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on April 21, 2000
It is a shame that this video is as expensive as it is, because I want to own it. I saw this movie in 1970 over in Hawaii, and again with friends in San Francisco. The serious nature of the Vietnam war protests were touched upon in this movie. The performances were pretty well acted and the awkwardness of Bruce Davison as a young man in love, and finding the REAL WORLD was a treat to watch. We were all awkward during that time of our lives. For young people, see this movie and try to understand what people were trying to do back then.
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on November 4, 2011
I was 14 years old when I first saw this movie in 1970, which was opening for "Woodstock." When Neil Young's "Down by the River" came on in the soundtrack, my life was changed forever. It started both my journey into politicalization and into the joys of rock & roll. Can't think of any other movie that has made such a strong impression on my life, and I've seen a whole lot of movies (thank God for TCM!). This may not be a mainstream movie and may not have a lot of appeal to those who weren't around at the time, but I've been looking for it for a very long time and am really glad it's finally available. For the record, I still own the book and the original soundtrack on vinyl!
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on December 31, 2011
Saw it in the theater when first released. In contrast with several other attempts to convey the feeling of the student movement in the context of those days, Strawberry Statement almost got it right.

First. The music. The soundtrack is not only wonderful but really works with the film. Thunderclap Newman's 'Something In The Air", Neil Young's 'The Loner'...

The film is not about Kent State, as an earlier reviewer writes. It's about the Columbia upheaval which resulted in the takeover of several campus buildings by students in protest of the university's decision to destroy a Harlem playground in order to build a gymnasium, as well as more general unhappiness with its connections with Dow Chemical and the war effort.

I was at Berkeley in the 'sixties, not Columbia, but we certainly knew what was going on elsewhere in the world. This conflict was playing out in Mexico City and Prague and Paris, too. In New York, the crackdown by the authorities was extremely violent, with hundreds in the emergency room. The school was then closed for the rest of the semester.

It's hard to portray those days, especially the politics of it and the crowd scenes. The street fighting I saw was very real, and I haven't seen it in any fictional account, not even this one. But Strawberry Statement is much, much better than failures, such as 'Getting Straight'.

Very much worth seeing. And if you're under 40 and want to know how it really was, this is at least a pretty good hint.
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on September 10, 2002
I saw this movie in late summer 1970, and saw the video in the '80s, and was fairly impressed both times. The climax of a brutal police clash with unarmed students at a university was realistic and memorable. The weird pieces of humor, like a student jumping in a mud puddle to be radical, and a spontaneous sexual encounter, were entertaining but much less realistic. The real attraction of this film is the soundtrack, which I see is not available on CD. It had great songs by CSNY, Neil Young, Thunderclap Newman, Buffy Sainte-Marie, plus classical fragments that my high school English teacher loved in 1971.
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VINE VOICEon September 24, 1999
I enjoyed it, but it doesn't make much sense unless you've read the book (OK, even then...)
The film is loosely based on James Kunin's book of the same name. An undergraduate rower at Columbia University in 1968 feels vaguely sympathetic towards student protesters but remains on the sidelines. He meets a radical girl, falls in love and gets involved. He winds up in a campus sit-in and gets beaten up when the cops clear the building.
BOOK WEEK once described Kunen as "...a soft-core radical - a kind of New-Left Charlie Brown..." which kind of fits; he was a Gene McCarthy supporter. The movie isn't especially preachy but the final scene doesn't QUITE work as a summing up (not anymore, anyway!)
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on March 13, 2012
This title has just been released through the Warner Archive Collection. The new release also includes a bonus disc featuring the complete, uncut INTERNATIONAL VERSION of the film!
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on November 13, 2012
The film actually had flaws; but, as a college student during the late 60s, I found it to be the most realistic and really accurate presentation of how many of us became "radicalized" during the period. Special praise for the editing, creative cinematography, and great music compilation...which means also kudos to the director. Am not sure what was left out of the US version; but I believe that I saw the International version way back in 1970. A good depiction of college atmosphere in the late 60s!
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on April 5, 2013
Saw this movie in 1970 and loved it. Waiting for years for it to finally came out and very pleased it did. This movie introduced me to solo Neil Young and other great artists of its time. Influenced me to become active at my college campus as it did many others. Watching it many years later it is so much more than a 60's and 70's statement. It is the journey of one young man(Simon) who was lost and caught up in a dull and boring life that was routine and had no meaning. Although he was on the rowing team it wasn't enough except he didn't know that at the time. As more and more unrest spread across the college(and the nation)he was starting to get pulled in. First by a girl then by all the injustice he was starting to see around him. Many young people of that era (and many today) start becoming more aware and questioning about this time in their lives. Simon started out as a boychild and trough events went from spectator to activist. While Simon was going through all these changes there was also a wonderful love story taking place using the happenstance of protest as its backdrop. Similar to Romeo and Juliet the couple were torn apart not by family but society as represented by the Police and National guard. Great ,great scene where everyone inside is singing and beating to the rhythm of Give Peace a Chance and the police and national guard are getting ready for war. To sum it up this movie is about a young mans journey into awareness, a viable love story and a window into the unrest that took place in our country during that time period.
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on October 16, 1999
I was 18 and grew up in a communist country. I saw the movie and I was a different guy who walked out from the cinema. It was the right movie at the right place and at the right time.
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on January 23, 2014
The Strawberry Statement was filmed in my hometown, Stockton Ca., A lot of my fellow college students were extras in the film. I had a nostalgic interest in it and had not seen it in 30 years. To my surprise it was a far more "arty" film per cinematography, editing ,etc. than I remembered. The acting is actually pretty good, although the plot is certainly dated and clichéd, but that's to be expected for its age (1970). I enjoyed watching it and spotting old student friends in the riot scenes. It's miles ahead of a similar student unrest film, "RPM", which was also filmed in Stockton about a year later. Stockton was a momentary hotbed of Hollywood cinema with "Fat City", "Coolhand Luke", "World's Greatest Athlete", "Oklahoma Crude", and others being filmed there during the late sixties and early seventies. Today the city is only a hotbed of crime and a total disgrace to California!
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