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A Small Circle of Friends (1980)

Harvard in the 1960's: a time of social upheaval and student unrest. Three students bond together, challenge the system and begin to lose their ideals.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonardo DaVinci Rizzo
Jessica Bloom
Nick Baxter
John Friedrich ...
Alex Haddox
Harry Norris
Harry Caesar ...
Mrs. Baxter
Crazy Kid: Draft Inductee (as Dan Stern)
Jason Laskay ...
Dorm Proctor
Jamie Squire ...
Karate Student
Mary Margaret Amato ...
Girl in Shower
David Hollander ...
Editor of 'Crimson'
Frank Rich ...
Assistant Editor of 'Crimson'


Harvard in the 1960's: a time of social upheaval and student unrest. Three students bond together, challenge the system and begin to lose their ideals. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They shared everything....Why not each other ? [Australia Theatrical] See more »




R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 October 1980 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Amigo é para Essas Coisas  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


United Artists was reluctant to give first-time director Rob Cohen the privilege of directing this film because he was mostly known for producing. Rob Cohen pressed the already hard-pressed studio, the studio heads deliberated for six weeks and Rob Cohen was ultimately given the job. There was one condition: Cohen needed a back-up director in the event that he would be fired from directing. Arthur Hiller agreed to step up in the event that this happened. Luckily for Cohen, it never did happen. See more »


The characters entered Harvard in 1967 and presumably were to graduate in 1971, and it shows them as apparently the first class involved with the draft lottery, which affected only seniors. However, the first class involved with the lottery was actually that of 1970, and the movie accurately shows the first ball being pulled from the drum with a date of September 14 in the drawing held for the 1970 class. See more »


Jessica Bloom: I'll tell you exactly what I mean... and it has a great deal to do with the meaning of this bed: Go fuck yourself!
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References Annie Hall (1977) See more »


Theme for the Masses
Harry Palmer
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User Reviews

Going to college in the late 60s/early 70s
27 March 2017 | by (Ohio/PA border) – See all my reviews

Released in 1980, "A Small Circle of Friends" is a drama about three friends at Harvard & Radcliffe College during the turbulent years 1967-1971. The protagonists are played by Brad Davis, Karen Allen and Jameson Parker. John Friedrich and Shelley Long are on hand as peripheral students.

This is a good realistic drama about life at college during the late 60s & early 70s in America. The movie showcases the political and social craziness of those times and how it changed the students, for better or worse. It's akin to 2000's underrated "The 70s" but maybe a notch better. There are several highlights and even glimpses of greatness, like "The Star-Spangled Banner" being sung by an African-America cook from the university while sitting at a bar, a few curvy cuties, a pre-Cheers Shelley Long, a hilarious stage sequence, the absurd Vietnam draft lottery, and an unexpectedly shocking climax.

There are also a couple of great songs from the era, like the Stones' "Street Fighting Man," but there should've been more instead of overdoing the sappy "Theme for the Masses." I should warn that there's one element in the last act that's just gross, but it happened then and now. As solid as "A Small Circle of Friends" is, it's thoroughly obscure; somehow it fell through the cracks when it was released.

The film runs 113 minutes and was shot entirely in Massachusetts (Cambridge, Bridgewater & Groton). It was directed by Rob Cohen and written by Ezra Sacks.


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