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Ten for Two: The John Sinclair Freedom Rally (1971)

PG | | Documentary
Documentary about political activist John Sinclair.

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Credited cast:
Commander Cody and The Lost Planet Airmen ...
Themselves
Rennie Davis ...
Himself
David Dellinger ...
Himself
...
Himself
James Groppi ...
Himself (as Father Groppi)
Skip Knape ...
Himself (as Teegarden & Van Winkle)
...
Himself
Phil Ochs ...
Himself
...
Herself
David Peel ...
Himself
Jerry Rubin ...
Himself
Roswell Rudd ...
Himself
Ed Sanders ...
Himself
...
Himself
Bob Seger ...
Himself
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Documentary about political activist John Sinclair.

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Documentary

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PG | See all certifications »
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Featured in The U.S. vs. John Lennon (2006) See more »

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Fascinating
19 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

I just got a copy of this film. It's interesting to compare this to George Harrison's Concert For Bangledesh. They occurred only about four months apart but what a tremendous difference. Bangledesh was very slickly produced yet very warm with a many top performers on the bill. It was especially significant for being the first stage appearance for Harrison, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr for a long time. And all of this was done to raise funds for a starving country.

The Ten For Two on the other hand features John Lennon at his most polemic. The speakers in the rally, Father James Groppi, Bobby Seale and Jerry Rubin, are quite extreme and make some inflammatory statements (Groppi comparing Nixon to Hitler is a bit much to take). The music is a mixed bag too. It's obvious Allan Gingsberg can't sing, and I'm not sure about some of the minor acts like The Up either. A young Bob Segar plays a great version of "Carol" and there is a rare performance by Phil Ochs (several years before his suicide).

The whole interest in the film is John Lennon of course, and his set consists of four songs (three really with one Yoko song). He sounds very raw and unrehearsed, even reading the lyrics off of a music stand. But his charisma comes through very strong, being able to hold the entire arena by just his very presence. It's a shame this film has never been released and will probably never will be because it portrays the darker, paranoid side of the early seventies.


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