“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.
“ 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.
“ This is a thoroughly enjoyable reworking of Mary McCarthy's book...
“ 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.
“ In addition, the set design is drab and cluttered.
“ 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.
“ Sidney Lumet's The Group takes Mary McCarthy's novel and puts enough of it on film to make a compelling enough drama .
“ The film moves along but, it's going nowhere in particular; it's talky, choppy, and too long (21/2 hours).
“It's fascinating to see these actors so young and full of life.
“ It was also fascinating to see Larry Hagman play a role here not too different from his later iconic evil character of J.