Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980)

R | 106 mins | Drama | 11 April 1980

Director:

John Sayles

Writer:

John Sayles

Cinematographer:

Austin de Besche

Editor:

John Sayles

Production Company:

Salsipuedes Productions
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HISTORY

The following acknowledgments appear in end credits: “Thanks to: Mount Washington Valley Theatre Co., Donald Johnson – Dunkin’ Donuts, Tom Mulkern – Oak Lee Lodge, Jean Lees, Eastern Mountain Sports, Cranmore Inn, Carol Reed, 6,000 Salad Bowls.” Acknowledgements are followed by the statement: “Filmed in North Conway, New Hampshire.”
       According to a 12 Mar 1980 LAT article, writer-director John Sayles said the independent film evolved out of a starting budget of $40,000, not a creative idea. He was then able to put together the story of a reunion once he had determined the extent of his resources. A 28 Apr 1980 New York article reported that Sayles raised an additional $20,000 to pay for film laboratory costs. The 12 Mar 1980 LAT stated that the film was shot on a twenty-five day schedule with very little improvisation. The tight timeframe meant adapting to weather changes and delays. Sayles paid $800 to rent a ski lodge in North Conway, NH, which served as primary location and provided accommodations for the actors. A 1980 Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Filmex) press release in AMPAS library files reported the movie was shot in the fall of 1978 for $60,000.
       According to an 11 Apr 1980 NYT article, the picture debuted as part of the New Directors/New Films series at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It was number eight on LAT film critic Charles Champlin’s 1980 Top Ten list of the best films of the year, as reported in a 28 Dec 1980 LAT news brief. According to an 8 ... More Less

The following acknowledgments appear in end credits: “Thanks to: Mount Washington Valley Theatre Co., Donald Johnson – Dunkin’ Donuts, Tom Mulkern – Oak Lee Lodge, Jean Lees, Eastern Mountain Sports, Cranmore Inn, Carol Reed, 6,000 Salad Bowls.” Acknowledgements are followed by the statement: “Filmed in North Conway, New Hampshire.”
       According to a 12 Mar 1980 LAT article, writer-director John Sayles said the independent film evolved out of a starting budget of $40,000, not a creative idea. He was then able to put together the story of a reunion once he had determined the extent of his resources. A 28 Apr 1980 New York article reported that Sayles raised an additional $20,000 to pay for film laboratory costs. The 12 Mar 1980 LAT stated that the film was shot on a twenty-five day schedule with very little improvisation. The tight timeframe meant adapting to weather changes and delays. Sayles paid $800 to rent a ski lodge in North Conway, NH, which served as primary location and provided accommodations for the actors. A 1980 Los Angeles International Film Exposition (Filmex) press release in AMPAS library files reported the movie was shot in the fall of 1978 for $60,000.
       According to an 11 Apr 1980 NYT article, the picture debuted as part of the New Directors/New Films series at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. It was number eight on LAT film critic Charles Champlin’s 1980 Top Ten list of the best films of the year, as reported in a 28 Dec 1980 LAT news brief. According to an 8 Jan 1981 LAT article, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association gave Sayles an award for best screenplay.
More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Hollywood Reporter
18 Sep 1980
p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
12 Mar 1980.
---
Los Angeles Times
19 Mar 1980
p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
28 Dec 1980.
---
Los Angeles Times
8 Jan 1981
Part IV, p. 2.
New York
28 Apr 1980
p. 62-63.
New York Times
11 Apr 1980
p. 12.
Variety
26 Mar 1980
p. 21.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
DISTRIBUTION COMPANIES
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit mgr
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Asst cam
Gaffer/Key grip
Loc stills
FILM EDITORS
Asst ed
Asst ed
Negative cutting
COSTUMES
Cos consultant
MUSIC
Score dir and prod by
[Score] written and performed by
[Score] written and performed by
[Score] written and performed by
[Score] written and performed by
[Score] rec at
SOUND
Asst sd
Sd transfer
VISUAL EFFECTS
PRODUCTION MISC
Tech asst
Scr supv
Credit
Asst to dir
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Caterer
Post prod services
SOURCES
SONGS
“Bad Apple Blues,” Trad./ Arr. ©1979 Sweet Melodies Publishing, arranged by Cora Bennett
“Coast To Coast,” ©1978 Sal Baglio, © 1978 Double Eagle Records, written by Sal Baglio, performed by The Stompers
“The Boots They Come And The Boots They Go,” ©1977 Folk Legacy Inc., ©1978 Daring Enterprises, written by Bill Staines, performed by Mason Daring and Jeanie Stahl
+
SONGS
“Bad Apple Blues,” Trad./ Arr. ©1979 Sweet Melodies Publishing, arranged by Cora Bennett
“Coast To Coast,” ©1978 Sal Baglio, © 1978 Double Eagle Records, written by Sal Baglio, performed by The Stompers
“The Boots They Come And The Boots They Go,” ©1977 Folk Legacy Inc., ©1978 Daring Enterprises, written by Bill Staines, performed by Mason Daring and Jeanie Stahl
“Barbecue Rag,” ©1979 Guy Van Duser
“Free, White And 21,” ©Sweet Melodies Publishing, written by Adam LeFevre
“Mean To Me,” ©Sweet Melodies Publishing, written by Adam LeFevre
“I Brake For Animals,” ©Sweet Melodies Publishing, written by Adam LeFevre.
+
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
Return of the Secaucus Seven
Release Date:
11 April 1980
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 11 April 1980
Los Angeles opening: 5 November 1980
Production Date:
fall 1978 in North Conway, NH
Copyright Claimant:
Salsipuedes Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
18 May 1981
Copyright Number:
PA107733
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
106
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
SYNOPSIS

When teachers Katie Cipriano and Mike Donnelly rent a New Hampshire cottage for the weekend, they wait for the arrival of old friends. As they clean, they wonder about their schoolmate, Irene Rosenbloom, and her latest beau, Chip Hollister, who work as political aides for a U.S. senator. Elsewhere, musician J. T. hitchhikes, and Frances, a medical student and old friend, gives him a ride. When they arrive at the cottage, Frances learns from Katie that Irene has become more conservative now that she is with Chip. During their drive, Irene instructs Chip on how to behave around her friends, which makes him nervous. Soon, the travellers stop at a gas station to use the restrooms, and an attendant named Ron recognizes Irene, and is glad to hear that Frances is in town for the weekend. As the hosts feed guests, they explain that friends, Maura Tolliver, a children’s theater actress, and Jeff, director of a methadone drug clinic, could not join them because of a large family reunion. The friends are also told that Lacey, an actress friend, is performing in a period comedy, and has provided them with free tickets. Maura suddenly telephones Katie, saying that she has left Jeff, traveled by bus, and needs a ride. When Katie meets Maura in town, her friend has a hard time explaining the reason for her breakup. As the women embrace, Maura is excited to hear that J. T. is visiting for the weekend. Later at the theater, Frances explains to Chip that Lacey, Katie, and Maura were roommates during their freshman year at college. Lacey went to live with a boyfriend, while the other women roomed ... +


When teachers Katie Cipriano and Mike Donnelly rent a New Hampshire cottage for the weekend, they wait for the arrival of old friends. As they clean, they wonder about their schoolmate, Irene Rosenbloom, and her latest beau, Chip Hollister, who work as political aides for a U.S. senator. Elsewhere, musician J. T. hitchhikes, and Frances, a medical student and old friend, gives him a ride. When they arrive at the cottage, Frances learns from Katie that Irene has become more conservative now that she is with Chip. During their drive, Irene instructs Chip on how to behave around her friends, which makes him nervous. Soon, the travellers stop at a gas station to use the restrooms, and an attendant named Ron recognizes Irene, and is glad to hear that Frances is in town for the weekend. As the hosts feed guests, they explain that friends, Maura Tolliver, a children’s theater actress, and Jeff, director of a methadone drug clinic, could not join them because of a large family reunion. The friends are also told that Lacey, an actress friend, is performing in a period comedy, and has provided them with free tickets. Maura suddenly telephones Katie, saying that she has left Jeff, traveled by bus, and needs a ride. When Katie meets Maura in town, her friend has a hard time explaining the reason for her breakup. As the women embrace, Maura is excited to hear that J. T. is visiting for the weekend. Later at the theater, Frances explains to Chip that Lacey, Katie, and Maura were roommates during their freshman year at college. Lacey went to live with a boyfriend, while the other women roomed together until Maura joined VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), a national social services program. Backstage after the play, Lacey is chatty, but chooses to go to the closing night party instead of spending time with her college friends. After the show, Maura and J. T. walk home, and she confesses that she and Jeff were stuck in a rut until she had the courage to leave the relationship. J. T. assures Maura that he will not abandon her, even though he and Jeff are best friends. Back at the house, the friends drink beer, and play charades. Later on the sofa, Maura cannot sleep and wakes J. T. She confesses that she feels adrift since her breakup, and is attracted to J. T. He admits that he has always liked her, and the two make love. Meanwhile, Katie postpones going to the bathroom when she hears lovers in the living room. She and Mike assume that Frances and J. T. are in the throes of passion. Once Katie treks to the bathroom, she and Mike are surprised to learn that the lovers are Maura and J. T. The next day, Mike and Chip sit on the sidelines during a volleyball game and Mike gives a more detailed account of how everyone met in college. Jeff arrives unexpectedly. While his friends are happy to see him, Maura gives him a cool reception. Later, J. T. plays guitar, and admits to Maura that he feels guilty about sleeping with her. He confesses his indiscretion to Jeff, who takes the news calmly, but accuses J. T. of having poor instincts with women. Elsewhere, Katie warns Maura that J. T. is not very responsible or discriminating when it comes to women. As Irene and Frances walk together, they also discuss J. T.’s inability to handle responsibility and how much harder it will be to have a successful music career as he gets older. Ron and Howie, a local hotel manager, challenge the guys to a game of basketball. Soon, J. T. slams his head into a pole, is dazed, and blames Jeff for causing the accident. The women play Clue, a board game, and gossip. Later, the friends skinny-dip in the river. J. T. confesses to Mike that he is broke, but lent money to a friend in Boston, Massachusetts, and expects to be reimbursed. Ron tells Frances he is interested in a career promoting snowmobile competitions. The friends gather to prepare lunch, and remark how nice it would be to get high. Chip shares the marijuana cigarettes he has stored in his glove compartment. Later, the friends relax over beers at the local bar. Jeff and J. T. flirt with two women, hoping to score sexual favors. Then, Jeff admits he is not ready to start dating. J. T. whips out his guitar and entertains bar patrons, while Frances explains to Ron how the personalities of doctors in various specialties differ. He, in turn, admits to being a popular athlete in high school, but says he is now known around town as a top car mechanic. He invites her to spend the evening in one of Howie’s spare hotel rooms, and she agrees. Meanwhile, Maura and Jeff loudly confront each other about their failings. Neither will back down, and they lean on friends for support. On the drive home, the group stops to examine a dead deer in the road. A police officer arrests the friends on suspicion of illegal hunting. The group shares a cell with town drunk Norman Gaddis, the former high school referee, who recognizes Mike. Norman advises them to plead self-defense to beat the charges. J. T. then announces that their situation is practically a reunion of the “Secaucus Seven.” Mike explains that during college the friends were on their way to a protest march in Washington, D. C., when police searched their borrowed car and found a rifle and an ounce of marijuana. They were thrown in jail in Secaucus, New Jersey, where they anointed themselves “The Secaucus Seven,” and acted out scenes from James Cagney and George Raft prison movies to pass the time. After they were released, the case was eventually thrown out of court. In the present, history repeats itself, and the group is released from jail. Back at the cottage, J. T. describes his plan to sell his songs in Los Angeles, California, when he and Jeff hear the sounds of vomiting. They take turns guessing the identity of the wretched soul, which turns out to be Katie, and J. T. wants to know if Jeff is still angry with him. Jeff admits he is annoyed, but it will pass. The next day, J. T. also tells Irene about his plans for the West Coast, and she agrees to invest in his career. He is uncomfortable borrowing a large amount of money, but she insists. As Maura and Jeff wash dishes, they divide up their possessions. J. T. turns down Irene’s offer because he is determined to succeed on his own. Soon, it is time for the guests to leave. Maura announces that Jeff has disappeared because he hates to say goodbye. Katie drops Maura and J. T. at the bus station, where Maura insists on buying him a ticket. Meanwhile, Jeff chops wood, then leaves a short note for Katie and Mike, apologizing for his hasty departure. Frances passes out on the sofa after her late night with Ron, as Katie and Mike fold the volleyball net and put it in storage. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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