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Getting Straight (1970)

Elliott Gould , Candice Bergen , Richard Rush  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elliott Gould, Candice Bergen, Robert F. Lyons, Jeff Corey, Max Julien
  • Directors: Richard Rush
  • Writers: Ken Kolb, Robert Kaufman
  • Producers: Richard Rush, Paul Lewis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 3, 2009
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LMAK6K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,241 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Getting Straight" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Though its plot varies widely from the "bad trip" films of its time (The Trip or Psych-Out), Getting Straight exists in this movie vein that illustrates the 1960s countercultural movement, both through its settings--wild parties and college campus hallways--and through its experimental camerawork, such as the way the lens focuses and de-focuses on characters as they converse. Moreover, the protagonist’s best friend, acid drop-out Nick (Robert Lyons), does make several good points throughout the film pointing out absurd realities, as characters typically do in this hippie film genre. That said, Getting Straight has a fairly complex story, and stars the excellent Elliot Gould as Harry Bailey, a Vietnam Vet whose past commitment to activism has been put to the test as he struggles to earn a living. Under the tutelage of conservative Professor Willhunt (Jeff Corey), Bailey is studying for his Master’s degree to become a teacher, to the chagrin of his radical friends, like Nick, and like his girlfriend, Jan (Candice Bergen), who waffles between wanting a conventional relationship and total freedom. Directed by Richard Rush, who worked for Roger Corman previous to making this film, Getting Straight has a B-movie feel in a good way, maybe because there are several stylishly clichéd characters in Bailey’s social circle. Yet Elliot Gould injects so much angst into Bailey’s character that this movie offers a well-rounded glimpse into the mind of someone whose idealism is at odds with learning to "exist," as Bailey says, in a Capitalist society. Dialogue gets heady and psychedelic at times, sometimes feeling as if Terry Southern (Candy and The Magic Christian) wrote the film. In all, Getting Straight is perfect for those aficionados of the 60s genre film, and will also please Gould fans who may have missed this entertaining gem. --Trinie Dalton

Stills from Getting Straight (Click for larger image)

Product Description

Elliott Gould stars as a womanizing Viet Nam veteran who returns to the university to obtain a degree in education and finds himself involved in campus unrest. This socially relevant comedy co-stars Candice Bergen, John Rubenstein and Harrison Ford.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GETTING STRAIGHT IN A TWIST 'N TURN WORLD December 2, 2003
Format:VHS Tape
Don't let anybody else's review of this fool you. First of all, it's NOT THAT DATED. Secondly, after not seeing this movie since it came out in 1970, I was able to view it with the eyes of an adult instead of a 14 year old young girl.
I first saw this movie in the Summer of 1970, at a Drive-In Theatre with my parents. We went to the Drive-Ins every Saturday in the Summers. This was when they showed first run movies that were popular and had quality. (of course they showed all the other stuff too)
But there was something about GETTING STRAIGHT that has haunted me since 1970. The movie has always been in the back of my mind, so I finally got straight myself, and purchased a copy. And here goes.....
This movie should have been nominated for some Academy Awards back then. It is a terrific movie, directed by Richard Rush, who made another favorite of mine.... "PSYCH-OUT". But that's another review. Elliott Gould was at the top of his game at the time this movie was made. Harrison Ford??? (plays a bit part as a student in this film) Who was he???? Well, we found out later, didn't we? He must have been in his late 20's when this was filmed.
The Harry Bailey (Gould) character was a "down on his luck kind of guy", living on the fringes of life and society. In the film, he is a Vietnam Veteran, returning to get a Master's Degree. He wants to be a teacher.
If you think his car is a "classic", then you have no idea of being poor. This guy is so at the edge, he'll do anything to survive. He's not a bad person, but he takes too many shortcuts, and in the end, his integrity is at stake. You will see this yourself. The scene with Cecil Kellaway in a cafeteria where he makes tomato soup out of hot water and ketchup should have gotten him the Oscar right there!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When you say it's dated... March 3, 2006
Format:VHS Tape fail to realize that, to the extent that you are conveying anything meaningful at all, you are paying it a compliment.

The film captures, as well as any film I've ever seen, the disintegration and the insanity of its specific moment. Compare Richard Rush's visceral staging of the campus riots here to any fictional or documentary footage you've run across; even "Medium Cool", the legendary fiction-doc hybrid, comes up feeling distant and tentative. If "Getting Straight" were not so steeped in sweat, incense and tear gas; if it didn't fill the viewer with the dread and danger of the social rift it depicts; if it were lazy, unfocused, generalized, no one would think to apply the term "dated".

The film was not just released in 1970. It is 1970.

Of course it's dated.

It's possible that your use of the term is meant to imply that the film is dumb or corny, but if it were either of these things, it would have been dumb and corny on the day it was released, two years after it was released, and yesterday. If the film didn't have several dozen thoughtful things to say about its milieu, if it were in fact just striking fashionable poses ("Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice" comes immediately to mind as an example of an empty-headed, would-be-"relevant" film of the same era), when its supposed "shock of the new" had worn off, "dated" in this particular derogatory sense might well apply.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Holding It All Together In The '70's April 22, 2008
Format:VHS Tape
Synopsis: Harry Bailey (Elliot Gould) is a Viet Nam veteran, student-teacher and graduate candidate working on his Masters Degree in English. With a career path clearly set before him and Jan (Candace Bergen) a beautiful, adoring girlfriend by his side a sedate, middle class future appears secure.

However when Viet Nam War protests break out on campus dividing the student body and the pressures and absurd expectations put on his thesis dissertation by pretentious professors becomes evident Harry begins to doubt the necessity for his long sought after graduate degree. Will Harry play by the rules of the establishment and maintain the status quo, or will he march to the beat of a different drummer? How will he ultimately define his need for `Getting Straight'?

Beyond all the craziness `Getting Straight' is an intelligent thoughtful film with a solid script exploring the absurdities of life inside and outside of the university setting. If you enjoy movies like `The Hospital' and `Network' you'll enjoy this one too.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A timeless movie about a strange time January 10, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
For anyone who has wondered how the 60's turned into the 70's this movie should be the answer. Getting Straight personaifies the transition from extreme activist to pratical adult in Gould's character. This movie is a must for any college student annoyed with what seems to be pointless protests to stupid issues like dorm hours.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 70s great copy December 12, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Interesting review of the 70s and the sexual revolution on a college campus somewhere in California. Amazing crystal clear print, letter-boxed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Get Straight about the Sixties! February 18, 2007
Format:VHS Tape
It had been about twenty years since I had seen this film, and I found it to be a great way to recall the issues of the late sixties/early seventies and feel a nostalgia for the "Revolution." The best elements of the film in my view are as follows: Elliot Gould's tour de force performance is unlike anything you can see in film; the campus demonstration scenes are very well done and realistic (the cops are pretty brutal); the teaching episodes are funny and meaningful; if you've ever had to drive a junky car you'll love Gould's contraption; the oral examination near the end of the film should have earned Gould, the director and/or the screenwriter an Oscar(s). Additionally, it was interesting to see a youthful Candice Bergen and a youthful Harrison Ford. If you want to (re)live a very special time--whether you were around then or not, you owe it to yourself to watch this movie.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
My friend was in this movie as an extra back in the day.
Published 26 days ago by Bristel Hopkins
5.0 out of 5 stars The 60's
The good ole sixties--yes, I would say you had to be there to enjoy this but then again maybe not as it it a very good movie.
Published 5 months ago by Johnny Arcadia
5.0 out of 5 stars This item was purchased many years ago and want off my screen. Product...
This item was purchased many years ago and want off my screen. Product must have been ok, otherwise I would have given it 1 star. Great product, I think??
Published 8 months ago by Joni
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie literally changed the course of my life !!!
In May of 1970, prior to my intended enlistment in the military immediately after graduating from high school in just a few days, my girlfriend and I saw this movie at the theater,... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jeff B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic 70's Movie.
I had been looking for this movie for years, and finally found it at a fair price. Candace Bergan ravishing, as always, Elliott Gould gave one of his better performances. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Johnny A. Large
5.0 out of 5 stars Getting Straight
An old favorite of mine
Saw it in the theater
Looked all over for it
Brings back the good old days of campus unrest
Published 19 months ago by Bob Nicholson
3.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Early 70's Elliott Gould
The last time I saw this film was 40 years ago when I was a college student during the Vietnam War protest era. Read more
Published 23 months ago by R. Cole
3.0 out of 5 stars Early Harrison Ford role
Harrison Ford fans take note: he has a minor role in this film. He's got a good line about a painting of his wife being considered subversive. Read more
Published on September 9, 2010 by Philip W. Gee
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic and forgotton great film!
I had the soundtrack on Colgems records and loved the music and dialog, when I saw the movie was on DVD, I grabbed it! Read more
Published on April 26, 2010 by Kevin Stafford
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic
It had been many years since I had seen this film. I had forgotten the 'feel' of America at this time. Read more
Published on October 8, 2009 by J. Kimbrell
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