7.1/10
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Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979)

R | | Drama | 5 September 1980 (USA)
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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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce MacDonald ...
Mike
Maggie Renzi ...
Katie
...
J.T.
Maggie Cousineau ...
Frances
...
Chip
Jean Passanante ...
Irene
Karen Trott ...
Maura
...
...
Ron
...
Howie
Marisa Smith ...
Carol
Amy Schewel ...
Lacey
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

Country:

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

The academic journal article "The long-term effect of a degree on graduate lives" by A Jenkins, L Jones & A Ward and published in the journal 'Studies in Higher Education', Vol 26, No 2, erroneously states that this film 'Return of the Secaucus Seven' was remade as 'The Big Chill' (p. 148). The Big Chill (1983) is not a remake of Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979) even though the two movies cover similar thematic territory. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Jeff Andrews: My problem is the repetitiveness. Y'know... wine, women, and whiteline fever, over and over. Whereas, progressive is existential. You got these chromatic melodies, right? To use for, like, a springboard into all kinds of experiments. Even the backbeat is full of nuances. You know that there's a central rhythmic idea going on, but you're never quite sure when it's going to pop up. Now, you-you put your, ah, your-your counterpoint on top of that, your passing tones, your arpeggios, your ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in The Making of 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial' (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

Barbecue Rag
© 1979 Guy Van Duser
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User Reviews

 
John Sayles' home movie of 1980 America
15 May 2001 | by (Austin, Texas) – See all my reviews

Overshadowed by its loud, shallow and uncredited remake (The Big Chill) Sayles' first film is a very slight effort that manages to capture a time and place with quiet brilliance. The actors -- first roles for most of them and only roles for some -- are sometimes painfully amateurish and the duration and self-indulgence of some of the scenes make the viewer long for chainsaw intervention, but the film as a whole does a wonderful job of showing a generation of aging idealists on the eve of Reagan's America. Unlike The Big Chill, where everyone is pretty and successful and the dialogue is crisp and full of what passes for wit on prime time TV, Sayles' characters are almost too low-key, their banter sometimes clumsy and their jokes not terribly funny. The unfortunate side effect of his conscientious effort to keep things "real" is that the film sometimes fails to entertain or engage and most of the characters end up outside the viewers' sphere of caring, like someone else's friends in a third-hand story. Still, a very impressive first film and influential on many other 80s movies besides its gaudy imitator.


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