Synopsis by Lucia Bozzola
Intrigued by the counterculture tale of Arlo Guthrie's epic 1968 talking-blues record The Alice's Restaurant Massacree, director Arthur Penn, co-scripting with playwright Venable Herndon, adapted the song into the 1969 feature Alice's Restaurant. Hippie outsider Arlo (Guthrie, playing himself) encounters suspicion from the straight world; visits his dying father, renowned leftist activist/singer Woody Guthrie (Joseph Boley), in the hospital along with friend Pete Seeger; and hangs out in the title converted church/commune created by his friends Alice (Pat Quinn) and her husband Ray (James Broderick). After Alice's "Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat," Arlo is arrested for littering by rule-following Officer "Obie" Obanhein (William Obanhein, playing himself). That littering arrest helps Arlo avoid the Vietnam draft, but the commune is threatened after more personal, old-fashioned conflicts over sex and partnerships permeate Alice and Ray's alternative world.
hippie, commune, counter-culture, flower-children, generation-gap, father, arrest, litter, military-draft