Four Friends

Director: Arthur Penn
Screenwriters: Steven Tesich

Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


Four Friends delineates the world of Alice's Restaurant from an immigrant's point of view. Like Arlo, the young Danilo (Craig Wasson) is endeavoring to make his way through the sixties intact. but his ideals and outlook have been shaped as an outsider, a typical Penn position. He is working to achieve the same American goals which Arlo and his hippie friends have rejected: a traditional education at a good school; marriage to the daughter of a prominent, wealthy family; a white-collar job. When he drives by a flag-burning demonstration one night. Penn lets us see it from his perspective: it is like witnessing a scene on an alien planet. It takes a major tragedy in his own life to make a rebel of him.

At the same time he is trying to move up, he is continually pulled back to his immigrant roots by his lifelong love for Georgia (Jodi Thelen), a true flower child, and his feeling for his childhood friends (Michael Huddleston and Jim Metzler]) who also love her. And like many Penn protagonists, he has an unresolved relationship with his father he needs to reconcile,

If you can spot Mercedes Ruehl in one of her first screen appearances, you merit extra points for being an attentive viewer.

Saturday Jan 22 10:40 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III

Sunday Jan 30 2:40 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III


— Barbara Bannon

Screening Details

  • Section: Challenge and Innovation: A Tribute to Arthur Penn
  • Film Type: Dramatic Feature
  • Country: U.S.A.
  • Run Time: 115 min.
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