Getting Straight (1970)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama, Romance


Getting Straight (1970) Poster

A Vietnam vet and former social radical is conflicted by his desire to become a teacher and his sympathy with anti-establishment student protests.

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6.2/10
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  • Elliott Gould in Getting Straight (1970)
  • Elliott Gould and Cecil Kellaway in Getting Straight (1970)
  • Elliott Gould and Robert F. Lyons in Getting Straight (1970)
  • Candice Bergen and Elliott Gould in Getting Straight (1970)
  • Harrison Ford and Elliott Gould in Getting Straight (1970)
  • Elliott Gould in Getting Straight (1970)

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9 July 2004 | shepardjessica
8
| Early Rush, Curly Gould and Pretty Bergen!
This so-called exploitive campus revolt film from 1970 actually has some wonderful things going on in it. (I can't believe I still have the soundtrack and recently got the video). Elliott Gould was at the peak of whatever powers he had as leading man, without Donald Sutherland to play off (M.A.S.H.) or Dyan Cannon(B&C&T&A - supporting role), and he's perfect as Harry (who I think is in every scene). Candice Bergen was never more beautiful (still learning to act after five years in film - and right before Carnal Knowledge), and throw in Jeannie Berlin, Harrison Ford (not boring for a change), and a host of other young up-and-comers at the time, along with Jeff Corey (James Dean's acting teacher, who played elder Hickock in In Cold Blood, and Wild Bill Hickock in Little Big Man) as Gould's semi-mentor, with campus revolt in a frenetic, casual (until later) sort of way.

I know a lot of people worship The Stunt Man directed by the same man, Richard Rush ten years later ( and that film is better than this; but not that great), but he did have his own style (I'm not sure what happened to his sensibilities or career). Throw in Robert F. Lyons as Gould's buddy (does anybody remember that guy?) and there's real possibilities, not politically, but in those areas of film that carry over into thought and heart and hope. This is not even close to being a definitive campus revolt flick from that time, but it has aspects (every other scene almost) that have stature ABOUT real topics with semi-interesting characters along the way, without taking SIDES about Viet Nam or rebellion. If you come across it, you'll find some other actresses and actors that were well on their way (if yo're interested in that) and the ending is strange, but somehow appropriate in an uplifting and yet depressing way. It's worth anyone's time who is, at all, interested in that time period (concerning youth vs. establishment). To make a long story short, it's not some dopey, campus comedy with nudity and platitudes and wise-cracks (except for a few scenes concerning Gould's car and landlady).

It's nothing important to convey the ideals, emotions, and contemporary feel of that era, but it hits some spaces and is also funny in a human way that is appropriately not cynical (even for then).

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