Taking Off DVD
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Directed by Milos Forman
Produced in 1971
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - American film
With great comic set-pieces, Forman's first American film is an astute exploration of the sixties generation gap. It's like an American Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, says Julian Upton.
When teenager Jeannie Tyne ‘takes off’ without a word, her baffled parents embark on a raucous journey not just to find her, but to understand the youth culture that seems to have claimed her. So begins Milos Forman’s first US film, a hippie-era classic that rivals Mike Nichols’ The Graduate as an astute exploration of how the late-sixties generation gap affected middle-class American mores (and surpasses that film for laugh-out-loud comedy).
Another link to the Nichols movie is Buck Henry - the mildly deviant person’s Jack Lemmon - as Jeannie’s stiff-collared father (Henry co-wrote and appeared in The Graduate). His deadpan versatility shines as he and Mrs Tyne (Lynn Carlin) submit to the counterculture; the scene where they join a group of similarly bemused parents to learn how to smoke a joint is one of the great comic set pieces of seventies’ American cinema. For all that, Taking Off feels like a very European film. One of its screenwriters is Jean-Claude Carriere, who the following year scripted Bunuel’s highly comparable The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.
Julian Upton on 13th September 2011
Author of 150 reviews
The first US feature from Milos Forman (A Blonde in Love, The Fireman's Ball, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus), Taking Off is a 1971 comedy-drama starring Lynn Carlin and Buck Henry as middle-class New York suburbanites whose teenage daughter runs away from home when she gets in trouble. In the process of trying to unravel the mystery of the girl's whereabouts, the couple rediscover their own lives. This funny, engaging coming-of-age tale features some wonderful set-pieces - not least the one in which a group of middle-class parents are taught how to smoke pot - along with musical appearances from Tina & Ike Turner and Carly Simon.
Publisher: Park Circus
Length: 88 mins
Cat No: PC0036
Format: DVD Colour
- Brand New Restoration of the Film
- Before Taking Off: Milos Forman's Road to America
- Photo Gallery.