Getting Straight (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

Getting Straight (1970)

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"Movies like Getting Straight are ceasing to be tolerable" complained one conservative movie magazine of 1970. Today, the once-relevant but now merely entertaining Getting Straight is not only tolerable, but downright user-friendly. Elliot Gould plays a Vietnam vet who decides to attend college after his tour of duty. Though much too old and worldly to truly fit in with the naive flower-power generation, Gould becomes swept up in the various activist movements on campus. The leading character's crisis of conscience concerns his field of study: he wants to be a teacher for idealistic reasons, while his Establishment professors try to convince him that it's just another job, and hardly the best one at that. He finally chooses which side he's on while attempting to act as a mediator between students and faculty during a campus riot. Candice Bergen plays Gould's girlfriend, while Robert F. Lyons steals every scene he's in as a draft dodger who'll go to any lengths to avoid military service. Getting Straight represents the final screen appearance of Cecil Kellaway, here cast as a hidebound tenured professor.

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Cast

Elliott Gould
as Harry Bailey
Jeff Corey
as Dr. Edward Willhunt
Cecil Kellaway
as Dr. Kasper
Jon Lormer
as Vandenburg
Leonard Stone
as Lysander
William Bramley
as Wade Linden
Jeannie Berlin
as Judy Kramer
Billie Bird
as Landlady
Richard Anders
as Dr. Greengrass
Irene Tedrow
as Mrs. Stebbins
Elizabeth Lane
as Alice Linden
Joanna Serpe
as Roommate
Harry Holcombe
as Dean Chesney
Scott Perry
as Airline representative
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Critic Reviews for Getting Straight

All Critics (6)

One of the few Hollywood films to deal with the students revolution, Richard Rush's Getting Straight, starring Elliott Gould, confuses broader political issues with sexual politics and getting laid

Full Review… | February 1, 2011
EmanuelLevy.Com

Sadly, despite its radical themes and caricatures, there is nary an ounce of subversiveness at this film's heart.

Full Review… | June 17, 2009
Apollo Guide

Generation (hippie era) comedy-drama, very dated

October 23, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

Audience Reviews for Getting Straight

A film about campus life in the U.S. (during the Vietnam War). While it's not mentioned as such, this IS a view into America during that time. Not a story, this is on the whole, a film about Getting Straight, or is it really about NOT being straight? [img]http://s3.amazonaws.com/auteurs_production/images/film/getting-straight/w448/getting-straight.jpg?1300995060[/img] Oh famous then Elliot Gould, where are you now? While not the best clip from the film, the general tone of the movie is sort of here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fkTw3T18Wo‎ [img]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSoMsp5Fg_DvhEldBMQw3sXKB2PUf6_gb6E2Nw7E8ytzJDVw0gkXA[/img] A very young Harrison Ford answers the door here Of course, these very WORDS are not meaningful today. The counter culture movement of the seventies developed an language of their own. "Straight" THEN meant being lock step with society. Get a degree, get a job, get a wife, go to Boy Scout meetings and well...like that. [img]http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcROy4dDifoYN93LYykSN51XEmXR3h7bkB1uBYz2DFkaU4O82OgIng[/img] Elliot Gould and his best girlfriend Candice You must learn the extreme dissatisfaction of many young Americans with their society back then to know what THIS film meant. Therefore, get a LIFE and read on. I would not expect ANYONE from this generation of critics, pro or others to understand or begin to even try to understand the era of this film. It's NO suprise to me that it has the humilating rating shown on RT. It only proves that the people that rated this filmed NEVER lived the era and could never comprehend it. There, I have spoken my peace about...... Getting Straight (1970). [img]http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQYgoqGhUed1BIO1ailip3oCgJIKhrHUy-1fFkB77WHHnhC1bLI[/img] SEE the entire film here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoXY69YMeUA REVIEWS: 50% "Getting Straight" means well, but is a bit of an embarrassment. As dated as its title suggests, this look at a troubled West Coast college hits all t... 90% Getting Straight Directed by: Richard Rush Directed by Richard Rush Produced by Richard Rush Written by Robert Kaufman Ken Kolb [img]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_McI_KJIXOq0/TCw5qUgTd2I/AAAAAAAAHew/9oxYp3TAt4o/s1600/Getting5.jpg[/img] Starring Elliott Gould Candice Bergen Jeff Corey Harrison Ford Music by Ronald Stein Cinematography László Kovács Editing by Maury Winetrobe Distributed by Columbia Pictures Release date(s) May 13, 1970 July 31, 1970 September 10, 1977 Running time 124 mins Box office $5.1 million Class dismissed until I watch the rest of this film! Monsieur Rick [img]http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/9/91/Getting_straight.jpg/220px-Getting_straight.jpg[/img]

monsieur rick
monsieur rick

I found this one enjoyable for Elliot Gould's snarky delivery as a protester with feet of clay, trying to buy into the establishment and become a teacher, though he is constantly put back into a place to be a revolutionary by those around him. This includes his cute girlfriend, played by a young Candice Bergen as well as numerous figures around the campus that is primed to explode as the police develop an increasingly large force on the grounds. The light-hearted tone is broken numerous times by bits of violence, which I suppose is the reality of the times, but it makes for a odd watching at times. Rental?

Bill Bryant
Bill Bryant
½

"Getting Straight" means well, but is a bit of an embarrassment. As dated as its title suggests, this look at a troubled West Coast college hits all the required late-'60s issues -- draft-dodging, sexual liberation, drugs, race relations, police brutality -- but is undone by its lack of subtlety. Lunkheaded writing sinks many of the us-versus-them confrontations, and star Elliott Gould flies into ridiculous, hammy tantrums in scene after scene. He plays Harry Bailey, a flawed, passionate, self-centered Vietnam veteran who's back in school to earn a teaching credential. You've rarely seen a character whose narcissism so infects an entire film -- it's as if nothing can happen on this campus without someone asking "What do you think, Harry?" He can't walk down a corridor without five people pawing for his attention. Harry is torn between joining the younger rebels and playing ball with the dowdy faculty and administrators. The date of his oral Masters exam approaches fast and, meanwhile, he's battling with his well-connected girlfriend (an overly tanned Candice Bergen), who's not cracked up to be a radical and would rather settle down with a solid husband and family. At one point, an exasperated Harry screams "You're not a woman -- you're a guy with a hole in the middle!" There's scarcely a conversation that ends without shouting. But the whole school is on the verge of an explosive conflict, as protesting students grow more and more incensed. The faculty is melodramatically accused of destroying the kids' futures, but the uproar is actually over demands as humdrum as a black-studies department, co-ed dorms and a later curfew. Not exactly causes worth dying for, but blood drips and flames crackle anyway. The Man just doesn't understand! Shaggy haircuts, sexism and a twee Simon & Garfunkel-esque soundtrack add to the film's age, but historians will enjoy seeing scattered lines from the young Harrison Ford. Director Richard Rush had a spotty career, but later worked on projects including "Freebie and the Bean" and the brilliant "The Stunt Man."

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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