Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The third of director Barry Levinson's autobiographical "Baltimore Trilogy" (the first two entries were Diner and Tin Men), Avalon covers nearly forty years in the lives of an immigrant Jewish family. Sam Krichinsky (Armin Mueller-Stahl) emigrates to Baltimore in 1914, where Sam's brothers Gabriel (Lou Jacobi), Hymie (Leo L. Fuchs), and Nathan (Israel Rubinek) are awaiting his arrival. By and by, Sam meets his future wife, Eva (Joan Plowright). With the introduction of the Krichinsky's grown son Jules (Aidan Quinn), the film ventures into culture-clash country. Unwilling to become a manual laborer like his dad, Jules opts for the life of a door-to-door salesman. Eventually, he teams with his cousin Izzy (Kevin Pollak) to open the first TV store in Baltimore. Thereafter, the disintegration of the Krichinsky family is paralleled by the rise of TV's omnipresence in the American home. Avalon's elegiac and melancholy effect is underlined by Randy Newman's soulful musical score.
family, heritage, grandfather, ancestry, rags-to-riches, Americana, family-move, generation, generation-gap, survivor, department-store, television, lover, music-club