7.0/10
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35 user 23 critic

Sometimes a Great Notion (1971)

A family of fiercely independent Oregon loggers struggle to keep the family business alive amidst changing times.

Director:

Paul Newman

Writers:

Ken Kesey (novel), John Gay (screenplay)
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Newman ... Hank
Henry Fonda ... Henry
Lee Remick ... Viv
Michael Sarrazin ... Leeland
Richard Jaeckel ... Joe Ben
Linda Lawson Linda Lawson ... Jan
Cliff Potts Cliff Potts ... Andy
Sam Gilman ... John
Lee de Broux ... Willard Eggleston
Jim Burk Jim Burk ... Biggy Newton
Roy Jenson ... Elwood
Joe Maross ... Floyd Evenwrite
Roy Poole ... Draeger
Charles Tyner ... Les Gibbons
Bennie E. Dobbins Bennie E. Dobbins ... (as Bennie Dobbins)
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Storyline

Hank Stamper and his father, Henry Stamper own and operate the family business by cutting and shipping logs in Oregon. The town is furious when they continue working despite the town going broke and the other loggers go on strike ordering the Stampers to stop, however Hank continues to push his family on cutting more trees. Hank's wife wishes he would stop and hopes that they can spend more time together. When Hank's half trouble making brother Leland comes to work for them, more trouble starts. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

They hacked an empire out of wilderness...then fought the world to hold it! See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 March 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Never Give a Inch See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,660,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Richard Colla was fired because of his own way of filming technicalities. Paul Newman accepted to direct, but admitted that directing and acting in the same time was pretty hard. See more »

Goofs

When the Stampers are throwing dynamite at the small boat, pyrotechnics can be seen floating in the water where the "dynamite" is thrown. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Floyd Evenwrite: He's been over there a while. Ya think he's doing any good?
Biggy Newton: [shrugs]
Floyd Evenwrite: I got payments to make on a Chevrolet. Goddamn scabs over there!
See more »

Alternate Versions

In the earliest video release version, circa 1982, when Leeland first arrives, there is a crane shot to reveal Hank looking down below at the family reunion. In the most current VHS release, circa 1994, the crane shot is edited out and is replaced with just a single cut from Viv, with an audio bridge to Hank on the roof. See more »

Connections

References The Ballad of Josie (1967) See more »

Soundtracks

All His Children
Lyrics by Marilyn Bergman and Alan Bergman
Music by Henry Mancini
Sung by Charley Pride
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stamper Family Values
15 August 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

A lot of people seem to be down on this film for reasons I really can't understand. The film seem to stretch everyone's creative levels especially one performer I'll single out later.

Henry Fonda plays the head of the Stamper clan who own a lot of acreage in Oregon timber country and the family business is cutting logs. Enough to survive, but they do it on their own. But a strike by timber union loggers causes enmity between them and the Stampers who are seen as scabs.

There are some similarities between Fonda's character and the family patriarch he played in Spencer's Mountain. But whereas Spencer had a noble dignity to him, Ben Stamper is a dissolute old cuss who has enjoyed all the vices known and imparted a love for them unto his children. They would be half brothers Paul Newman and Michael Sarrazin who've also got issues between themselves that may prevent the Stampers from forming a united front.

Newman directed the film and he had a good eye for the scenery of the Oregon logging country. And he got some good performances from the rest of the cast. One of them Richard Jaeckel got his career role as a Stamper cousin. Newman reached his creative heights in Jaeckel's death scene which was played between him and Jaeckel. It's a long drawn out affair for reasons you'll know if you see the film. It will stay with you forever as it has me since I saw the film when it first came out. Richard Jaeckel got a nomination for Best Supporting Actor and the pity is that he was up against another popular character actor in Ben Johnson who won for The Last Picture Show.

Sometimes A Great Notion also got a second Oscar nomination for Best Song with We're All His Children by Henry Mancini and Alan and Marilyn Bergman. Bing Crosby recorded a fine version of it on one of his albums. It lost however to theme from Shaft.

Paul Newman deserved a lot more credit for this film than he got. I think if you see Sometimes A Great Notion you'll agree.


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