Return of the Secaucus 7
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- Audio Commentary with John Sayles
Top Customer Reviews
Both movies tell the story of a gang of former 60's activists who reunite for a long weekend, but "Chill," with its bigger budget, name actors and excellent soundtrack, became a cultural touchstone. "Seacaucus," on the other hand, has remained largely unseen for 25 years and, though it marked screenwriter John Sayles' directorial debut, it only recently emerged on DVD.
On the disk's commentary track, Sayles rightly puts to rest "Chill" comparisons, pointing out that the two films have the same format but are intrinsically different. Unlike the affluent yuppies of "Chill," Sayles' characters are crucially younger and less successful; overeducated and underemployed, they're blinking into the headlights of both the Reagan era and their 30's, which are rapidly approaching.
Shot on weekends with money Sayles earned writing Roger Corman horror movies ("Pirhanna" and "Alligator"), "Seacaucus" is a rough gem. His amateur cast isn't too comfortable in front of a camera and their lines feel stagey, but Sayles' writing was good even then. Despite its occasional clunkiness, this early homegrown film paved the way for much better later efforts, like "Matewan," "The Secret of Roan Inish" and the truly great "Lone Star."
That is where Sayles came from and check out other movies like "Brother from Another Planet" and "Lone Star" to see where he is going as a very independent filmmaker.
Released maybe two years ahead of 'The Big Chill', which I found cold, lifeless and built around a soundtrack - not a script. 'Secaucus 7' had a much more intimate feel - and lower key humor, but way more my style (though I didn't find myself as amused as I was @ 17 when I orignally saw it).
The cast is understated and good. It's amazing that more of them have not gone on to do more films of higher (David Strathairn to numerous things, Gordon Clapp to NYPD Blue', Adam LeFevre to many commercials). There is no one stronger character - all have their moments.
I do believe, there is at least one scene cut from the restoration comedy play they attend, but other than that, the movie is intact. One original song by Adam LeFevre ("Mean to Me") is actually very good.
The extras are sparse - w/just commentary from John Sayles and Maggie Renzi. Rent or buy it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
When this movie first came out, I saw it three times in week. My friends were visible in all of the characters. Very good movie made on a shoestring.Published 19 months ago by Kurt S.
Often compared with "The Big Chill", and getting numerous stars in many reviews, this film simply isn't even in the same universe with Kasdan's. Read morePublished on January 21, 2013 by Stanley M. Gilbert
Ten years after graduation, schoolies reunite to find something new of them through weekend and pillow talks.
Quite boring story.
When this movie first came out, my wife and I loved it! We also jumped on the whole Secaucus 7 vs. Big Chill bandwagon, with Secaucus 7 emerging as the clear winner. Read morePublished on November 27, 2011 by Fontaine Potts
To me this defines the so called "Baby Boomers" to a tee. A bunch of coddled, selfish, "educated", self absorbed, hedonistic, psuedo hipster, pseudo intellectual, liberal, upper... Read morePublished on October 5, 2011 by Cwn_Annwn
I did not roder this for me. It was for someone else and the movie was not what she expected. Se went by the writer and thought it was like his other movies.Published on February 14, 2011 by Marcia Meeker
Could this much-imitated movie (it inspired "The Big Chill") already be almost 30 years old?
This low-budget entry from 1980 ushered in the directorial career of John... Read more
This movie deserves all five stars. It's beautifully done, subtle, real, and one of a very few pieces of media that REALLY captures the sixties: the companionship, the ideals, the... Read morePublished on June 5, 2009 by Judith Goldsmith