Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore is a 1974 American comedy-drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Robert Getchell. It stars Ellen Burstyn as a widow who travels with her preteen son across the Southwestern United States in search of a better life. Laura Dern, who was only 6 at the time was an extra in the film, she had to eat ice cream in one of the scenes, but they had to take it several times.
Martin Scorsese, commended six-year-old Laura Dern after doing 19 takes to get a scene right in “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”. Scorsese claimed that she would be a great actress for eating 19 ice cream cones and never getting sick.
Was “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” A Success?
The picture earned positive reviews upon its premiere and has an 88 percent Fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 33 reviews. As the consensus says, the film shows Martin Scorsese wielding a somewhat milder palette than usual, with mostly fascinating results. Definitely, something we’re not used to with a Scorses film.
Fine, moving, frequently hilarious taleVincent Canby, The New York Times
On a $1.8 million budget, the picture was a critical and commercial success, grossing $21 million worldwide. Ellen Burstyn won Best Actress at the 47th Academy Awards, while Diane Ladd and Robert Getchell were nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay. (Source: San Antonio Current)
Who was Originally Chosen to Play the Role of Alice?
Shirley MacLaine was originally offered the role of Alice, but she declined the offer. In a 2005 interview, MacLaine confessed that she regretted her decision. When Warner Brothers executives expressed interest in working with Ellen Burstyn on another project, she was still filming The Exorcist.
It was early in the woman’s movement, and we were all just waking up and having a look at the pattern of our lives and wanting it to be different… I wanted to make a different kind of film. A film from a woman’s point of view, but a woman that I recognized, that I knew. And not just myself, but my friends, what we were all going through at the time. So my agent found Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore… When I read it I liked it a lot. I sent it to Warner Brothers and they agreed to do it. Then they asked who I wanted to direct it to. I said that I didn’t know, but I wanted somebody new and young and exciting.Ellen Burstyn, Academy Awards Best Actress
(Source: San Antonio Current)
How Did the Film Inspire a Sitcom?
Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore was the inspiration for the CBS sitcom Alice. It aired from August 1976 to July 1985. Vic Tayback, who played Mel in the movie, was the only cast member to be part of the TV series.
Alfred Lutter played Tommy in the pilot episode, but Philip McKeon took over for the rest of the series. Diane Ladd appeared on the show later in its run, albeit in a different character than in the film.
Alice had many contrasts with the film. The tone and style of the series differed significantly from the original movie, and there were several factual differences concerning the characters and setting as well. (Source: San Antonio Current)