Liberty Heights

Overview

The DVD format works particularly well for films that just miss the mark but have many winning elements. Viewers can easily skip past any scene that doesn't work. Liberty Heights, writer/director Barry Levinson's fourth autobiographical film set in Baltimore, is a movie that deserves to be seen yet needs a "skip" or two. The DVD edition shows off Christopher Doyle's sumptuous cinematography that is preserved in the anamorphic widescreen transfer and showcases the movie's exquisite period art direction and costume...
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Adrien Brody, Bebe Neuwirth, Joe Mantegna, Ben Foster, Orlando Jones 06/20/2000 DVD 1999 Run time: 127. BRAND NEW and SEALED. Shop with 100% confidence or money back. All ... orders ship within 24 hours. Read more Show Less

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Overview

The DVD format works particularly well for films that just miss the mark but have many winning elements. Viewers can easily skip past any scene that doesn't work. Liberty Heights, writer/director Barry Levinson's fourth autobiographical film set in Baltimore, is a movie that deserves to be seen yet needs a "skip" or two. The DVD edition shows off Christopher Doyle's sumptuous cinematography that is preserved in the anamorphic widescreen transfer and showcases the movie's exquisite period art direction and costume design. Another welcome bonus is the separate "music only" soundtrack that brims over with a great cross section of 1950s hits. On the other hand, the accompanying promotional "making of" documentary offers little insight into the film. Another extra has Levinson leading viewers through the one deleted scene, indirectly proving that more could've been pruned from the movie. Liberty Heights is full of many wonderful scenes but Levinson crams too many ideas into it. He still comes up with a good film but he could've made a great one. Thankfully, the DVD format allows viewers to enjoy Liberty Heights's warm scenes between family and friends and skip over its overly complicated crime subplot.
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Special Features

Interviews and on-set footage with writer/director Barry Levinson and the film's stars; Deleted scene; Music-only track showcasing the film's classic 1950's songs; Interactive menus; Production notes; 2 theatrical trailers; Scene access; Subtitles: English & Fran├žais
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
The 1950s were a more innocent time, yet the tensions that would explode in the following decade were beginning to simmer. Director Barry Levinson, who has made a number of autobiographical films about growing up in his native Baltimore, calls on his memories of his adolescence during this period. His 14-year-old alter ego Ben (Ben Foster) combines both his growing interest in girls and an increasing awareness of racial exclusion after he becoming attracted to Sylvia (Rebekah Johnson), a black girl in his school. Levinson is less interested in exploring any single relationship than in tracing the boy's first steps out of the family enclave he's known into a wider, more diverse world -- both fascinating, and, at times, threatening. There's also a fanciful Runyon-esque subplot involving Ben's father's (Joe Mantegna) mysteriously shady occupation. That story line is the only weak link in an otherwise absorbing film. The acting is uniformly excellent, with outstanding work by Foster, a brilliant turn by Orlando Jones as Little Melvin, and an especially memorable scene from James Pickens Jr. as Sylvia's father.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/20/2000
  • UPC: 085391801924
  • Original Release: 1999
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Theatre Wide-Screen (1.85.1)
  • Presentation: Wide Screen
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:08:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
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
Vincent Guastaferro Pete
Justin Chambers Trey
Carolyn Murphy Dubbie
James Pickens Jr. Sylvia's Father
Frania Rubinek Rose
Anthony Anderson Scribbles
Kiersten Warren Annie
Evan Neumann Sheldon
Kevin Sussman Alan
Gerry Rosenthal Murray
Charley Scalies Louie
Shane West Ted
Carlton J. Smith James Brown
Technical Credits
Barry Levinson Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Steve Cantamessa Sound/Sound Designer
Ellen Chenoweth Casting
Christopher Doyle Cinematographer
William A. Cimino Set Decoration/Design
Gloria Gresham Costumes/Costume Designer
Michael Haley Associate Producer, Asst. Director
Tim Holland Sound Editor
Stu Linder Editor
Allan Mason Musical Direction/Supervision
Patrick McCormick Executive Producer
Andrea Morricone Score Composer
Alan Muraoka Art Director
Vincent Peranio Production Designer
Joel Sill Musical Direction/Supervision
Amy Solan Associate Producer
Tom Waits Songwriter
Paula Weinstein Producer
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selection
1. The other kind [4:10]
2. It's tradition [2:04]
3. True story? [1:53]
4. Casting the future [3:33]
5. Sizing things up [2:15]
6. Fuhrer furor [3:46]
7. Jews are coming [2:10]
8. Make a wish [1:24]
9. Yussel's battle [3:16]
10. The party breaks up [2:56]
11. Revverence God and Sinatra [3:36]
12. Girl with a wand [1:35]
13. Ben and Sylvia [3:59]
14. Floorboard eye-view [1:59]
15. Dream girls [5:07]
16. Comparing notes [2:43]
17. Court disorder [2:15]
18. Redd Fox and Cinderella [3:27]
19. All worked up [2:22]
20. Banishment and respect [3:41]
21. Problems; Paterson Park [4:03]
22. Little Melvin's Payoff [3:56]
23. Flip for James Brown [3:28]
24. How Melvin sees it [2:07]
25. Heading out [1:58]
26. Slumming again [2:32]
27. The concert [3:23]
28. Ain't it romantic? [2:25]
29. Not a real Wand [3:30]
30. The slave thing [4:00]
31. Moment of entertainment [3:28]
32. Fair and square [2:33]
33. The fine print [5:26]
34. Negotiating [2:07]
35. The girl has everything [6:23]
36. When to get off [2:45]
37. The graduates [2:39]
38. A little sun [1:22]
39. "We're a family" [4:36]
40. If I knew [1:55]
41. End Credits [4:31]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Special Features
      Cast & Crew
      The Neighborhood
         Interview Gallery
         Deleted Scenes
         On the Set
         Theatrical Trailer
         Diner Theatrical Trailer
         Music-Only Track
      The Baltimore Films
      "Diner" (1982)
      "Tin Men" (1987)
      "Avalon" (1990)
      Liberty Heights (1990)
   Languages
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