A finely made film but disappoints against the impossibly complex novel. One of Fonda's own favorite performances, and Remick, Sarrazin and Jaeckel are wonderful. Newman's direction/acting are also on point. Beyond the family drama, the larger themes are still relevant today. Loved the feel of this movie and the up close look at logging and Oregon beauty. Could have been titled The Day of Reckoning. 3.5
Pretty good. Saved from obviousness and a sometimes hokey script by the strong central performances, the scenes focusing on Remick and Sarrazin being stand outs. Feels a little like Kazan-ite in places (The Man in the Moon Marigolds, Newman's next film as director, being far less derivative.) If you can overlook the down home soundtrack and the closing sequence, this is worthy of the stark 1970s Realist canon.
The "behind the times" working class people flavored jokes don't age well to new modern viewers but are probably true to the period. Excellent performances all around in this family drama that's an unjustly forgotten 70s gem. The "mouth to mouth'' underwater scene is devastating.
I'm rounding up from a 3.5, because all around this is an exceptional film. Paul Newman gets honest performances from his entire cast, and delivers a fine one himself. There's an especially gut-wrenching scene between Hank Stamper, his brother Joe, and log. I'll say no more.
From what I hear, the book is even better, and being a Kesey fan, I'm anxious to pick up a copy now.
I couldn't warm to Rachel, Rachel's psychodrama, and I can't endorse the Randian elements of this film's screenplay, but damn if those final scenes aren't some of the most harrowing 70s Americana cinema this side of Payday.