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Stand Up and Be Counted (1972)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  May 1972 (USA)
4.4
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Ratings: 4.4/10 from 54 users  
Reviews: 2 user | 2 critic

Sheila is a newspaper reporter who returns to her home town in order to write an article about the progress of the liberation of the women. Arriving at the town she is very surprised to see... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sheila Hammond
...
Yvonne Kellerman
...
Gary McBride
...
Eliot Travis
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Karen Hammond
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Hilary McBride
...
Lou Kellerman
Anne Francine ...
Mabel Hammond
Madlyn Rhue ...
Gloria Seagar
Alex Wilson ...
Jerry Kamanski
...
Playboy Speaker
...
Herself (as Dr. Joyce Brothers)
Jessica Rains ...
Sadie
...
Tracy
...
Harley Burton
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Storyline

Sheila is a newspaper reporter who returns to her home town in order to write an article about the progress of the liberation of the women. Arriving at the town she is very surprised to see that her sister and also her mother agree very much with the feministic arguments. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From Adam's Rib to Women's Lib... baby, we've come a long long way!

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jede Stimme zählt  »

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Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

I Am Woman
Written by Helen Reddy (uncredited) and Ray Burton (uncredited)
Sung by Helen Reddy
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User Reviews

 
Two Different Movies -- Both bad
16 December 2004 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

There is one and only one lasting contribution to the arts made by Stand Up and Be Counted. It debuted Helen Reddy's inspirational song, "I Am Woman", ostensibly the theme of this movie. But, is it meant seriously or as a farce. I've seen this mess twice and still can't tell.

This was comedic-actor Jackie Cooper's only feature film as a director -- and it's easy to see why. There are a few well-executed turns delivered by a few lights that somehow manage to shine brightly among a deep and talented supporting cast, including Stella Stevens, young Loretta Swit, Gary Lockwood, young Hector Elizondo, and a very wry Michael Ansara. Unfortunately, they are trying to support Jacqueline Bisset who seems to think she's been cast in the Barbara Parkins role in Valley Of The Dolls -- melodramatic to the hilt. When we're not with the oh-so-earnest Bisset, we're with her mother (Lee Purcell) and sister (Anne Francine) trying to stand up to MCP Steve Lawrence who frustrates them for most of the film. If it sounds like it could work, perhaps it could have worked, but trust me it truly doesn't. And, playing like a skein of bad blackout sketches rejected from Love American Style, each scene is more ridiculous than the one before it. Jackie Cooper spent a lot of time learning how to tickle funny bones from George Burns. In other contexts this might work, but farce treating women's liberation as the ridiculous fodder for slapstick comedy should have been manifestly out of place given the presence of Bisset, Reddy's song, and Bernard Slade's original script. Instead, Director Cooper chose to bastardize the script, trivialize its subjects, and to treat the issue of adult women demanding to be taking seriously as inherently absurd and the fodder for raucous (or is that nauseous) comedy. It's a real pity. Greg Mullavey and Meredith Baxter have a nice moment in one of the vignettes. And stalwart vets Nancy Walker, Kathleen Freeman, and Shelley Morrison contribute what they can -- given Cooper's choice to treat it as absurd -- to the grand comic finale with the fed-up ladies burning their bloomers. Then we cut back to the reflective Bisset questioning whether the struggle is worth it, then resolving that it is. Fine, but nothing we just were assaulted with seems to back that up.

This is useful as a time capsule, to listen to the debut of "I Am Woman" and also to get an early look at some very talented performers. Beyond that, this is feeble, insulting, with Bisset, Purcell, and Francine all very difficult to watch in their own ways (except to be exploited for their looks as sex objects). Ironically, Cooper's listing on this site lists him as "sometimes listed as Allen Smithee", yet he used his real name on the director credits for this turkey. If he doesn't use it here, what would it take for him to use it.

Oh well, it's a shame. I rate Stand Up and Be Counted as a 3 out of 10.


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