Return of the Secaucus 7

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Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980) is a drama film written and directed by John Sayles. It features Bruce MacDonald, Maggie Renzi, Adam LeFevre, Maggie Cousineau, Gordon Clapp, Jean Passanante, and others.[1]

The picture is thought to have inspired The Big Chill (1983), which is a more widely known film. However, writer/director Lawrence Kasdan has denied having seen Return of the Secaucus 7 before working on The Big Chill.[2]

It tells the story of seven friends who spend a weekend together in New Hampshire. The weekend is marred by the break-up of a relationship between two of the friends. This causes a ripple effect among the group and brings up old desires and problems.

Contents

Cast

  • Bruce MacDonald as Mike Donnelly
  • Maggie Renzi as Katie Sipriano
  • Adam LeFevre as J.T.
  • Maggie Cousineau as Frances Carlson
  • Gordon Clapp as Chip Hollister
  • Jean Passanante as Irene Rosenblum
  • Karen Trott as Maura Tolliver
  • Mark Arnott as Jeff Andrews
  • David Strathairn as Ron Desjardins
  • John Sayles as Howie
  • Marisa Smith as Carol
  • Amy Schewel as Lacey Summers
  • Carolyn Brooks as Meg
  • Eric Forsythe as Captain
  • Nancy Mette as Lee

Critical reception

Film critic Emanuel Levy liked the film and wrote, "The movie became influential, launching a cycle of "reunion" films, which included The Big Chill and the TV series Thirtysomething. As a portrait of disenchantment, Return was more authentic and honest than Lawrence Kasdan's star-studded Big Chill...A rueful movie about unexceptional lives that have prematurely grown stale, Secaucus is a bit commonplace, lacking genuine drama. But Sayles uses effectively a discursive, episodic format; he constructs strong scenes with resonant dialogue. The characters are complex and individually distinguished by speech, gesture, and manner."[3]

Critic Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat wrote, "Here's a nice little movie about the baby boom generation...Novelist John Sayles wrote, directed, and edited this movie. It is a labor of love. We watch these laidback individuals share their stories and reminisce about the past...But these baby boomers can't handle tension; the rift between Jeff and Maura sends tremors through the weekend. And although they put up a front of having a good time, one senses that things haven't turned out well for them — either in terms of meaningful relationships or in terms of personal fulfillment. Return of the Secaucus Seven leaves one with a rueful feeling about this generation."[4]

The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 79% of critics gave the film a positive review, based on eleven reviews[5]

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