7.0/10
3,268
34 user 22 critic

Sometimes a Great Notion (1971)

A family of fiercely independent Oregon loggers struggle to keep the family business alive amidst changing times.

Director:

Paul Newman

Writers:

Ken Kesey (novel), John Gay (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Hank Stamper
Henry Fonda ... Henry Stamper
Lee Remick ... Viv Stamper
Michael Sarrazin ... Leeland Stamper
Richard Jaeckel ... Joe Ben Stamper
Linda Lawson Linda Lawson ... Jan Stamper
Cliff Potts Cliff Potts ... Andy Stamper
Sam Gilman ... John Stamper
Lee de Broux ... Willard Eggleston
Jim Burk Jim Burk ... Biggy Newton
Roy Jenson ... Howie Elwood
Joe Maross ... Floyd Evenwrite
Roy Poole ... Jonathan Stamper
Charles Tyner ... Les Gibbons
Bennie E. Dobbins Bennie E. Dobbins ... (as Bennie Dobbins)
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Storyline

Hank Stamper and his father, Henry Stamper own and operate the family business by cutting and shipping logs in Oregon. The town is furious when they continue working despite the town going broke and the other loggers go on strike ordering the Stampers to stop, however Hank continues to push his family on cutting more trees. Hank's wife wishes he would stop and hopes that they can spend more time together. When Hank's half trouble making brother Leland comes to work for them, more trouble starts. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They hacked an empire out of wilderness...then fought the world to hold it! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Never Give a Inch See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,660,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film cast includes two Oscar winners: Paul Newman and Henry Fonda; and two Oscar nominees: Lee Remick and Richard Jaeckel. See more »

Goofs

During the Motorcycle race, Hank takes a spill and gets an entire left side caked with wet mud. The rest of the race and picnic, the level of mud on Hank's clothes changes back and forth from muddy to not so muddy. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Floyd Evenwrite: He's been over there a while. Ya think he's doing any good?
Biggy Newton: [shrugs]
Floyd Evenwrite: I got payments to make on a Chevrolet. Goddamn scabs over there!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the earliest video release version, circa 1982, when Leeland first arrives, there is a crane shot to reveal Hank looking down below at the family reunion. In the most current VHS release, circa 1994, the crane shot is edited out and is replaced with just a single cut from Viv, with an audio bridge to Hank on the roof. See more »

Connections

Featured in Further! Ken Kesey's American Dreams (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

All His Children
Lyrics by Marilyn Bergman and Alan Bergman
Music by Henry Mancini
Sung by Charley Pride
See more »

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User Reviews

I wish someone would take another crack at this one.
11 June 2004 | by bongo_furySee all my reviews

I have read Kesey's novel several times over the last 30 years or so. While I see some merit in this movie version, I'd like to see someone have another go at it. The movie only captures the novel in broad strokes. It hits the major point (brother returns to hometown to exact revenge on older sibling), but misses a lot of the flavor. I think Paul Newman, Henry Fonda and Lee Remick were perfect, as were many of the supporting cast. But Michael Sarrazin didn't quite do it for me. Maybe it was the hair, idunno. I always pictured a sort of geeky-looking, bespectacled, beatnick-looking guy with scruffy hair, but still fairly short, and sideburns. Sarrazin probably could have pulled it off, but back in the early 70s, actors were into looking like people from the early 70s.

But more to the point, the movie needed more back-story. We needed to see Johah Stamper "heading west" with young Henry and his brother. We needed to see Jonah fail and surrender to the dampness of the Pacific Northwest and desert his family. We needed to see young Henry take charge ("we're gonna whup her") and begin the logging business that becomes the crux of the story. Also missed were a lot of great scenes when Henry and Leland were children (Henry rescuing Leland from the Devil's Stovepipe, for one). Also missed was the passing of narrative from character to character. One small portion of the novel is actually narrated by a dog. The novel is written, mostly, in the first person from various points of view. There is a little second person narrative at the beginning of most chapters that pull the reader out of the story to offer additional flavor for the surroundings. Obviously, a novel needs to be pared in order to fit into the standard movie length. It would have to be a rather long movie, three hours or so, to portray the texture presented in the novel. But I'd like to see another go at it, maybe even starring Paul Newman as Henry.


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