Sometimes a Great Notion (Never Give an Inch) (1971) - Rotten Tomatoes

Sometimes a Great Notion (Never Give an Inch) (1971)

Sometimes a Great Notion (Never Give an Inch) (1971)

Sometimes a Great Notion (Never Give an Inch)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Sometimes a Great Notion (Never Give an Inch) Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Also known as Never Give an Inch, this film was based on a novel by Ken Kesey. Paul Newman (who also directed) stars as Hank Stamper, the oldest son of an Oregon logging family headed by Henry (Henry Fonda). Hank's half-brother, Leeland (Michael Sarrazin), embittered over Henry's treatment of his late mother, returns after a ten-year absence to work in the family business. Leeland's presence causes friction with Henry, who resents his prodigal son's hippie mindset, and Hank, who perceives Leeland as a threat to his own position in the family structure. Hank has good reason to feel resentful: before long, his wife, Viv (Lee Remick), has entered into an affair with Leeland. Meanwhile, Henry wages an ongoing battle with the unionized loggers in the region, who threaten reprisals should Henry attempt to continue his business without union help. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovimore
Rating: PG
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Ken Kesey, John Gay
In Theaters:
Universal Pictures


Paul Newman
as Hank Stamper
Henry Fonda
as Henry Stamper
Lee Remick
as Viv Stamper
Michael Sarrazin
as Leeland Stamper
Richard Jaeckel
as Joe Ben Stamper
Linda Lawson
as Jan Stamper
Cliff Potts
as Andy Stamper
Sam Gilman
as John Stamper
Lee de Broux
as Willard Eggleston
Jim Burk
as Biggy Newton
Roy Jenson
as Elwood
Joe Maross
as Floyd Evenwrite
Roy Poole
as Jonathan Draeger
Charles Tyner
as Les Gibbons
Dick Hudkins
as Bit part
Fred Lerner
as Bit part
Gary McLarty
as Bit part
Hal Needham
as Racetrack Man
J.N. Roberts
as Bit part
Dean Smith
as Bit part
Fred Zendar
as Bit part
Fred M. Waugh
as Bit part
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Sometimes a Great Notion (Never Give an Inch)

Critic Reviews for Sometimes a Great Notion (Never Give an Inch)

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (6)

A New Hollywood movie suffused in Old Hollywood values.

Full Review… | November 1, 2011
Village Voice
Top Critic

It's not a classic, in the sense of being perfectly formed. But the craft work is one of a kind.

Full Review… | November 1, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

The result is rather good -- a sort of contemporary 'western' in the timber territory.

Full Review… | June 17, 2008
Top Critic

Newman's handling of the outdoor scenes, especially those involving work, is -- like his own acting -- restrained but powerfully evocative.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Surprisingly effective.

Full Review… | May 9, 2005
New York Times
Top Critic

Newman starts tunneling under the material, coming up with all sorts of things we didn't quite expect, and along the way he proves himself as a director of sympathy and a sort of lyrical restraint.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Sometimes a Great Notion (Never Give an Inch)


Okay but overlong logging drama would have benefitted by being a half hour shorter. Has a fine cast, with Lee Remick giving the best performance even though her screen time is limited, but they don't have enough to work with. It just should have been more involving.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer


It's about 20 minutes too long, but with a cast as strong as this - you don't really mind. Richard Jaeckel, whose picture isn't shown on the cover, ends up being a nice surprise.

Bloodmarsh Krackoon

It was a pretty decent film. Not a whole lot of action, but director Newman paced the movie quite nicely nonetheless and when that pacing does reach a climax, you'll find yourself on the edge of your seat. Also, the photography of the logging scenes are visually stunning.

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