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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

John Sayles has said about this movie: "Acting is cheap . . . I knew I couldn't afford lots of moving cameras, and cranes and dollies, so I needed to get movement into the film, any way I could. I thought that if I have lots of little subplots, I can always cut to a different subplot, and that'll give the film the movement I need. I realized early on that the film was going to be a group of people, turning thirty, who had lots of subplots with each other." See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[Chip returns to the car to find Ron talking to Irene]
Chip Hollister: Hi.
Ron Desjardins: Hi.
Chip Hollister: I'm, uh, Chip Hollister.
Ron Desjardins: [shaking his hand] Pleased to meet you.
Chip Hollister: You're...?
[Ron looks down at the name tag on his chest. Chip sees it]
Chip Hollister: Ron.
Ron Desjardins: Very good. Last name's Desjardins, but, uh, I gotta have another tit to fit it all. You Irene's old man?
[Chip chuckles nervously]
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Infested (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

I Brake for Animals
© 1979 Sweet Melodies Publishing
Written by Adam LeFevre
Performed by Adam LeFevre (uncredited)
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User Reviews

 
Groundbreaking
27 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

John Sayles made this film for only $60,000 and only one person in the film had any previous acting experience. It's just amazing how well this turned out. It's about a couple (Mike and Katie) who invite all their college friends to spending the weekend in a cabin in New Hampshire. They all spent their college years as radicals...and now they're all turning 30. We learn who they were and how they are now. No big catastrophes or changes are made with any of the characters--we just see how these former radicals are now dealing with life. Sounds boring but I found it absolutely fascinating. The acting is all natural and realistic--I found myself actually believing these people all have been friends for 10+ years! The dialogue was sharp and on target...but John Sayles has always been a master at writing great scripts.

I was in my first year of college when this came out. It was a HUGE hit in Boston (I believe it played at one independent cinema for over a year!) and I saw it again and again. Even though I was too young to really identify with the characters (their moaning about turning 30 struck me as silly) I was fascinated by their characters and situations. They do discuss issues that were relevant in 1980--that's probably what I found so interesting. Seeing it now (28 years later) it's dated (of course) but still fascinating. The references to late 70s issues, politicians and life style may confuse younger viewers. Also it was interesting to see that casual sex and drug taking is shown as being OK! I also liked the surprising and casual male nudity in a skinny dipping sequence. (None of the female actors get nude but it seems the guys had no problem). This was later remade (sort of) in Hollywood as "The Big Chill". "The Big Chill" is an excellent COMMERCIAL film...this is an excellent independent film. This made John Sayles and is also David Strathairn's first film! Absolutely fascinating motion picture. I wish Sayles had revisited these characters again in 1990 and 2000--by the end I was really wondering what happened to this people. A one of a kind and a groundbreaking independent film that was very profitable. A must see!


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