Oregon Movies, A to Z

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Sometimes A Great Notion (1971)

February 20th, 2009 by Anne Richardson · 4 Comments · 1970's, Oregon film, Oregon writer

Don’t see this movie. The screenwriter used a chainsaw to clear a narrative path through Ken Kesey’s greatest novel.  Recommended only for people who can’t read.

However Sometimes A Great Notion is indisputably an Oregon film: both shot here, and based on a book by an Oregon author.

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4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lori // Oct 1, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    As a kid this was a big deal, real movies being made in Oregon! It was always a thrill to drive to the coast and see the Kernville Tavern and drive down that road to see the house used in the movie.

  • 2 Mike Chivers // Jan 29, 2012 at 1:54 am

    I’ll agree that the movie doesn’t do the book justice but the same can be said of To Kill a Mockingbird. The bigger truth is that both movies are great and so are the books. Books just have the ability to take you deeper into the conflicts and characters. Movies are just the story. The movie perfectly captures the voices of the characters. I would swear Kesey wrote the book with Henry, Paul (Hank) and JoeBen in mind. Look at both, you’ll always prefer the book but compare it to other movies, its one of the best ever made.

  • 3 Anne Richardson // Jan 29, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    If I had not read the book I might have been able to see the virtues in/values of Sometimes A Great Notion: The Movie. I cannot see them. I’m sure they are there!

    Matt Love is writing a book about the making of Sometimes A Great Notion which draws on oral histories collected from the Newport community.

    I accept that other people see things to like in Sometimes A Great Notion: The Movie. I don’t see them. I’m hoping someone will do another film adaptation.

  • 4 Kesey, Colton, Varley & Walth: Top Four Oregon Mini Series | Oregon Movies, A to Z // Jan 1, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    [...] Newman’s 1971 adaptation leaves everything out! The expanded running time of a mini series would leave room to put it all [...]

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