Sweet Liberty

( 1 )

Overview

Alan Alda wrote, directed, and starred in this satirical film about the corruption of the film industry's approach to history. Alda plays Michael Burgess, a college professor who has written a historical novel about the American Revolution. The book has been turned into a script, and a Hollywood film crew descends on his North Carolina hometown to make the movie. Predictably, the director and actors make a mess of his concept, and Burgess becomes frustrated as the town is turned upside down. Desperately, he tries...
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Overview

Alan Alda wrote, directed, and starred in this satirical film about the corruption of the film industry's approach to history. Alda plays Michael Burgess, a college professor who has written a historical novel about the American Revolution. The book has been turned into a script, and a Hollywood film crew descends on his North Carolina hometown to make the movie. Predictably, the director and actors make a mess of his concept, and Burgess becomes frustrated as the town is turned upside down. Desperately, he tries to salvage his concept with some last-minute script changes. To make things more complicated, Burgess falls in love with the glamorous female lead in the film, Faith Healy (Michelle Pfeiffer). Meanwhile, his long-time girlfriend, Gretchen (Lise Hilboldt) is pressuring him to get married. The film's male star, Elliott James (Michael Caine), finally shows up in town and becomes Burgess's rival for Faith's affections. Silent film star Lillian Gish appears as Burgess' mother.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Karl Williams
An argument can be safely made that the feature films of Alan Alda are essentially Woody Allen-lite. Perhaps that's why "the Woodman" cast him in a few of his mid-'90s features. Without a doubt, Alda strives valiantly for the sort of comic introspection that is Allen's stock in trade, but in a few of his most memorable films as writer and director, he achieves his goal admirably, and this romantic comedy is definitely a case in point. Transposing his idol's big city angst to a small New England town, Alda finds plenty of purchase by injecting a battalion of Hollywood filmmakers into the proceedings, presaging David Mamet's State and Main (2000) by a decade and a half. Luminous Michelle Pfeiffer and reliable comic foils Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins are on hand, as well as the penultimate performance by screen legend Lillian Gish. But it's Alda's underrated script -- lacerating Hollywood egos -- that deserves most of the credit here. While he took home Emmys as a writer, producer, and star of the TV series M*A*S*H, Alda gets little respect as a feature film scribe, which is a shame because this film, like his previous Four Seasons (1981), is a comic gem.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/23/2004
  • UPC: 025192619526
  • Original Release: 1986
  • Rating:

  • Source: Universal Studios
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan
  • Time: 1:47:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 45,085

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alan Alda Michael Burgess
Michael Caine Elliott James
Michelle Pfeiffer Faith Healy
Bob Hoskins Stanley Gould
Lise Hilboldt Gretchen Carlsen
Lillian Gish Cecelia Burgess
Saul Rubinek Bo Hodges
Lois Chiles Leslie
Linda Thorson Grace
Diane Agostini Nurse
Anthony Alda Film Crew Member
Alvin Alexis Male Student
Christopher Bregman Running Boy
Cynthia Burr Asst. Camera
Timothy Carhart Eagleton
Bonnie Deroski Female Student
Frank Ferera Lopert
Michael Flanagan Frank Stirling
Dann Florek Jesse
David Gideon Camera Operator
Katherine Gowan TV Interviewer
Terry Hinz FX Man
John Leonidas Teamster
Christopher Loomis Cinematographer
Kevin McClarnon FX Man
John C. McGinley Floyd
William Parry Teamster
Polly Rowles Mrs. Delvechio
Fred Sanders Soundman
Robert Schenkkan Pilot
Larry Shue Edson
Steven Stahl Hotel Clerk
Lynne Thigpen Claire
Richard Whiting Johnny Delvechio
Robert Zarem Publicist
Leo Burmeister Hank
Bryan Clark Governor Swayze
Technical Credits
Alan Alda Director, Screenwriter
Phil Adams Stunts
Kenny Bates Stunts
Martin Bregman Producer
Bruce Broughton Score Composer
Irving Buchman Makeup
Fern Buchner Makeup
Joe Cirillo Stunts
Mary Colquhoun Casting
Erik Cord Stunts
Michael Economou Associate Producer, Editor
Ben Edwards Production Designer
George Fisher Stunts
Candy Flanagin Special Effects
Jane Greenwood Costumes/Costume Designer
Ted Grossman Stunts
John Alan Hicks Set Decoration/Design
Jeff Jensen Stunts
Tracy Kennedy Stunts
Henry Kingi Stunts
Lisa Loving Stunts
Phil Nelson Stunts
Christopher Nowak Art Director
Victor Paul Stunts
Chuck Picerni Jr. Stunts
Steve Picerni Stunts
Howie Rice Songwriter
Allan Rich Songwriter
Sandy Richman Stunts
George Marshall Ruge Stunts
Judith Stevens Associate Producer
Louis A. Stroller Executive Producer
Frank Tidy Cinematographer
Gore Vidal Screenwriter
Webster Whinery Stunts
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2001

    Hollywood Battlefield

    Alan Alda plays Michael a history teacher and author of the book ''Sweet Liberty'' which is meant to bring American history to a broader audience. Holllywood is now making a movie based on the novel shooting on the original scene of an important battlefield of the Independance War next to Michael's home town. But Michael's material is turned into a comedy completely ignoring the historical details. He ist told that to make a movie sell at the box office you need to show three things: rebellion, destruction of property and people taking their clothes off. Michal tries to save his novel by trying to gain the confidence of the leading lady (Michelle Pfeiffer) and the leading man (Michael Caine) by a) making love to the former and b) practicing fencing with the latter. Embeded into the subplot of Michael's family affairs the story ends in a hillarious reenacting of the historical battle including Michael and the villagers acting as extras. And they give the Hollywood people what they asked for: rebellion, destruction of property and people taking their clothes off. This movie is a must for everybody who likes Alan Alda. Unfortunately he is not often the leading man - but here we can enjoy his acting to extend. The fencing scenes with Michael Caine are simply wonderful!

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews