam Krichinsky
Eve Gordon Dottie Kirk
Aidan Quinn Jules Kaye
Elizabeth Perkins Anne Kaye
Lou Jacobi Gabriel Krichinsky
Leo L. Fuchs Hymie Krichinsky
Joan Plowright Eva Krichinsky
Elijah Wood Michael Kayeli
Israel Rubinek Nathan Krichinsky
Kevin Pollak Izzy Kirk
Grant Gelt Teddy Kirk
Jesse Adelman Miscellaneous Family Member
Ellen Chenoweth
Shifra Lerer Nellie Krichinsky
Herb Levison Rabbi at Funeral
Irv Stein Miscellaneous Family Member
Mindy Loren Isenstein Mindy Kirk
Mina Bern Alice Krichinsky
Frania Rubinek Faye Krichinsky
Neil Kirk Herbie
Ronald Guttman Simka
Rachel Aviva Elka
Sylvia Weinberg Mrs. Parkes
Ralph Tabakin Principal Dunn
Steve Aronson Moving Man
Miles A. Perman Gas Attendant
Beatrice Yoffe Nursing Home Receptionist
Brian Sher Country Club Page
Frank Tamburo Mugger
Pat Flynn Fire Chief
Paul Quinn K & K Employee
Kevin Blum Young Jules
Alvin Myerovich The Father
Moishe Rosenfeld William as a Young Man
Michael Krauss Sam as a Young Man
Michael David Edelstein Gabriel as a Young Man
Bernard Hiller Hymie as a Young Man
Brian Shait Nathan as a Young Man
Dawne Hindle Eva as a Young Woman
Christine Mosere Nellie as a Young Woman
Anna Bergman Alice as a Young Woman
Mary Lechter Faye as a Young Woman
Barbara Morris Mollie as a Young Woman
Tom Wood Michael as an Adult
Christopher James Lekas Sam, Michael's Son
Ava Eileen Quinn David as a Baby
David Thornhill David, age 8 Months
Jordan Young David, age 10
Tammy Walker Camera Girl
David Long TV Commercial Director
Brenda Alford Night Club Singer
Thomas Joy Country Club Singer
James A. Zemarel Supper Club Singer
Judy Bach Miscellaneous Family Member
Alisa Bernstein Miscellaneous Family Member
Eva Cohen Miscellaneous Family Member
Josh Lessner Miscellaneous Family Member
Samantha Shenk Miscellaneous Family Member
Patty Sherman Miscellaneous Family Member
Thelma Weiner Miscellaneous Family Member
Robert Zalkind Miscellaneous Family Member
Technical Credits
Barry Levinson Director, Co-producer, Screenwriter
Irving Buchman Makeup
Thomas R. Burman Special Effects
Willie D. Burton Sound/Sound Designer
Ellen Chenoweth Casting
Freddie Cooper Camera Operator
Allen Daviau Cinematographer
Linda de Scenna Set Decoration/Design
Bari Dreiband-Burman Special Effects
Paul Gebbia Makeup
Gloria Gresham Costumes/Costume Designer
Allen Hall Special Effects
Fred Hole Art Director
Mark Johnson Co-producer
Joel Kramer Stunts
Christine Larson Asst. Director
Stu Linder Editor
Allan Mason Musical Direction/Supervision
Charles James Newirth Associate Producer, Production Manager
Randy Newman Score Composer
Peter Norman Camera Operator, Cinematographer
Norman Reynolds Production Designer
Ed Richardson Art Director
Marie Rowe Associate Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    See what is missing in the family of today by watching this migrant family grow in Avalon and you'll see why it's gone and maybe want to bring some of it back.

    This movie is all about family and relationships. It shows how media has altered the family dynamic. I know when I tell my kids stories of my past it engages thier attention. To often our attention is focused on the games and stories of the media which distract us from sharing our lives with others. For a younger generation viewer, if you can hang in there long enough to see the whole movie, you'll get a good picture of family life you may have never experienced. For an older generation viewer, the movie will remind you of family traditions that you may want to reinstitute. I saw this movie in the 90's and never forgot about it. My favorite line is "If you don't remember, then you forget."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Avalon is a wonderful story and an excellent movie.

    I can watch this movie over and over again and never get tired of it. It is such a moving story, realistic, down to earth and heart-warming. I highly recommend it. The cast is excellent, the acting superb and the characters are so believable. It is easy to relate to this story and the characters in it. This is a very good movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent, Excellent, Excellent

    This is a movie that has an excellent story line with exceptional acting. Some younger viewers may not be able to relate, but older viewers will likely remember what it was like to live with their extended families. The theme that runs throughout is an important life lesson, one that we usually learn after it is too late to turn back the clock. The underlying theme is the advent of television and how it has affected our entire way of life. The last scene is especially touching. All in all a great movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews