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Butterflies Are Free
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Reviews & Ratings for
Butterflies Are Free More at IMDbPro »

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29 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Surprising

Author: (multidecoy) from DC metro area
5 August 2004

I randomly put this movie on today, and I was pleasantly surprised. So much that I took the time to register and write the only review of a movie I've ever written. The movie feels more like a play, with a majority of the movie occurring in one space. The bulk of the movie is dialog, the main character Donny is blind. The movie is about his struggle for independence from his enabling mother and his interaction with his newfound roommate, Jill. I found all the actors delivery to be exceptional, and the interactions dynamic and entertaining. Most of the movie is conversations between the characters with quick replies and wit worthy of note. There's not much going on in the film outside of a simple plot, but the movie touches on some very serious, emotional moments as well as humorous. I think Donny's character is played excellently, and the other roles very convincing as well. Overall I found the movie to be really well done, entertaining and not at all bland, although it is definitely more like a play than a movie, so it might take a little more creativity and thought to make it as appealing, but that's what I enjoy anyway. Very impressed, haven't enjoyed a movie that much in a while. And it's 34 years old.

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26 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

**** One of Goldie's finest moments

Author: Bil-3 from Toronto, Ontario
28 March 2001

Need strong proof to support the argument that Goldie Hawn is the finest of actresses? Watch this classic one along with her masterpiece Private Benjamin. In Butterflies she's funny, tragic, serious and as endearing as she could possibly could be as Jill, the wacky new girl in town who finds herself surprised when her neighbour Don (Edward Albert, Eddie Albert's son) reveals to her that he's completely blind. They have lunch, go shopping, get to know each other, and worst of all meet Don's mother. Don't mistake Eileen Heckart or her awards in the role of the domineering matriarch, she ain't just any aging woman playing a mother. The character is annoying, callous, loving and wise and the relationship that develops between the three characters is very moving. All this presented with great dialogue provided by Leonard Gershe (based on his own stage play).

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17 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

I would love to see this story performed on stage

7/10
Author: littlejake4 from cape coral, florida
8 March 2000

I enjoyed this film very much; it appeals to the romantic in all of us, yet it is very candid. Goldie Hawn is perfect for the role of Jill, she seems so at ease with the character. Eileen Heckart is wonderful as the overbearing yet caring mother. She loves her son and it is hard for her to let go of him & to stop taking care of her son, Don, especially since he is blind. She feels that he needs someone to care for him and she thinks his new neighbor and love interest Jill is not the girl to do that. Heckart won the best supporting oscar that year for the film and she was much deserving because she is excellent. The film has some very touching scenes between each of the actors as Don struggles for independence from his mother and as he fights to convince Jill that they could have a relationship despite his blindness and how his mother has scared her away. I also love that the film has been adapted from a play and you can really sense that with simple apartment setting. A interesting note is that the Leonard Gershe who wrote the play was inspired by a real life person: Harold Krentz. Gershe heard Krentz talking on a radio show about being drafted for the military during the vietnam war, the odd thing is Harold Krentz has been blind since childhood. Harold Krentz wrote a book called "To Race the Wind" and he writes about being the inspiration for the story of Butterflies are free.

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21 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

the girl next door and the cute blind man...

Author: masonx from Auckland, New Zealand.
18 February 2000

A light drama set in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury area of the early 70's. It is the latter days of the Vietnam War, an innocent time for us here in the 90's prior to the advent of AIDS & gay liberation & Watergate. Young cute and blind Don Baker(Edward Albert) makes a concerted effort at independence from his home and his clinging over-protective mother(Eileen Heckart) by moving into his own apartment. He meets and falls for the girl next door,literally. Goldie Hawn, here in one of her more successful & effortless roles as an extrovert gregarious actress. Young Don must come to terms with his blooming relationship together with his handicap.There is also mothers apparent disapproval of her son's budding affair.(her silence on the matter is thunderous). Enough said.

There are some wonderful scenes in this movie especially those moments between Heckart & Hawn. For her role Heckart deservedly won an oscar that year. Domineering & disapproving she may be but she is not an ogre rather a contrast in femininity to Jill, the other woman in Don's life. The emotional change as she slowly accepts her son's independence gives the film some substance it would not otherwise have. Wonderful scene when mother & girlfriend first meet, in his kitchen, and Jill in her underwear !.The chill in the air is palpable but both characters size up the situation without even a hint of discomfort. The ending was surprising and very apt, a very touching moment between mother & son. Edward Albert does a convincing turn here and his circumstances are clearly the pivotal link for the other two characters coming into conflict. But it does seem superfluous at times in view of Hawn & Heckart's strong performances. A not too serious romance not to be missed by the romantics in all of us.

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16 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Worth a Watch

Author: julesteberg from Los Angeles, CA
17 November 2004

I have been wanting to see this hard to find flick since I had the chance to play the "Goldy" character in the stage play.

Although the film dates to '72 it really isn't even dated, although in one segment it does reference two out of operation airlines--sign of the times.

The cinematic version retains many of the features one would find in the stage play. I found the experience of watching "Butterflies are Free" so much more rewarding then many more countless modern pictures I've forked out 8 bucks for at the theater.

The character development is fantastic, Goldie Hahn is really classic as a

"reformed hippie" San Fran transplant.

However, I feel the supporting characters really shine with their nuanced

performances. The long camera angles and the sets really allow you to see the interaction between the actors and the talent shines. This film is entertaining and enjoyable without expensive special effects, graphic violence or vulgarity-- just a young Goldie in her cute panties and tiny, svelte figure.

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Masterpiece Romantic Play

9/10
Author: kenandraf from Honolulu, Hawaii
30 June 2002



Masterpiece film that has great quality production and acting.The story is a romance/drama that incorporates very real love/life struggles that come with it.Also a very good snapshot of early 1970's free spirit experimentation of 20 somethings without having to exaggerate.Also a good example of Goldie's acting skills.One of the top 20 Romantic Dramas of All Time and one of the 100 Best Movies All Time in my book.Only for romance/drama/play fans and big fans of the lead actors......

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12 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Long Shots

Author: gpburdell from North Carolina
5 August 2004

I really enjoyed the movie, but one thing I noticed and appreciated was the long shots. Modern movies usually are changing angles and context every few seconds; while like a play, this movie will hold a shot for minutes at a time. I think it shows the strength of the actors, while most contemporary movies can mask poor acting with editing. This is especially true towards the end of the movie, in the scene where Don and Jill confront each other's feelings. I was amazed at how Goldie was able to hold the emotion of the scene and keep me drawn in for such an extended period.

I've never been a big Goldie fan, but I had never seen this movie until recently. I have to say this movie changes my opinion and makes we wonder what other films of hers from this period are like.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Masterpiece

Author: dsuggitt from Canada
14 June 2009

I just finished watching this movie. I woke up this morning believing I saw this movie years ago, and decided to give it a chance to see if it jogged any memories. Turns out I did see it years ago but now with me being much older, it held much greater significance for me. This film was not dated at all and it would be relative to almost any period in time. The issues dealt with in the movie are the same issues that people deal with all the time, except of course for the role brilliantly played by Edward Albert in which he plays a blind man. One of the beautiful aspects of this film is that the script tries, and succeeds at eliminating the stereotypes and limitations of the handicap to instead focus on the real emotional ups and downs of the human soul. Absolutetly brilliant film.

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12 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

The golden days of Goldie Hawn. (spoilers)

9/10
Author: Pepper Anne from Orlando, Florida
2 January 2004

I like watching 1970s comedies based on plays. They're so simple; usually three or four characters in one or two settings in a story with light-hearted quick wit comedy. Butterflies are Free is one of those movies.

This is the story of a young blind man (played by Eddie Albert, Jr.) trying to prove to his mother that he is perfectly capable of taking care of himself. He moves into his own apartment, adjacent to a young eccentric actress (Goldie Hawn). His overprotective mother is suspicious not only of him living alone, but that should he fall in love and then have his heart broken, he won't be able to deal with it.

Everyone in the film is terrific. I started looking for more Eddie Albert, Jr. movies as well as more Goldie Hawn movies from what looks to be her hayday (her movies nowadays just don't have the same effect). It's a very simple, very fun little film.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Stage presence

7/10
Author: greenheart from United Kingdom
27 June 2012

I bumped into this movie, a Goldie Hawn feature that I hadn't heard of. It turned out to bit of a gem. Clearly, written for the stage rather than the big stage, it did translate into a watchable couple of hours although I still consider that the stage is probably the most suitable home for this piece. The acting was terrific. Hawn was quirky, charming, frustrating, not to mention sexy. Such a confused and immature character, yet you couldn't help but like her. You wanted to sympathise with Edward Albert as the blind neighbour and yet, he didn't want people to sympathise with him. He displayed admirable courage and yet a fragility that could break at any second despite his noble. independence. Eileen Heckart won an Oscar for the mother. She was frustrating to start with and then her love and determination to look after her son shone through and you ended up being so full of admiration for her. Lots of talking and yet you get drawn in from an early stage so that you really, genuinely care. Don't let this butterfly pass you by.

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