HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Flag Day
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster
Nest, The
Martin Eden
Halloween Kills
Cicada
Sun Shines Bright, The
Last Thing Mary Saw, The
Comets
Herself
Mon Oncle d'Amerique
Wild Strawberries
Runner, The
Don't Look Up
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Eternals
Forever Purge, The
Memoria
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Legend of La Llorona, The
Japon
Glasshouse
Perdita Durango
Commando, The
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror
Boiling Point
Malignant
Deadly Games
Ailey
Voyeurs, The
Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
In the Earth
Hiroshima Mon Amour
Hotel Poseidon
Zola
No Time to Die
Klaus
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Candyman
Power of the Dog, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
The Punk Rock Movie: Out of the Blue on Blu-ray
Yeah, Too Quiet: The Great Silence on Blu-ray
Vestron Double Bill: Dementia 13 and The Wraith
Farewell Dean Stockwell: His Years of Weirdness
Kung Fu Craft: Cinematic Vengeance! on Blu-ray
999 Letsbe Avenue: Gideon's Way on Blu-ray
Hungary for Cartoons: Hungarian Animations on MUBI
You Have No Choice: Invasion of the Body Snatchers on Blu-ray
You Can't Tame What's Meant to Be Wild: The Howling on Blu-ray
Commendably Brief: Short Sharp Shocks Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Super Silents: Early Universal Vol. 2 on Blu-ray
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
   
 
  Strawberry Statement, The The Students Are Revolting
Year: 1970
Director: Stuart Hagmann
Stars: Bruce Davison, Kim Darby, Bud Cort, Murray McLeod, Tom Foral, Bob Balaban, Michael Margotta, Israel Horovitz, James Kunen, Jeannie Berlin, Carol Bagdasarian, Danny Goldman, Kristina Holland, David Dukes, James Coco, Bert Remsen, Joe Quinn, King Moody
Genre: Comedy, Drama, RomanceBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Simon (Bruce Davison) is a twenty-year-old student at a San Francisco University, but is more interested in rowing on the river with his fellow teammates than getting involved politically with the uprising which is occurring on campus. All he lives for is working those oars back and forth and racing through the water, but when he gets back to his bedsit which he shares with fellow student Charlie (Danny Goldman) he finds him with a girl (Kristina Holland) who after she puts her clothes on tells him he should really get involved with the strike...

Call it coincidence, call it fate, call it simply catching the mood of the times and the trouble brewing in the United States thanks to the Vietnam War, but The Strawberry Statement captured the spirit of the student protests better than many around in 1970. Thanks to it being released very close to the actual massacre of students at Ohio's Kent State University shortly afterwards, it became the film to rally around or disdain depending on whose side you were on, although as the decades passed and director Stuart Hagmann's achingly hip presentation began to date faster than most the film turned into a curio more than a work to get behind and inspire civil unrest.

Still, for all the then-fashionable jump cuts and seemingly endless montages set to the hippy-dippy tunes of the era, or the ones they had the rights to at any rate (Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young mostly) you could view this and feel as if you were being immersed in the culture of American student life circa the end of the sixties. Davison, looking very fresh-faced, was our guide through this magical land as the self-confessedly "confused" Simon, based on James Kunen (who also appeared here) who wrote the book about his own experiences as an activist. The book was embellished by screenwriter Israel Horovitz (who also appeared - but as a professor, not as a student) to render it more revolutionary in tone and build to a suitably apocalyptic climax.

Before that, the contradictions of the protestor's life were laid bare, with some demanding their rights at any cost, while others taking a more peaceful route to get what they wanted, though whether any of them did was a moot point as you cannot see much evidence of the Man giving so much as an inch, not even by the ending. Simon bumbles through this problematic series of encounters, except he has the benefit of falling in love with someone as confused as he is, she being Linda, essayed by Kim Darby the year after winning attention opposite that well-known liberal John Wayne in True Grit. Linda is falling for Simon too, but her feelings are conflicted which sums up the "nobody is too clear what the hell is going on" mood of the film.

That tendency towards fuzziness in storytelling was all too deliberate, as if Hagmann was dead set on delivering an accurate rendering of youthful innocence and sense of fair play being confounded by the constraints and demands of the adult world the characters are moving into. To an extent it's pretty well handled, but at too many points everyone tries to get a little too cute with the material, so there's visit to the record shop that wouldn't be too out of place in the campus scenes of The Graduate, or humour is divined from a mass police bust where Simon asks for a female official to deal with Linda, only to be faced with worldweary dismissal by the detective in charge. His uncertainty about where he stands extends to pretending the bloodied lip he received from a jock on the rowing team was doled out by a cop so he can gain kudos in the higher echelons of unrest, but the final scenes where the students beat out "Give Peace a Chance" as their sit-in is beseiged by the National Guard have an uncomfortable authenticity.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3170 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: