Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press
Atlantic Monthly Press

Avalon, Tin Men, Diner

Three Screenplays

by Barry Levinson Introduction by Jesse Kornbluth

“That rare autobiographical movie made by someone who knows how to get the texture right.” –Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

  • Imprint Atlantic Monthly Press
  • Page Count 400
  • Publication Date November 01, 1990
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8711-3435-6
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $13.50

About The Book

Breaking onto the scene in 1982 with Diner, which was hailed by one critic as “a masterpiece of observation,” Academy Award winner Barry Levinson has since become recognized as one of the preeminent writer-directors of our time.

Diner was set in Levinson’s native Baltimore, during the late 1950s of his youth. Portraying a close-knit and colorful group of young men hesitating on the brink of adulthood, the film, said Rolling Stone, is “a completely unexpected, remarkably fresh comedy drama.”

With Tin Men Levinson returned to the richly detailed middle-class milieu of Baltimore and introduced another group of characters’the “tin men” who make their living hard-selling aluminum siding to unsuspecting homeowners. A story of the petty but no less bloodthirsty rivalry between two salesmen, Tin Men was also greeted with unanimous high praise. The Washington Post wrote that “it may be the most constantly funny movie ever made.”

In Avalon Levinson continues his cycle of “Baltimore stories.” The film opens at the onset of the First World War with the arrival in the city of Sam Krichinsky; it ends nearly fifty years later with Sam, now an old and revered patriarch, in a retirement home, remembering that Baltimore was the most beautiful place he had ever seen. Like Sherwood Anderson and William Faulkner, Barry Levinson has recreated a setting that is finely and evocatively detailed and essentially American.

Praise for Diner

“That rare autobiographical movie made by someone who knows how to get the texture right.” –Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

“Mr. Levinson’s achievement has been to make an articulate film about inarticulate people, without romanticizing them or making fun of them. It is not only extremely funny and humane, but its narrative efficiency is as rare as an honest laugh in a television situation comedy.” –Vincent Canby

Praise for Tin Men

“A richly textured film with a rueful nostalgia, a fine-tuned streak of con artistry, and the same hilarious, nit-picking small talk that colored Diner.” –Janet Maslin, The New York Times

“It expresses a deeply felt love for a time and a place. It teaches a sweet lesson for a nation of diversity and change . . . that people and places need not be lovely to be loved.” –George Will