Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore: Scorsese, Without the Wise Guys

 In Adventure, Drama, Everything, Good

The review:

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is Scorsese without the wise guys and the good fellas.* This movie is firmly set in the 1970s, and is a great hardscrabble mother-son film.** Packed with tons of period details*** and good performances by both Ellen Burstyn and Alfred Lutter (plus a very young Harvey Keitel**** ) this was a Scorsese treat.

The verdict: Good

Cost: Netflix monthly fee ($8.99)
Where watched: at home

Consider also watching:

Further sentences:

*Although Alice has the lip that we’re used to from the wise guys.
**I’ve just googled “mother-son film” and, based on those results, I can say that it might be one of the best.
***Including what was probably considered a happy ending when the film was released; in 2019, I gave it the side eye.
****It’s probably worth watching just to see him eventually suck all the air out of the room


  • Alice’s parenting style is not currently in fashion. Is this a good or a bad thing?
  • What would have been an actual happy ending for this for this film?

Favorite IMDB trivia item:

Hot off her success with The Exorcist (1973), the studio granted Ellen Burstyn total creative control over this project. She had two goals: to make a movie about woman with real-life problems, and to secure an up-and-coming filmmaker as the director. Upon selecting the script, Brian De Palma brought Francis Ford Coppola to Burstyn’s attention, who suggested she consider Martin Scorsese. While impressed with Scorsese’s talent after viewing Mean Streets (1973), Burstyn still hesitated to hire the director, fearing he could only direct men. When she asked Scorsese what he knew about women, Scorsese replied, “Nothing, but I’d like to learn.” Satisfied with his enthusiasm, Burstyn immediately hired Scorsese.

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