Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1974. Warner Bros.. Screenplay by Robert Getchell. Cinematography by Kent L. Wakeford. Produced by Audrey Maas, David Susskind. Production Design by Toby Carr Rafelson. Costume Design by Lucia de Martino, Lambert Marks. Film Editing by Marcia Lucas. Academy Awards 1974. Golden Globe Awards 1974. Cannes Film Festival 1975.
Ellen Burstyn is fantastic as a woman whose life is torn apart when her neglectful husband dies and she is left with nothing to take care of her fast-growing son (Alfred Lutter III). The two find themselves on a road trip across the country to Tucson where she plans to start all over again, but not before various stops along the way keep them from achieving their goal too soon. Diane Ladd is brilliant as Flo, the nasty-mouthed waitress at the diner where Alice gets a job to stay afloat. Look for little Laura Dern eating an ice cream cone at the diner counter, and a twelve year-old Jodie Foster as a precocious little thief who hilariously refers to her prostitute mother as “Ramada Rose”. Excellent stuff, and the basis for the popular television series Alice.