Liberty Heights (1999)


“You don’t walk out on Sinatra, sir.” – Ben Kurtzman

Number of Times Seen – Twice (22 Sep 2001 and 20 Jun 2019)

Brief Synopsis – A group of Jewish teenagers growing up in Baltimore in the 50’s must deal with race relations in their town as the world around them begin to rapidly change.

My Take on it – This is a film that has a great premise yet fails to have much substance in the story which hurts things so much because it’s hard to stay interested based on how things are presented.

The film deals with multiple story lines and jumps around too rapidly between them causes the story to lose focus since whenever they get close to something interesting in one story, things cut to another one.

This takes so much away from the enjoyment of watching such a story try to unfold.

The premise reminds us constantly about how much it has to say yet it falls on deaf ears since the story feels too cramped and congested with the various story lines and characters that it isn’t able to say what it truly wishes to say.

This movie is a great example of a film that has a great premise which is ruined along the way by the fact that they attempt to give us so much more with this story yet doesn’t manage to stay in step with these changes.

They should have made this a small, more focused film and then they might have been able to give us something much more focused and concentrated that could keep things on track.

Even the great young cast, doesn’t help this film stay more focused or enjoyable.

Bottom Line – mediocre film that fails to have enough substance to keep it interesting. The story lines jump around too much and the film lacks a real focus which would make things much more intriguing to watch. The film feels as if it wants to say much more, but is cramped in the way that it gives off its story. This is a perfect case of a film with a great idea that is ruined because they try to do too much with it instead of just creating a smaller, more concentrated story that could work much better in keeping things on track.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to ‘Barry Levinson’, this film came out of a derogatory comment about Dustin Hoffman’s character in Sphere (1998). The critic’s comment got Levinson thinking about his experiences growing up in Baltimore, and Liberty Heights was born. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (4/10)

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One thought on “Liberty Heights (1999)

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 1999 | MovieRob

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