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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.

Director:

John Sayles

Writer:

John Sayles
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3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce MacDonald Bruce MacDonald ... Mike
Maggie Renzi Maggie Renzi ... Katie
Adam LeFevre ... J.T.
Maggie Cousineau Maggie Cousineau ... Frances
Gordon Clapp ... Chip
Jean Passanante Jean Passanante ... Irene
Karen Trott Karen Trott ... Maura
Mark Arnott ... Jeff
David Strathairn ... Ron
John Sayles ... Howie
Marisa Smith Marisa Smith ... Carol
Amy Schewel Amy Schewel ... Lacey
Carolyn Brooks Carolyn Brooks ... Meg
Eric Forsythe 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 | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 September 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Return of the Secaucus 7 See more »

Filming Locations:

Jackson, New Hampshire, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This independent film was made and released before the inauguration of the Sundance Film Festival. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Ron Desjardins: [rings the bell on the hotel desk to wake up Howie] Me and the missus just drove in from Peoria and the guy at the filling station says...
Howie: [walks in] Jesus, Ron!
Ron Desjardins: "These are the finest accommodations in town".
Frances Carlson: [to Howie] Hi.
Howie: Hi. Look, Ron... we only got two rooms left.
Ron Desjardins: Me and the missus don't need but one. As long as it's got them Magic Fingers in there. It drives the missus wild, them thangs.
Howie: And you gotta be quiet.
Ron Desjardins: [serious, pulling the notebook toward himself] Where do we register?
Howie: [...]
See more »

Connections

References Bambi (1942) See more »

Soundtracks

Mean to Me
© 1979 Sweet Melodies Publishing
Written by Adam LeFevre
Performed by Adam LeFevre (uncredited), Cora Bennett (uncredited) and Steven Zaitz (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Groundbreaking
27 June 2008 | by preppy-3See 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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