Grand Avenue (TV Movie 1996) Poster

(1996 TV Movie)

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gut wrenching, excellent!
ms_julie12 March 2006
I cry every time I see it, I recorded it on VCR. The white haired medicine woman who appears in the beginning was a good friend of mine, she passed away shortly after the release of the movie, I briefly met Mr Sackheim at the funeral. I wish it would be made available on DVD here in the US, as I would like to keep it as a family treasure. Is there any way I could find out if and when it's made available on DVD? Perhaps HBO could show it again to spark new interest, I read the book as well and with all due respect to Mr Sarris, the movie is far better then the book, usually it's the other way around, the acting is first class and the story, although a bit tough at times is gut wrenching and eye opening to everyone interested in modern Native American life. Julie
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i lost this movie but i want to buy the video again
ojibwegal2 March 2004
this movie really touched me! because the family is all mixed up, while the mother tries hard to cope with life. while justine does things that are wrong. and alice tries hard to be the responsible one. I live in the city, but somehow i learn from the movie. because the way it is to live in the city. you have to fit in to survive. unless you go somewhere else like to finish school, have a family, to be responsible. people can learn from watching the movie. it also shows to be compassionate to other races and your own people. but i'm really from garden hill, manitoba, its also tough to live anywhere cause trouble is everywhere until you make it better in how you live. it was too bad i lost the movie. it cost me $30.00
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Damn (Major Spoilers)
my_heroin22 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Alright alright. Yeah it was a pretty good movie. Very sad and melodramatic.

I liked it.. but at the same time I really hated it. There are always these movies coming out about we Natives.. and they all always have the same stereotypic story lines. The drunk parent. The Stuggling Child. Usually theres a Good Person. Like look at "Smoke Signals".. Always the same. Look how they depicted Pine Ridge in the movie "Skins"!! That movie made me sick to my stomach to watch. And that movie is shown at school to children here so they may know how they are depicted to the rest of the world. Its no wonder some people look down upon us. We are shown in movies to be drunks, and rapists and even more openly, as DIRTY people . Yes there are those who are all those descriptions. But then there are those who arent. Who try to live their lives everyday to the fullest. I am 15 years old and I have lived here on rez all my life. And I am no drunk or rapist and I am certainly not dirty. But people like my family arent shown as much. It is the trouble and horror that is always shown. We are still being kept down by our image. And what hope the movies do show is tainted with loss and pain. But I agree with that image. Because that is what its like. From the ashes we rise again. But still.. I am adamantly against movies like "Skins" those are unrealistic and truly stupid. Lying to the people. Not just Native Americans..all people. That man who made was looking for praise for his supposed understanding of native pain. I'd like to give him pain.. but thats another story lol.

This movie.. about Mollie who gets kicked of the Reservation after her man dies and then moves to Grand Avenue to stay with her cousin. Her daughter: Justine has issues. She's a hoe with an attitude. And she deserves to be. But at the same time, likeable for her underlying strength and weakness'. Her sister, Alice, is your regular good girl type. Responsible,quiet, boy-shy. And the little brother... an all out brat at times but still kind of likeable.. in a weird way. I hated how they played Justine's character. It was very predictable bow it end. And it was an obvious play on emotions with how they made her start to be good and caring only to be destroyed. But at the same time I dont mind that because it shows how people can touch others' lives.

Theres alot of swearing in the movie. If you can get over that.. and the beginning scene.. you should fare all right watching this. Still to post my opinion.. I wish there were better movies about indians out there. A movie to show, yes the horrible circumstances, but still the beauty of the culture and the undying, underlying hope. And the love for the people and the reservation. Maybe Grand Avenue in its own way shows that. Though I dont see it now. I do see how Mollie and Alice and Sheldon and Mollies new squeeze with probably go on to help each other.. And thats good for them. Their characters can really heal now. I would like to make one final statement. For the people who pity indians and want to help... do come and try to help. We all can use help. But take this indian image with a grain of salt. Theres more to us then what is sometimes shown. But its that way with everything.
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Whatever Happened To Deeny Dakota?
vanpattendav18 March 2002
The promo reads "Around Every Corner in America There's a Story Waiting To Be Told." The story here is about native Americans. One family in particular.

Mollie moves her two teenage daughters, and her young son, to a new neighborhood when they are expelled from their Indian Reservation after the death of her husband.

With no where else to go she goes to her cousin Anna, who lives on Grand Avenue.

Mollie has a drinking problem, can't hold down a job and has demons from her past.

The oldest daughter, Justine (portrayed perfectly by the beautiful and talented Deeny Dakota,) is an angry and rebellious girl. However, she has redeeming qualities. She is vulnerable and right from the start it is apparent she is hiding this behind her toughness, sexuality and her edge.

Her sister, Alice, is more reserved and responsible. She's the one that looks after little brother, Sheldon.

It's about a rough neighborhood, and the different races there, Blacks and Latinos, too. The Black gang thinks the native Americans are Latino. The black girl gang want to cut Justine, because she was messin with one of their men. This is the new "West Side Story."

It's also a soap opera in many ways. Past secrets etc.

This story is excellent. Superbly written, if you can get past the F-word (but hey folks, that's the way they really talk.)

Originally this was a two part mini-series on HBO. It can be bought or rented in a two video set.

Filmed on location in Santa Rosa, CA and Produced by Robert Redford. Yes, the Robert Redford. It co-stars A. Martinez, most recently of "General Hospital," and Alexis Cruz of "Touched By An Angel."

But the real star of the show is Deeny Dakota. This is her character's story. And Miss Dakota is as fine an actress as there has ever been.
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Great girl night movie
This is such a wonderful depiction of Native life. Not all Natives grow up on the rez, I didn't .It shows how single motherhood and life really is. So many movies today are hard to believe, but this one is great! I love this movie so much and are so bummed that I can't find it on DVD or VHS. I know of at least 10 people who would buy it. Please, someone, anyone....get this movie out for the public. So many more people could be enjoying it just as much as me and my cousins have. This is also a great girl night movie, not to scare any guys. But it is a tear-jerker, so guys be prepared with some tissues and girls get the popcorn because it is a long movie.
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great film
larrylove7610 July 2000
When i first saw this film I thought it was just another Native American movie,but as I kept watching it brought you into their personal life and showed just how much they still are being discriminated against. General Americans should watch this movie and realize what a great people they are and see how they are not defeated yet and keep struggling.If you are in the mood for a realistic portrayal of Native Americans and not just the "cowboy and indian" I strongly recommend it.
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Want to find a copy
vnetta3 March 2018
I actually lived on the title name street in Santa Rosa,CA. when the movie was filmed the cameras rolled right past my house and that scene is in the movie. I saw the movie as soon as it came out but never got a copy. I would really like to see it again, but have had no luck finding it.
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A rare Gem
Sidz_Vidz6 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
This Miniseries is absolutely impossible to find because it's only on VHS. It was very well done and is authentic in it's portrayal of Santa Rosa especially in the 90's. I was 16 when this came out and it's a touching realistic tragic tale of poverty, crime and family life in the inner city.

I especially love that it's a story of the Indigenous people of this lands struggle. Everybody seems to forget that they exist or matter. They have no representation in Media here in America and no control over their image. We aren't taught about them and no one understands their struggle. We never really get a story from their point of view and how they perceive things. This is an absolute jewel.
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Love This Movie....Know Where I Can Find It??
jpb35724 August 2010
I can only find Grand Avenue on ebay but it is the cut version. I cant find the uncut version. If I would have known how hard this movie would have been to find I would have recorded it in 1996. I really want this movie. If anyone know where I can find it or if anyone recorded it from HBO when it first came out, please let me know. I am dying for my husband to see it. This is by far the best movie I have ever seen. Really sad too but it is great. Even if someone has the tape and I could dub it or something would be great. I would do anything to get this movie. You can email me at or call 859-548-2852
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Four-and-a-half stars!
zombieahoo21 August 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Grand Avenue (1996) C-167m. ***½ D: Daniel Sackheim. A. Martinez, Shelia Tousey, Deeny Dakota, Diana Debassige, Alexis Cruz, Tantoo Cardinal, Irene Bedard, Jenny Gago, Cody Lightning, Simi Mehta, Norris Young, Preston Arrow-Weed, August Schellenberg. Exceptional film about a family of Pomo Indians who relocate to a tough urban setting and try to etch out a living. A pointed and affecting look at community, guilt, and a family undoing, presented through the frame of a disparate culture. The women are all uniformly good; an impressive writing debut by Greg Sarris, based on his short stories book, sparks this production for HBO.
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They should bring this miniseries back again...
renaldo and clara7 September 2001
I'm still not even sure who Irene Bedard she the one who plays the mother...or the sister? Anyway...

This film made me cry so hard in the end...and so many times. The part where the girl talks to the 'basket lady' and gets angry..this seems a lot more realistic than other films (especially TV films) that seem to paint their own pictures of 'the model natives', steering clear of reality to keep the mood comfortable. Well, all I can say is, reality is a lot more interesting in this case.

If you have a chance to see this, do so...and bring some tissues.

PS- The only problem I had with the plot is why the mother was still so set on staying at Grand Avenue...maybe it's a 'metaphorical' thing?
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