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      Sometimes a Great Notion

      PG Released Jan 19, 1972 1h 54m Drama List
      100% Tomatometer 14 Reviews 77% Audience Score 500+ Ratings A family of independent Oregon loggers refuses to participate in a local strike against the big lumber companies. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (14) Critics Reviews
      J. Hoberman Village Voice A New Hollywood movie suffused in Old Hollywood values. Nov 1, 2011 Full Review Stephen Garrett Time Out It's not a classic, in the sense of being perfectly formed. But the craft work is one of a kind. Rated: 4/5 Nov 1, 2011 Full Review Variety Staff Variety The result is rather good -- a sort of contemporary 'western' in the timber territory. Jun 17, 2008 Full Review Quentin Tarantino The New Beverly Sometimes a Great Notion is a good somewhat compromised movie, that is justly famous for one of the greatest scenes in early seventies cinema. Jun 22, 2020 Full Review Alberto Abuín Espinof Newman's security, both behind and in front of the camera, is overwhelming. [Full Review in Spanish] May 7, 2020 Full Review Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Based on Ken Kesey's book, Newman's second film as helmer is not effective or cohesive as the first (Rachel Rachel), but Oregon locations and good acting by Henry Fonda and others compensate for uneasy fit between melodrama and action Rated: B- Jul 29, 2009 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (54) audience reviews
      paul s For its day and age, this may very well be a masterpiece. The casting was excellent. The emotions of the people in the story feel believable. They don't make movies like this anymore. The cinematography is exceptional. I don't imagine this movie could be made today because they chopped down tons of real trees to make it, but this is part of what makes the story so believable. The scenery and landscapes are beautiful. Without spoiling it, there's some noteworthy tragedy that really brings the movie home. Well done. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Henry Fonda is the head of a headstrong lumbering family in Oregon. They refuse to join a strike against a lumber company which angers the townsfolk. Paul Newman is the rebellious son who doesn't care how many feathers get ruffled. It's a tough movie since none of the characters are particularly sympathetic. Each can be very difficult. The tragic moments that occur are harsh, unexpected, and nail biting. It shows the dangers of this type of occupation and thee type of people who excel in it. Richard Jaekel was nominated for a Supporting Actor Oscar for his role. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/09/23 Full Review a.l.jude p ONE OF THE BEST MOVIES TO UNDERSTAND WAHT REAL RURAL AMERICA IS. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Sometimes a Great Notion is a strange duck of a film about a timber family in 1970s Oregon. Large sections of the film are just logging action (like a Discovery Channel Reality Show). Newman stars (and directs) this one. The family dynamic here is weird (and a bit icky by the time it is done). The main family the "Stampers" as a unit are both the hero and the villain to this tale. Newman's direction is sharp as hell. 3 1/2 stars out of 5. Fair warning the homophobia (while a product of the time) is pretty strong in this one. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 01/24/23 Full Review paul d Paul Newman's Sometimes a Great Notion is a powerful and evocative film that somehow feels incomplete. Perhaps the story by Ken Kesey is too complex, too nuanced to be told in a mere two hours and deserved the mini-series treatment. The film has wonderful outdoor cinematography and creates a frightening ambiance, based on the awesome power of nature but also on the constant threat of violence from the striking local townspeople. There were also a number of things that didn't work for me. The sense of inevitable doom, from which there was no relief right from the opening frames, seemed heavy even by the standards of melodrama. Also, Lee Remick's character must have had lots to do in the novel, but is mostly just eye candy here, with some occasional glances and sighs that I think only those who read the book could grasp. And that brings us to the back-stories, which apparently fueled the personalities and intrigue but which are barely developed. Paul Newman, Michael Sarrazin and Richard Jaekel are very good, but I found Henry Fonda a bit too one-dimensional, a bit over-drawn. Finally, I found the music and ending to be out of place in the portrayal of an epic battle and grandiose family. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member A film about a family that will not join the union strike and is therefore alienated by the community which is a storyline that is not unique but the performances and the script writing for the latter three fifths of the film make this film stand out. I thought the film moved along pretty slowly at the beginning and believed that this was going to be a forgettable film. The cliched swearing script became a bit boring. However, the Stamper's family more personal interactions were acted and written well and the family's discussions with the union and the town was also intriguing. Although, I did not really care for the cinema owner and his struggles, which could have been replaced by the Stamper's personal lumberjack friends instead. His death didn't leave much of an impact on the family either. The scene between Hank and Joe Ben was very well directed and scripted. You hoped that there was some way Joe Ben could be saved, that nothing would happen to him after Henry's serious injury. When I read Tarantino's review of the film where he said the film contained one of the greatest scenes in early seventies cinema, I was very sceptical. However, after watching the film he is 100% correct. The Joe Ben-Hank scene seemed to be so impactful that the Academy nominated the actor who played Joe Ben, Richard Jaeckel, for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. I thought his performance was the weakest in that category for that year as his contemporaries had much more scenes to chew on, but he still gave a good performance. Henry Ford's performance, especially in the hospital, was also very good and I would not have been against him being nominated for his performance. The ending of the film is satisfying where Hank and Lee go down the river with the logs and give the finger to the unions. I would've liked to have more time understanding the union's side of the story as I thought was pretty important to the story. I should also note that I thought the cinematography in this film was weak for a film that mostly takes place in the countryside. Overall, a film that, while not as good as the author's other film adaptation, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, had strong performances, a good script and very memorable scenes. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      Sometimes a Great Notion

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      Cast & Crew

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      Movie Info

      Synopsis A family of independent Oregon loggers refuses to participate in a local strike against the big lumber companies.
      Director
      Paul Newman
      Producer
      John Foreman
      Screenwriter
      John Gay
      Distributor
      Universal Pictures
      Production Co
      Universal Pictures
      Rating
      PG
      Genre
      Drama
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jan 19, 1972, Original
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 30, 2016
      Runtime
      1h 54m
      Sound Mix
      Stereo