7.0/10
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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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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:

New Hampshire, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000 (estimated)
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 film has oft been mentioned alongside The Big Chill (1983) but writer-director John Sayles has noted that in that movie the friends characters were more upwardly mobile than in this film. 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 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Free, White and 21
© 1979 Sweet Melodies Publishing
Written by Adam LeFevre
Performed by Adam LeFevre (uncredited)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Groundbreaking Indie Film
17 December 2006 | by divineangelSee all my reviews

Shocked that there's only three pages of comments for the film widely considered to be one of the fathers of the modern indie film movement. John Saylees used his b-movie money from Roger Corman (the best scripts written for him) and financed this weekend home movie that became a hit and launched Sayle's film career.

Some of the bad reviews are really unfounded. This has some of the best dialog in American film, and though the performances are not all polished, it adds to the reality. There's a sense of genuine community not like the Hollywoodized "Big Chill."

If you stick with the film you'll be rewarded by many nifty scenes and conversations. Gordon Clapp is fun and there are beautifully observed moments of wit and drama. Mark Arnett is particularly good and the moment he recites his litany of protest arrests is great. The film-making is raw, but that's not the point.

However, the DVD version is actually missing a scene on the VHS of the hamburgers being grilled to some sort of rhythmic montage. Why?

Anyway, if you're a fan of great dialog, political commitment, and what can be done for 40 grand and terrific writing, check this classic out.


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