The Year That Trembled (1999)





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American independent filmmaker Jay Craven directs the Vietnam-era coming-of-age drama The Year That Trembled, based on the novel by Scott Lax. Using stock footage along with a traditional narrative, the film takes place in Ohio following the 1970 student murders at Kent State. Right after high school, best friends Casey (Jonathan Brandis), Jim (Charlie Finn), and Phil (Sean Nelson) move into a cottage with activist-on-the-run Judy Woods (Meredith Monroe). The cottage is next door to their former teacher Helen (Marin Hinkle), who gets fired for her antiwar activities. Her husband, Charlie Kerrigan (Jonathan M. Woodward), is a lawyer torn between his moral opposition to the war and his own ambitions. Also starring Fred Willard, Martin Mull, and Henry Gibson.
R (for language and some drug use)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Ardustry Home Entertainment


Jonathan Brandis
as Casey Pedersen
Charlie Finn
as Jim `Hairball' Morton
Jay R. Ferguson
as Isaac Hoskins
Meredith Monroe
as Judy Woods
Matt Salinger
as Professor Jeff Griggs
Erik Jensen
as Todd Franklin
Marin Hinkle
as Helen Kerrigan
Fred Willard
as Frank Woods
Sean Nelson
as Phil Robbins
TJ Hellmuth
as Carl Bumpers
Luke Ford
as Jonny Kenston
Jay Michael Ferguson
as Col. Mike Newman
Jonathan M. Woodward
as Charlie Kerrigan
Henry Gibson
as Ralph Tyler
Martin Mull
as Wayne Simonelli
Amy Butchko
as Susie O'Brien
Kiera Chaplin
as Jennifer Treman
Danica McKellar
as Pam Hatch
Rick Williams
as Ted Reed
Mike Craft
as Newsman
Lucas Ford
as Johnny Kenston
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Critic Reviews for The Year That Trembled

All Critics (2)

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Full Review… | December 6, 2005
Film Threat

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Full Review… | January 13, 2004
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for The Year That Trembled


5.5/10. So-so drama, bland and tedious at times. It just does not have deep characters, this is where it fails. The characters just don't draw you into the film, you just don't care about them or what happens to them. Very empty and unemotional. Pointless film. Decent cinematography and score.

James Higgins
James Higgins

The Year That Trembled (2002) – “Nothing changes, not in politics.” – Phil Robbins. “Trembled” is one-part college kid anxiety over the 1970 Vietnam lottery draft and another-part dramatization of the legal aftermath of the Kent State shootings. It’s an interesting story with decent performances and a good balance between the serious and the silly. Unfortunately, the recorded audio levels on the DVD had me constantly reaching for the controller - that part was maddening. I recommend the film most for the historical perspective. About thirty-five years ago, more and more Americans grew tired with the war in Vietnam and began their struggle to get us out. It was Dick Nixon then, Dick Cheney now; Spiro T. Agnew then, and George W. Bush now. What did the modern war machine learn from the experience of the Old Guard? Don’t kill off so many boys and girls that you need the draft.

Rich Brown
Rich Brown

Jonathan Brandis did a really great job in this film. He tried really hard to break away from this teen image. He was one of the few teen actors that really had more then a pretty face--this film proves it.

Melody Briscoe
Melody Briscoe

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