The title is an allusion to the Phil Oschs song "Outside of a Small Circle of Friends, the first verse of which is, "Look outside the window,/There's a woman being grabbed/They've dragged her to the bushes/And now she's being stabbed/Maybe we should call the cops/And try to stop the pain/ But Monopoly is so much fun,/ I'd hate to blow the game/ And I'm sure it wouldn't interest anybody/Outside of a small circle of friends." See more »
Students are seen dancing to the Rolling Stones record "Street Fighting Man" moments after President Lyndon Johnson's television address in which he announced he was not running for reelection. However, that speech was delivered on the last day of March 1968, while the song had not even been recorded yet and was not released until the last day of August 1968. See more »
Leonardo DaVinci Rizzo:
[breaking into an office with a suction cup on a window]
I saw it on "I Spy" or "The Untouchables". I forget which.
See more »
Released in 1980, "A Small Circle of Friends" is a drama about three friends at Harvard & Radcliffe College during the turbulent years 1967-1971. The protagonists are played by Brad Davis, Karen Allen and Jameson Parker. John Friedrich and Shelley Long are on hand as peripheral students.
This is a good realistic drama about life at college during the late 60s & early 70s in America. The movie showcases the political and social craziness of those times and how it changed the students, for better or worse. It's akin to 2000's underrated "The 70s" but maybe a notch better. There are several highlights and even glimpses of greatness, like "The Star-Spangled Banner" being sung by an African-America cook from the university while sitting at a bar, a few curvy cuties, a pre-Cheers Shelley Long, a hilarious stage sequence, the absurd Vietnam draft lottery, and an unexpectedly shocking climax.
There are also a couple of great songs from the era, like the Stones' "Street Fighting Man," but there should've been more instead of overdoing the sappy "Theme for the Masses." I should warn that there's one element in the last act that's just gross, but it happened then and now. As solid as "A Small Circle of Friends" is, it's thoroughly obscure; somehow it fell through the cracks when it was released.
The film runs 113 minutes and was shot entirely in Massachusetts (Cambridge, Bridgewater & Groton). It was directed by Rob Cohen and written by Ezra Sacks.
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