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Return of the Secaucus Seven (1979)

R | | Drama | 1979 (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.


John Sayles


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




Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce MacDonald Bruce MacDonald ... Mike
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


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




R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Considered to have launched the directorial film career of American auteur John Sayles. See more »


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


J.T.: So listen, what-what kind of music do you like?
Lee: Oh, progressive rock mostly.
J.T.: Which is that?
Lee: Oh, King Crimson, Yes, Genesis, Rush...
J.T.: Right, right. Heavy metal goes to college.
See more »


References Dragnet (1951) See more »


The Boots They Come and the Boots They Go
© 1977 Folk Legacy Inc.
© 1978 Daring Enterprises
Written by Bill Staines
Performed by Mason Daring and Jeanie Stahl
See more »

User Reviews

I saw this when it came out and thought it was great!
8 February 2005 | by mgraser-1See all my reviews

I went to a movie theater and saw "Return of the Secaucus Seven" in 1981. I was slightly younger than the characters in the movie but I could relate to their lives. When the Big Chill came out I thought it was a ripoff of Secaucus. In the Big Chill all of the characters have big time jobs - shoe manufacturer, doctor, actor, magazine writer, etc.. In Secaucus most of the characters haven't figured out what they want to do and crashing on the floor is a way of life rather than the expense account Big Chill graduates. The acting is awful. The plot is weak. It is a very rough film. But it has a sense of reality, humor, and place that most professional movies do not have. When I saw this again a few years ago on PBS it was not quite the film I fondly remembered. Perhaps I can no longer relate to post graduate blues or life without children and a mortgage. It is still an impressive low budget first film by John Sayles.

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Release Date:

1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Return of the Secaucus 7 See more »

Filming Locations:

New Hampshire, USA See more »


Box Office


$60,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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