“ Sidney Lumet's The Group takes Mary McCarthy's novel and puts enough of it on film to make a compelling enough drama .
“ This is a thoroughly enjoyable reworking of Mary McCarthy's book...
“Given that the next ten years were about to bring about a very exciting time in women's history, this film really didn't do much to help it along.
“ In addition, the set design is drab and cluttered.
“ Emhardt's performance is perhaps the most enjoyable to me since he talks up a storm and says such inappropriately funny lines!
“ One of Sidney Lumet's first directing attempts is a brilliant, powerful and undeniably courageous motion picture - not at all a sprawling frenzy of feelings strung by hammy performances and corny dialogues, this film is a rather organized , neat telling of eight graduates from Vassar-like college and their respective lives and times, that in it's own quiet way, became a masterpiece of great beauty, displaying strong, formidable performances by Pettet - as Kay Strong, a lovely young lady whose promissing future is teared to shreds as her cruel Play Writing husband ruins her life and slowly corrompts her mental sanity -, Hackett - as Dottie Renfrew, whose heart is broken by young, hip bohemian, that steels her virginity and commits herself to a futile, selfish fate - and Hartman(One Of The Most Wonderful Actresses That Ever Lived, And Whose Life Was Brought To A Horrid Ending, As She Comitted Suicide, Jumping Off Her Apartment Window) - as a pure , fragile young girl that has agonizing experiments with pregnancy and breast-feeding, as well as other cast members, like Bergen, Widdoes, fascinating Knight and Walter.
“ The women weren't so bad but the men were uniformly horrid - boring, dull, homely - you name it - not one of them got my juices flowing.
“ The film moves along but, it's going nowhere in particular; it's talky, choppy, and too long (21/2 hours).
“ It was also fascinating to see Larry Hagman play a role here not too different from his later iconic evil character of J.
“ Joanna Pettet has the most substantial role of her career as Kay, but Shirley Knight(Polly) and Hal Holbrook are saddled with boring roles, and play them accordingly.
“It's fascinating to see these actors so young and full of life.