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Up in the Cellar
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Reviews & Ratings for
Up in the Cellar More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Very dated but has its moments

7/10
Author: Wayne Malin (wwaayynnee51@hotmail.com) from United States
4 March 2005

College student Colin Slade (Wes Stern) is unjustly thrown out of a college by a computer error. Self-righteous principal Maurice Cambers (Larry Hagman) won't lift a finger to help him--because he installed the computers so they HAVE to be right! To get revenge Colin joins a revolutionary group and seduces Cambers wife (Joan Collins), daughter (Nira Barab) and black mistress (Judy Pace)! And Cambers is running for political office.

At first I hated this. The plot and jokes were VERY 60s (and not very funny now) and there were dreadful late 60s fashions, hairstyles and dialogue. And Stern is a lousy actor...and unattractive to boot. But slowly I began to like it and by the last half I was enjoying myself a lot! The movie was made to cash in through the enormous success of 1968s "Three in the Attic". I haven't seen that film--I'd love to but it's impossible to find--so I can't say how much of a copy this is. But this turns into a very sharp satire on politics, universities, self-righteousness and censorship. Some of it is still (sadly) relevant today. And it has an ending where EVERYBODY ends up happy! As I said Stern was lousy and Barab was even worse. But Hagman is a howl (and is really enjoying himself); David Arkin is great in a small role as Hugo Crane (his description of the revolutionary group is a definite highlight); Pace is wonderful in her role and Joan Collins successfully fakes an American accent and has a hysterical speech in front of an audience at the end.

So--it took a while for me to warm up to it but I ended up being very entertained. I give it a 7.

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Strange but funny revenge and seduction movie...

3/10
Author: jodilyn from US
22 December 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wes Stern plays nerdy college student Colin Slade who loses his scholarship. He blames college president Larry Hagman, and Stern sets out to ruin Hagman's life by seducing his daughter, his wife and his girlfriend..all in that order.

Hagman is running for a Senate seat on a platform of decency and righteous living. He doesn't tell the voters that he has a mistress or has a wife who is a bit on the strange side. Mrs. Camber is played by Joan Collins who always finds these odd movies to play the seductress of younger men.

Hagman is wonderfully campy in this movie, and his attitude and mannerisms remind you of his Dallas days. "Do as I say and not as I do" mentality. The scenes of a nude film of his on-screen daughter being substituted for "The Sound of Music" was hilarious, If you want a campy movie to watch on a cold Friday night, this is the one. However, don't expect to exercise your brain with trying to figure out any plot twists. There aren't any!

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fun for locals to see

Author: jonixon from United States
30 January 2005

this movie contains some scenes that are significant to residents of Las Cruces, NM, where it was filmed. The opening scene shows the first phase of the downtown remodeling of the late 60's a former county commissioner has a small speaking part. The explosion of the radio tower was part of the move of a local station, KOBE, from one part of town to it's current location. Cutaways during the showing of the "porno film" have locals who were lured to the filming being told they would see the 'Sound of Music' not realizing there reactions would be cutaways in the porno angle of the film. The New Mexico State University band was put in the film in the basketball arena which was a year old at the time. The film is a typical 60's farce and probably not as interesting to those who aren't from here

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Great time capsule

8/10
Author: SMC32 from Sydney, Australia
6 October 2002

This movie is one of my faves, it captures the essence of the late 60's/early 70's perfectly. It's a lighthearted look at the whole student activism era, and the generation gap, us-against-them attitudes of young people at that time.

I'm sorry but I would have to disagree with Richard about the New Mexico shooting location - I think the movie wouldn't be the same without those desolate, wide-open, huge blue sky and mountains backdrops and stark university buildings. It makes the movie for me and if I ever came to America NMSU and Las Cruces would definitely be on my list of places to visit. I think it symbolises the hopelessness of one student against the president of a university with the blind faith of a whole state behind him.

Joan Collins, Larry Hagman, Judy Pace and Nira Barab are lots of fun but it was pretty obvious that the character of Colin Slade was one of the first big roles for Wes Stern.

If you're thinking of buying Angus Hall's novel "The Late Boy Wonder" because the movie is based on it then you might want to think again. After searching for the book for years I found it on the Barnes and Noble site and bought it. I wish I hadn't because first of all it is so different to the movie and secondly it has an ending which is nothing like the spirit of the movie at all.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Period piece

Author: panamint from United States
5 December 2008

1960's period piece. Strictly a snapshot of late 60's culture, made in the haphazard style that was briefly popular in the late 60's-early 70's. Of course it is irreverent- but I really don't see any relevance. It is yet another 1960's attempt to present mere irreverence as something relevant, but it wasn't relevant then, and isn't now.

However, when I saw this film in a theater in 1970 I laughed out loud, as did most of the audience. Laughed despite viewing the worst film actor I have ever seen (Wes Stern) and nothing from actress Nira Barab. The plus factor is Larry Hagman, who is energetic, extremely charismatic and funny. Joan Collins is good here too.

I would like to watch this movie again if they could edit out Wes Stern, but unfortunately he is in too many of the scenes.

As far as 1970-era culture, this movie won't make us nostalgic for those days but can only serve as a time capsule.

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