Avalon

Avalon is a wonderfully warm and bittersweet story that traces a Jewish-immigrant family from their arrival in Baltimore through several generations. So universal is the appeal, that as the extended family is introduced, you're sure to recognize someone in your own family or perhaps even yourself. Much of the story is told in flashbacks by the central character, Sam, the loving patriarch who arrived in the magical New World in 1914. The family is close-knit and supportive, but as the years pass and succeeding generations assimilate, the family gradually disintegrates and it's a loss that is heart-wrenching to watch.

  • Starring: Joan Plowright and Aidan Quinn
  • Director(s): Barry Levinson
  • Producer(s): Baltimore Pictures
  • Screenwriter(s): Barry Levinson
  • Distributor: Tri-Star Pictures
  • Release Date: Friday, August 31, 1990
  • Rating: Acceptable

Featured Animal Action

Nemo is the family dog who is present in many scenes but does nothing more difficult than beg food at a Thanksgiving dinner. In some of the flashbacks horses can be seen pulling carts. When the circus comes to town a variety of animals such as elephants and camels lead a parade down a Baltimore street. In one scene a mass of swarming bees attack a young boy who has inadvertently disturbed them. Both real and fake bees were used in addition to tiny plastic puff balls. The puff balls were kept moving with the use of air guns to create the illusion of bees in flight. When bees were actually on the young actor, a small dab of glue was placed on the bees' stingers to prevent them from stinging. The glue was later removed leaving the bees with their stingers intact.