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Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979)

 -  Drama  -  5 September 1980 (USA)
7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,524 users  
Reviews: 37 user | 18 critic

Seven former college friends, along with a few new friends, gather for a weekend reunion at a summer house in New Hampshire to reminisce about the good old days, when they got arrested on the way to a protest in Washington, DC.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce MacDonald ...
Mike Donnelly
Maggie Renzi ...
Katie Sipriano
...
J.T.
Maggie Cousineau ...
Frances Carlson
...
Chip Hollister
Jean Passanante ...
Irene Rosenblue
Karen Trott ...
Maura Tolliver
...
Jeff Andrews
...
Ron Desjardins
...
Howie
Marisa Smith ...
Carol
Amy Schewel ...
Lacey Summers
Carolyn Brooks ...
Meg
Eric Forsythe ...
Captain
Nancy Mette ...
Lee
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Storyline

The Secaucus 7 of the film's title are seven friends who, during their college days, were arrested in New Jersey on their way to a protest in Washington. The film takes place ten years after all that, as the friends gather at the home of Mike and Katie, now schoolteachers in New Hampshire, bringing with them old problems and new: Maura has left Jeff and seeks consolation with his best friend, J.T.; J.T., arguably the least successful of the friends, finally gets the courage to move to Los Angeles to start a career as a songwriter; Irene brings her new boyfriend along, hoping he'll like and be liked by her friends and expecting them to challenge him for his more-conservative politics; and more. This is the film that inspired "The Big Chill." Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

5 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Return of the Secaucus 7  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$60,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This independent film was made and released before the inauguration of the Sundance Film Festival. See more »

Goofs

Camera shadow on the ground during the basketball game when JT falls down. See more »

Quotes

[they sit in a row in the bar]
Mike Donnelly: Sunday!
Ron Desjardins: Sunday!
Howie: Sunday!
Mike Donnelly: At Washington Valley Speedway: thrills, chills, and spills!
Ron Desjardins: [starts making racing car noises]
Howie: Nitro-burning funny cars!
Mike Donnelly: Joey Chitwood and his Auto Daredevils!
Howie: Special appearance by Big Daddy Ross!
Mike Donnelly: You'll laugh, you'll scream, you'll cry!
[...]
See more »

Connections

References The Hustler (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Mean to Me
© 1979 Sweet Melodies Publishing
Written by Adam LeFevre
Performed by Adam LeFevre (uncredited), Cora Bennett (uncredited) and Steven Zaitz (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Did we all see the same film?
7 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Some of the comments about "Return" are amazingly vitriolic and appear to have been written by people who hate independent films in general, or who hate "reunion" movies, or who hate low-budget movies, etc., etc., etc. If your comfort zone is Hollywood films with predictable plots and pretty, more or less interchangeable faces you've seen over and over, why watch this film at all?

There are also some misstatements of fact among the comments--it is amazing that someone thinks that "The Big Chill," a blatant piece of Hollywood plagiarism, preceded and inspired this film--but particularly off base is the remark that few of the actors in the film have many additional credits. Yes, there are several actors with only one to three credits. But more than half of them have numerous credits, some as many as 90, and some as writers and producers as well as actors. Furthermore, many of the credits are excellent--most of the TV credits, for example, are for series that are critically acclaimed. In addition, four or five of the actors are well known and respected in the business, whether they are household names or not. If you can use IMDb well enough to make comments, you can also check the accuracy of such statements before making them.

The film may not seem gripping now, since the reunion thing has been done to death. But it is a very important movie, in terms of advancing the popular acceptance of independent films and, of course, launching John Sayles' brilliant career, one which has contributed in a major way to the culture of this country and indeed the world. And it is still good watching for those who do not expect all films to be about action.


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