Getting Straight Reviews
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.
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."
Gould gives an alternately subdued, complex and finally batshit insane performance; Bergen is completely convincing as the female equivalent, half in love with the revolution, and half desirous of escaping and moving to the suburbs. The final explosion at Gould's Masters oral exam is absolutely perfect and captures the feelings of anyone who has spent enough time in academe to realize how soul-sucking it can be.
Also watch for a young Harrison Ford in a small part.