7.0/10
2,785
32 user 17 critic

Sometimes a Great Notion (1970)

A family of fiercely independent Oregon loggers struggle to keep the family business alive amidst changing times.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
Reviews
Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Viv Stamper
...
Leeland Stamper
...
Joe Ben Stamper
Linda Lawson ...
Cliff Potts ...
Andy Stamper
...
John Stamper
Lee de Broux ...
Willard Eggleston
Jim Burk ...
Biggy Newton
...
Howie Elwood
Joe Maross ...
Floyd Evenwrite
...
...
Les Gibbons
Bennie E. Dobbins ...
(as Bennie Dobbins)
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Storyline

Hank Stamper and his father, Henry Stamper own and operate the family business by cutting and shipping logs in Oregon. The town is furious when they continue working despite the town going broke and the other loggers go on strike ordering the Stampers to stop, however Hank continues to push his family on cutting more trees. Hank's wife wishes he would stop and hopes that they can spend more time together. When Hank's half trouble making brother Leland comes to work for them, more trouble starts. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"Never give a inch" was the motto of the Stampers of Oregon. And live it they did! See more »


Certificate:

GP | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

31 December 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Never Give a Inch  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,660,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title comes from lines in the folk song "Goodnight, Irene": "Sometimes I take a great notion / To jump in the river and drown." See more »

Goofs

In the fox hunt scene, when the fox jumps over the fence you can see the fox is wearing a 1/4" black collar with a little tiny bell on it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Floyd Evenwrite: He's been over there a while. Ya think he's doing any good?
Biggy Newton: [shrugs]
Floyd Evenwrite: I got payments to make on a Chevrolet. Goddamn scabs over there!
See more »

Connections

References The Ballad of Josie (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

All His Children
Lyrics by Marilyn Bergman and Alan Bergman
Music by Henry Mancini
Sung by Charley Pride
See more »

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User Reviews

Always A Great Movie
4 December 2001 | by (Gresham, OR) – See all my reviews

This is one of my favorite movies. It has excellent acting, a great story (by the late great Ken Kesey), and some very intense scenes. I found that Paul Newman's direction was very well done. This is a movie for fans of great character development.

First, Paul Newman, as usual, did an outstanding job. This is my favorite character. He was able to pull off this very icey dominance, even over his own father. He plays his character like he is Hank Stamper. Paul Newman always does a great job in his movies, but I think this one I especially like because he isn't as likeable as Cool Hand Luke or Fast Eddie (which are two other favorite characters and movies of mine).

Then there is Henry Fonda, who plays the eldest Stamper, Henry. He was a very interesting character, and Henry Fonda did a great job at playing him. He and Hank both head the family, and he and Paul Newman have a fractured relationship that is sort of crass, but still fun to see them on-screen together.

Then there is Michael Sarrazin, who plays the outcast Leeland Stamper. He is probably the best character. While all the other Stampers have leather skin and huge scars from wood chips, he has big bushy hair and is not a big barrel chested logger. Hank and Henry treat him like crap almost the whole movie, because he doesn't belong. Leeland just came back from the city, and he came back for the sole purpose of getting even with Hank.

And Finally, there is Lee Remick, who plays Hank's shut out wife Viv. She is probably the most complex character, simply because she only lets on what she thinks of her situation in little bits. She and Hank used to be wild lovers, but Hank is working so hard because of the logger's strike, he pretty much shuts her out, and so she begins to drift away from Hank.

My only problem with this movie is that they didn't have the big rights of passage fight between Hank and Leeland. In the book Leeland fought Hank after everything bad happened to the Stampers, as a way to show Hank that he isn't in control. I think that was the biggest part in the novel, and they left it out. But aside from that, I loved this movie.

Check this movie, or the book out for that matter, if you enjoy strong character development, many tragic events, and stories that take place in the backwoods of Oregon. 9/10


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