The Strawberry statement
Starring: Bruce Davison; Kim Darby; Bud Cort
Director: Stuart Hagmann
Year of release: 1970
Country: USA
Screen shots

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Plot summary
The strawberry statement is based on the 1968 book, The Strawberry Statement: Notes of a College Revolutionary by James Kunen, which is set at Columbia University in New York.

In the film, Simon is a student in San Francisco. A member of the rowing team, he's vaguely liberal in politics but generally unaware of what is going on - namely, student protest at the University's plans to repossess black-occupied tenements but through his developing romance with the more politically active Linda, he gradually becomes more involved.

The film has quite a few things in its favour: excellent performances from a fine cast, a strong sense of San Francisco at the time (lots of shots of rowing boats going under bridges), and a literate screenplay by playwright Israel Horovitz (father of Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz).

The film is clearly on the side of students: the title refers to a teacher's comment that a student's opinion is as relevant to him as whether or not the student likes strawberries.

One scene with one of Simon's rowing colleagues demonstrates that some of the students are very much on the side of authority against the 'commies'. However, when his strokeman, George, punches him in the face in the showers, he manages to work it to his favour and tells his fellow radical students that he got into a fight with the police.

The director has penchant for odd angles and overhead shots (also very much of its time), and his continual cutting back and forward can become distracting.

Rowing info
Wooden boats, wooden blades and SERIOUSLY big rudders (but then it was the late 1960's). There's quite a lot of rowing throughout the film, including crew land training, some shots of them rowing past a submarine and a nerdy cox'n (Cort) who's interest in student politics is limted to the number of "chicks" sleeping over and his chances of getting some "action" (somethings never change)...

Includes what's possibly the best ever movie coxing quote:
"Number one - this isn't fun
Number two - fuck you
Number three - energy
Number four - give it more
Number five - look alive
Number six - you suck
Number seven - much better"

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