77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Might I Have Seen You in Something Besides Your Underwear?"
The movie "Butterflies are Free" is a comedy/drama which is an old favorite of mine that I have seen in various forms on TV and video for a number of years.I am very happy now that it has finally been put out on DVD.This is basically a filmed play (with a couple of added scenes to "open it up")which explores the meaning of concepts like freedom and independence within...
Published on May 1, 2002 by Kenneth M. Gelwasser
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Love Comedy
Based on the play of the same name this is the story of a blind youmg man,Don Baker(Edward Albert) who has his mind set to make his own life for himself despite his handicap. He leaves the security of his parent's home and takes an apartment in San Francisco; he promises his mother(Eileen Heckart)that if he cannot make it on his own in three months he will return home...
Published on April 11, 2009 by Richard C. Idoux
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77 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Might I Have Seen You in Something Besides Your Underwear?",
The movie "Butterflies are Free" is a comedy/drama which is an old favorite of mine that I have seen in various forms on TV and video for a number of years.I am very happy now that it has finally been put out on DVD.This is basically a filmed play (with a couple of added scenes to "open it up")which explores the meaning of concepts like freedom and independence within the framework of a love story.The story takes place in a San Fransisco loft during those heady, 'groovy' days of flower power.Don Baker (Played by Edward Albert) is young man, blind from birth, who is trying for the first time to break away from his overbearing mother's apron strings by living on his own.One day he meets his new neighbor, Jill, a young, commitment free hippie and wanna-be actress.At first she is freaked out by Don's blindness, but soon they are "getting it on" and she spends the night.The next morning their little private, three room Eden is invaded, when Don's mother barges in unannounced, with the intention of taking her son home.It is within this scenerio that the three characters shout, argue and pontificate about such concepts as 'freedom', 'independence', 'commitment','love' and finally 'letting go'.They all learn a little bit about themselves and the changes they must make to get on with their lives.This is really a wonderful, funny movie that has a lot of heart. The three lead actors do a simply amazing job with their roles.Goldie Hawn is in all her giggly, post "Laugh-In" splendor.Underneath the bubbly persona she shows us a character, who is emotionally crippled and must learn not to be frightened of being loved.Edward Albert does a fine job as the blind, young man who is fighting for his independence.But the real scene stealer is Eileen Heckart (who won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for this role)who is brilliantly funny as an overbearing, cynical, mother,who obviously loves her son, but must find a way to let go. The script by Lenord Gershe is very fast and funny featuring hilarious exchanges between Albert, Hawn and Heckart's characters. It is filled with lots of one liners that remind me a bit of the comic style of playright, Neil Simon and his comedies such as "The Odd Couple" and "The Sunshine Boys".Some of the hippie, flower power references and language in the movie are a bit dated, but I think it adds a touch of charm and quaintness to the script.Milton Katselas's direction of this film is a little stagey, but it does not detract as the story progresses.The DVD presentation is very clear and the sound quality is not bad for a film from 1972.My only real complaint is that the DVD features bonus trailers, but not for this movie (at least two out of three of them are for old Goldie Hawn films).For an evening of funny, yet thought provoking entertainment I highly recommend this film.
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BEAUTIFUL FILM....,
I watched Butterflies are Free on cable for the first time this past weekend. How did I ever miss this one! It was a very good story, and I thought the acting all around was outstanding. It's the story of a blind man, who is determined to make it on his own, much to the chagrin of his mother, who is portrayed brilliantly by Eileen Heckart. She won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her work here. And along with trying to be independent, he meets a woman who helps to bring him out into the world, and discover new things. Now I knew from the start that Goldie Hawn's character wasn't going to be completely sympathetic, but I guess you just have to see the movie to figure that out. The movie had me hook, line, and sinker. and I was glued to my couch for the whole thing. I really enjoyed this film, and recommend it.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Peace, Love...and Vision,
"Butterflies Are Free" is a bit of a time capsule, no question, but an enjoyable one. It's set in the bygone world of late 60's/early 70's San Francisco peace and love, but its central drama has aged far better than its trappings.
In his leading debut, Edward Albert is excellent as Don, a young blind man who has recently moved out on his own for the first time. His new next door neighbor is the lovably flighty Jill (Goldie Hawn), a free-spirited 19-year-old who may or may not have been married and divorced already and who definitely likes to eat (not that you could tell by looking at her). Although first-time director Milton Kaselas did not open the story up much from its stage origins (it leaves the confines of Don's apartment for all of about 15 of its 109 minutes), he did wisely allow Eileen Heckart to reprise her Broadway role as Don's mother. Heckart would go on to win a much-deserved Oscar for her performance in this film. Her character is maternal and progressive at the same time, utterly believable and unique among motherly portrayals in screen history. The balance of mother-son tension keeps the film from being just a simple romantic comedy and/or an after-school special on the strength of the blind and turns it into an engrossing triangular ensemble piece.
As for Goldie: She is, as always, Goldie. For her fans (of which I admit I'm one), that's probably enough, but it's far from all this film has to offer.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I fantastic Classic,
I have loved this movie since i was a young teen and seeing it again when i am in my 30's i realized it was every bit as entertaining as i remember it to be.
Goldie Hawn and Edward Albert are superb in their roles....I highly recommend every one to see it. A light and easy movie to sit and watch!!!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Butterfly!!!,
My all time favorite movie!!!! The diolouge in this movie is unbeatable, thought provoking and insiteful. The first time I saw this movie I could all but stop staring at the screen. A beautiful hippie love story that all people that have been on the outside their whole lives and have their one chance of being on the inside can relate to. Unbeatable!! Buy it today!!
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...not all butterflies are free...,
Not a bad love story if one doesnt take it too seriously.We tend to forget that Goldie Hawn used to act in some very good movies at one time.She manages to shine in this charming but unoriginal romance between a flower child and a handsome young blind man played by Edward Albert,seeking independence from his over protective mother.The story is set in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco during the early seventies prior to Watergate and gay rights and the onslaught of AIDS.
Eileen Heckart gives a memorable and touching performance as the mother and well deserved her best-supporting-actress oscar that year.There is a wonderful scene where Goldie first meets Donnys mother in his apartment in the most inappropriate of circumstances.In her underwear!Enough said. Not exactly Shakespeare but it will keep your interest,and besides theres a happy ending...
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet & surprisingly moving,
I'd never actually seen this film all the way through, just in bits & pieces on TV over the years. But I picked up a DVD copy recently & watched it last night. I'd been expecting a pleasant, essentially light little film, but there were moments where it was a lot more than that -- I enjoyed it far more than I'd expected, in fact.
I was especially touched by the early scene where Don (Edward Albert) is touching Jill's (Goldie Hawn's) face, to "see" what she looks like. As he caresses her face and hair, she gently take his hand & guides to her breast & murmurs "This is my breast." This leads to the two of them going to bed for the first time.
What struck me about that scene, which is remarkably tender, vulnerable, and truly erotic, is that it really conveys the power of sexuality -- not just the physical aspect, lovely & exciting as that is, but the emotional aspect, the wonder & mystery of two people finding that special moment of communion, "becoming one flesh," as they say. I couldn't help but compare it to the extremely casual & commodified way sex is portrayed today, without depth, quite often lacking that almost sacred sense of wonder & mystery I mentioned. It's sex as union, sharing & oneness, rather than just satisfying an urge.
Yes, the film is of its time, but the issues & questions presented aren't dated in the least. When does the pursuit of freedom become a flight from commitment? When does love & well-meaning protection become smothering? Every generation faces these same questions.
The three leads are uniformly excellent, with Eileen Heckart definitely deserving of her Oscar. Her protrayal of Mrs. Baker is rich & dimensional, far from the cardboard villain she might easily have been in lesser hands. Edward Albert is just right as Don, convincingly blind, depicting someone who's trying just a little too hard to be cheerful & self-confident, his face betraying naked pain & despair when love takes a cruel turn. And Goldie Hawn is a warm, bubbly, smarter-than-she-looks Jill, playing carefree while letting her fears & insecurities come through strongly.
I hesitated about giving five stars, as it's clearly not a "great" film -- but as a slice of a particular time, a small work of innocence & joy, it couldn't be any better of its kind. It's not for the jaded, certainly, but for those who are willing to accept it on its own terms, it's most rewarding -- and for that reason, highly recommended!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very pleasant though a bit too stagey,
There are two things that made me really enjoy seeing this film again for the first time in years. One is Goldie Hawn. She was both terminally cute and utterly adorable in this. The past few years I had mainly seen her in films from the past decade or so, and while she has remained extremely attractive, I didn't remember her in her twenties well enough to realize just how much she and her daughter Kate Hudson resemble one another at the same age (or nearly, since Goldie was 27 when she made this, and Kate is not yet that old). Kate Hudson is a chip off the old block if ever there was one. Goldie Hawn has had a fine career, but I always thought it should have been better than it was. She was a truly gifted comedienne, and one of the cutest women to ever walk the earth. Perhaps her sixties connection with LAUGH IN kept people from taking her seriously for many years, but she definitely should have been in more major projects. Even if everything in this film were bad, just being able to gaze at her extraordinary smile and riveting blue eyes would be enough.
A second thing that makes this film click is the remarkable Eileen Heckart. One of the premiere stage actors of her generation, the husky voiced, long-faced Heckart simply never found her place in the movies. While she managed a great stage career, many of us didn't have the privilege of living in New York so as to see her perform. One advantage of the movies is the ability for talented performers to display their talents in every godforsaken corner of the glove. Heckart is stellar as Don's overprotective mother, and it is an utter joy to hear her squeeze out a put down or insult. She won a well-deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in this one.
I am not overly fond of the rest of the film. The problem is that this isn't really a movie: it is a play captured on celluloid. Some film versions of plays manage to transcend the source to make an exciting film. A classic example is TWELVE ANGRY MEN, which takes twelve jurors and locks them in a single room for nearly two hours. But it makes a great film because the camera is so magnificently active, moving agilely from close up to group shot to isolating a couple of figures. The camera in BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE is, however, static and passive. It merely stands in front of each scene and lazily absorbs the action. It doesn't get close and explore what it happening. In other words, the camera isn't an important part of the telling of the story. As a result, it never becomes more than what it was onstage. I also am not fond of Edward Albert Jr., but that is a strictly personal reaction, and not an objective criticism of the film. My final problem with the film is that sometimes, because it is merely a filmed play, it sometimes gets a tad dull in the dialogue. Some of the talk is [not good]. For instance, the scene that takes place the morning after Jill and Don sleep together, before Don's mother shows up, is quite dull. I almost wondered if the reason Goldie Hawn spent the entire scene in her underwear wasn't to make up for the dullness of what the two of them were saying.
So, not a masterpiece, but definitely worth seeing for catching the young Goldie Hawn and for the magnificent Eileen Heckart.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top entertainment film!,
Goldie Hawn, one of my beloved actress by beauty, talent and unforgettable charisma, owner of a magnetic and spelling charisma is a fledgling actress who stumbles into the emotional universe of a self sufficient blind boy: Edward Albert , despite the omnipresent and over protective mother (Ellen Heckart) who won an academy prize for this role.
An icon film of the seventies.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart warming and funny,
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is one of the best movies I have ever seen, and I saw it for the first time yesterday on HBO. Goldie Hawn is hillarious in this movie, and the story is beautiful. If you like Goldie Hawn, and if you like a good, real love story, you will LOVE this movie.
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Butterflies Are Free by Milton Katselas (DVD - 2010)