The Strawberry Statement (1970)

Bruce Davison & Bud Cort in THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT (1970)

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope everyone enjoyed the holiday. I’ve been wrestling with a lot of personal stuff lately and some big changes are coming to this blog soon. But I just wanted to share a quick update about my latest piece for The Movie Morlocks titled, ‘Politics, Protest & Progress in THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT.’ It’s a detailed look at Stuart Hagmann’s neglected first film, which should interest some politically-minded readers. Here’s a brief sample from my post:

“Stuart Hagmann’s THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT (1970) is often dismissed today as a dated relic of the early ‘70s. During its initial release it was singled out for being exploitive and failing to be a straightforward adaptation of the book it was based on. Many critics claimed that Stuart Hagmann’s direction was erratic and too creative for its own good, which supposedly diminished the film’s political message. When I recently set aside some time to watch THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT I prepared myself for the worst. I expected to see a confusing, opportunistic, dated and laughable Hollywood film made to cash in on the political zeitgeist of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. But I came away from the movie with an entirely different opinion and immediately understood why it had been nominated for a Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1970 and walked away with a Jury Prize. Not only is THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT a much better film than I had anticipated but it’s particularly poignant considering the current political climate. Student protest, police brutality, free speech and social activism are still hot button issues today. Not a lot has changed in 40 years. We’re still fighting the same battles and wrestling with the same complex issues that have been plaguing the country for decades. Like other controversial films from the same period such as MEDIUM COOL (1969), ZABRISKI POINT (1970) and PUNISHMENT PARK (1971), THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT asked some important questions that still haven’t been answered.”

ssp4Lots more about this timely film at the Morlocks:
Politics, Protest & Progress in THE STRAWBERRY STATEMENT @ TCM’s Classic Movie Blog