MovieChat Forums > Our Time (1974) Discussion > MUFFY!!! (WARNING SERIOUS SPOILERS!!!)

MUFFY!!! (WARNING SERIOUS SPOILERS!!!)


This made-for-TV howler classic is breathtakingly pretentious but somehow manages to be hardhitting beacause of the unapologetic "downer" ending. Betsy Slade is great as "Muffy". She manages to convey several layers of characterization at once: smart plain girl who chums with the prom queen; lonelyheart who thinks she can rise above "love", clever chick who goes after what she wants subverting all the preppie codes and so on. The movie is of course written by and for the jocks and cheerleaders because Muffy dies. Doe she die for "our" sins? NO--only if "we" means the blow-dryed, air-headed "popular" kids who make life hell for the anyone with a shred of individuality. The "pretty" couple gets to "make love" in a nice hotel to swelling strains of Michel LeGrand and more vaseline on the lens than for a late-in-her-career Ginger Rogers close-up. Muffy seduces her nerd hanger-on and gets banged in the back of a station wagon... Hmmm why didn't she enjoy sex with an uncertain partner, in an unheated car in midwinter? No orgasm, pregnancy, abortion death--see what happens to smartass chicks who have sex?

This is the world Animal House is spoofing...

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I remember being so stunned and freaked when she died from the abortion. I was a teenager. I said to myself, "There oughtta be a law!" Then I found out that there WAS a law. I was a slow teenager.

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It wasn't a made for TV movie. It was released to theatres (I saw it in one).

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You saw it in theaters in 1974? Do you remember much about the movie or the crowd? This film seems to have been largely forgotten, perhaps with good reason.

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I think there was a decent audience (I seem to recall it was a weekend matinee) but it certainly didn't last more than a week or maybe two. It was a starless movie the studio didn't promote very heavily. I remember it got a rave in 17 Magazine, but otherwise the critical response was pretty muted--it was treated as a somewhat old-fashioned tearjerker. I went with a friend in junior school and we were both really choked up at the end--two 14-y.o. boys crying over a movie! so uncool!

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Thanks for the recollections! I kept up on movies and stars in the '70s, but this one was completely off my radar. Of course, I didn't read Seventeen magazine – though I did read 16.

It seems that if this was made a few years later, it could have been a hit because Parker Stevenson was in the "Hardy Boys" and Pamela Sue Martin was on "Nancy Drew" and "Dynasty" on TV. Of course, by then they wouldn't have much time to make movies.

I always love those recollections from people who saw obscure movies in the theater. Thanks again for your reply!

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I not only saw this movie when it came out, I was in Boston for much of the filming and knew some of the people on the picture. A nicer bunch of young actors you couldn't have asked for, as were director Peter Hyamns and producer Richard Roth. "Our Time" (which I think was shot under the title "Death of Innocence") benefited from the money Warner Bros. had made with the similarly nostalgic "Summer of '42" but was far too dark for general audiences to accept. (This was a concern that Hyams and Roth constantly carried with them). It's daring to change tone so radically in a picture, and "Our Time" does a 90. Moreover, 1973 and 1974 were terrible years financially for movies. Maybe it was Watergate, maybe it was Vietnam malaise, or maybe it was the encroaching gasoline crisis, but this sweet (but not special) movie fell into the trap of time.

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Thanks for your recollections about seeing this film and meeting the cast.

You are right that '73 and '74 were difficult years for movies (as well as the United States in general), despite hits like "The Exorcist" and "The Godfather." I think a downbeat, realistic film like this wouldn't be a huge draw when there was so much downbeat realism in the nation at large. (I'm just speculating here, and I haven't actually been able to see this film yet, so I can't attest to how it is, just how it sounds).

Of course, in a few years, the movie industry would change radically with blockbusters like "Jaws" and "Star Wars," so this film and its era are important historically as the last products of an art that would soon be radically transformed, and not necessarily for the better. I hope to find this film someday.

Thanks again for your thoughts!

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Any gossip on Pamela Sue Martin, nataloff-1?

She seems like she'd be lovely but you can never really tell

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Yes, I also saw it in a theater in 1974.

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I still vividly recall watching this film in a cinema in Boston when it first came out. Indeed, comments noted that it was a challenging time for the States and the rest of the world as well. I was a young teenager then and I had my own share of challenges and I recall being so stunned by the film's ending.

I have a copy, but it's somewhat modified. Following Muffy's death, there's a shot of Angela in her dorm room just before graduation ceremonies. In the film copy I have, the lovely Michel Legrand music plays. But my vivid recollection is during this scene, Angela spoke reciting a modified version of Ecclesiastes 3, A time to Laugh, a time to cry, etc. I was surprised that it wasn't on the copy I received. It may be that the copy I have was for international release and as such most likely could have been somewhat more 'secular.'

I'm pleased to know that the new release might have a finer colour infusion. I plan to obtain a copy. I also have a copy of the Sterile Cuckoo which is rather drab in its colour, so I hope that it too may be released offering the same enhanced colour.

It was probably my age at the time, but this film, plus Summer of 42, and the Sterile Cuckoo all were of the same genre and reflected the pace of the American youth.

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^^ villagevicarage, there was a reciting of Ecclesiastes? I think I would have loved to have heard that at the end. I just bought and watched the Warner Archives release and it's not in it, unfortunately :(

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Yes, I have absolutely no idea why I remember this so vividly, but time can also do strange things to memory. The voice over, as I recall, was that of Pamela Sue Martin. It began as the camera panned the empty bedroom. The recitation was done quite liberally, leaning more so to one of the revision Bibles. As I saw the film several times, it began to set in my mind and I remember it being read as follows:

There is an appointed time for everything.
And there is a time for every event under Heaven:

A time to give birth, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to harvest.

A time to cleanse, and a time to heal.
A time to receive, and a time to share.

A time to cry, and a time to laugh.
A time to mourn, and a time to dance.

And at the end of the recitation Pamela Sue Martin had entered the room.

I know there were several different releases, under different titles. I remember this as Our TIme, but perhaps one of the US releases contained this.

AND...( and this is a very big AND), it is entirely possible that due to the subject matter at the time, there could have been an objection from the film grading people, particularly in the New England area and this was added in order to provided it with a more impactive moral theme.

Daft as this may sound, there was a great deal of pressure upon film boards from the Catholic Church (and other groups) during that time. Obviously, this is a somewhat emotive statement, but I'd be interested in knowing if anyone else has any memory of this.

Fr B+
www.ProjectNewLife.org
www.BigWorldSmallBoat.blogspot.com

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^^ Yeah. I see what you mean.

Either way, I think those words would be a great addition not only just in and of itself, but also because the beginning of the film starts off with the Lord's Prayer, so then there'd be kind of a full circle (if that makes sense). They say that there's usually some kind of connection in how a film starts and ends.

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My goodness! Well thought through Olivia! I hadn't even considered that! With this in mind you've given me a greater confidence in what I thought may have been a sketchy memory. That makes lots of sense. Thank you for this! Perhaps one day another version will materialise. Approximately 6 months ago there was a 35mm reel copy of Our Time sold on Ebay. Wish I could remember they buyer. It was a chap who holds cinema nights in a converted railway carriage in either Indiana or Kansas...The film sold for only £30!

As an aside, Our Time came out approximately the same time Natalie, with Patty Duke, and The Sterile Cuckoo, with Liza Minnelli were released. I wonder whether anyone knows of other coming of age films that were released at that time?

Rgds

Fr B+


www.ProjectNewLife.org
www.BigWorldSmallBoat.blogspot.com

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Wow, the reel copy? That sounds great.

I stumbled onto "Our Time" in the first place because I'm a fan of Pamela Sue Martin, and hearing that Parker Stevenson was also in it made me all the more interested. The last two years I've only seen very expensive VHS copies, so I'm happy I finally got the DVD (without the ending that you reminisced about as I would have very much enjoyed that, unfortunately).

As for the other films, I'm 23 so there's a lot of movies I'm not aware of. But I tend to like older, classic films and I've seen a lot too. Many are difficult to get a hold of at times.

The good thing about these boards is finding other people's comments which is very insightful at times.

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Wow Olivia, then may I please offer a couple of recommendations of a similar genre...


The Sterile Cuckoo (which eventually was renamed 'Pookie'), was a launch film for Liza Minnelli. It follows the theme of lost girl finding her way, young love, first time, self-discovery. I was able to watch it with my daughter last year and whilst not as moved as I was all those years ago, it still holds a good place in my list of 'memorables'

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0065037/


The next one is: Me Natalie starring Patty Duke. It also features the début of Al Pacino. My daughter reminds me that there's a common theme in the films I enjoy most and that's the music. 'Me Natalie has a lovely piece by Henry Mancini and Sterile Cuckoo's is by The Sandpipers.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064651/

I love Music by Michele Legrand and without his contribution to the film Summer of 42 most likely would have caused the film to fail as a box office success. Themes are similar, first love - reversed in this case young lad with an 'older' woman. Just saying this makes it sound cheap and exploitive - it isn't and it's certainly a must see if you like films of awakening.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067803/

And finally, on my list of 'love' style films are

Avanti (with Jack Lemmon and Juliet Mills...this is about infidelity and did not have a good returns at the box office. It's certainly understandable as this was during the decade of Donna Reed and Father Knows Best and the typical housewife would not have endorsed a film about husbands having a triste ... it's tenderly done and it leaves only smiles at the end..

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068240/

And virtually any of the 'An Affair to Remember' films...including even the most modern version renamed as Love Affair, with Warren Beatty and Annette Benning. In fact, the music again is sublime and with a cameo from Katherine Hepburn...where she finally achieves her life's goal to use a vulgarity (the F word) in a film. I understand her determination, but for the life of me, it contributed absolutely nothing to the film, whatsoever! Nevertheless, it's cute, embracing, and when you add the music - alluring.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110391/

My daughter describes me as a sentimental fool. I suppose she's right!


http://bigworldsmallboat.blogspot.com/2006/03/book-in-attic.html


Thanks for your thoughts and sharing. I've been a member of IMDb for a number of years. This is the first time I've shared any thoughts about a film, so I hope I didn't go overboard. :-)

Regds

Fr B+

www.DogDogma.blogspot.com
www.BigWorldSmallBoat.blogspot.com



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Thanks for the recommendations! I hope to look into them sometime.

Not at all, it's great to speak with someone who has a similar interest :)

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Olivia, I might also recommend "Jeremy," with Robby Benson & Glynis O'Connor, another coming of age film from the early 1970s.

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Thanks, Owlwise! I'll add it to the list.

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And don't forget the nostalgic "Ode to Billy Joe" (1976) - also with Robby Benson and Glynnis O'Connor.

The score is by Michel Legrand, who composed the music for "Our Time."

Last night at the dance, my little brother paid a buck to see your underwear.

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There's no record of The Sterile Cuckoo being renamed Pookie. Where'd you get that from?

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It had come as a surprise to me too when I first made my posting all those years ago. However, if you go to IMDB's search bar and simply type 'Pookie' up will come a list of titles. If I remember correctly, the first line will show The Sterile Cuckoo but underneath it says' AKA "Pigen Pookie"

That's where I got this from. And indeed, I was surprised when I saw it.

Regardless, I was just sad that it drifted into oblivion so quickly as have done so many films that hold powerful messages about what we call 'the human condition."

Oh yes...and Olivia...if you're still out there reading these...( I think you'd now be about 27 and probably have a gaggle of children hanging off of you), I hope you have the same verve for these films as you did when you were 23!

May all your journeys be ones of discovery!

Fr B+

BigWorldSmallBoat.blogspot.com
DogDogma.blogspot.com
PNLExploitedChildren.blogspot.com
ProjectNewLife.org
PNLMoldovaPrisons.blogspot.com

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I remember seeing this movie at the theatre while I was in nursing school. I remember the hospital scene, but the scene that is imprinted in my memory is the couple's first night at the hotel when she comes out wearing a beautiful white nightie over a black sweater.

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