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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 8.33%
Average: 4.17%
Pretty Bad: 4.17%
Total Crap: 4.17%

2 reviews, 12 user ratings

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42 Up
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Improv King

"Truly one of a kind"
5 stars

A simple idea, brilliantly executed. 42 Up works like a living family album, showing the viewer both the differences and similarities amoung everyone. After 35 years working on this documentary (and its previous versions), Michael Apted has made a masterpiece.

What strikes me more than anything about 42 Up is that the group of kids who were interviewed back in the sixties for the original series were never affected by the fact they were featured in a documentary. As we see their lives unfold, only passing mention is made of the fact that it has all been recorded and seen by the public. Part of it is due to the fact that the time between the interviews is a full seven years, but I think there is more to it than that.

In today's media saturated world, a project like this would certainly garner the subjects fifteen minutes of fame - entertainment shows would do a "where are they now" introspective, magazines would do front page stories claiming to tell "the real story", other TV series would give us a behind the scenes glimpse of how it all fits together. The adults of 42 Up, if a young Apted manque were to try this today, would be put through the wringer of fame that would undoubtedly change the course of their lives. Whether it would be for the better or the worse is debatable: the point is that they wouldn't be allowed to simply LIVE THEIR OWN LIVES. Consider a show like "The Real World", where a group of complete strangers are placed in a setting that NONE of them could afford, cameras are on them 24 hours a day. What the hell is real about that? Do you really think that in the back of their minds, the people of "The Real World" ever forget they're on TV? What makes 42 Up such a triumph is that Apted works a little bit like a nature photographer: he keeps a respectful distance to try to show his subjects as they really ARE, not what we the public think they are.

Basically, if you're a fan of documentary, and of people watching, see this. It's a project that can never be repeated or topped.

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originally posted: 11/12/99 11:55:35
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User Comments

3/01/15 lolipop pretty shit 1 stars
5/25/08 ladavies Very moving, I loved it! 5 stars
10/14/04 Flick Chick they saved the best story for last - even those w/serious problems can succeed! 4 stars
12/04/00 Christopher Earley One of the 10 best films ever made. This film is the best in the series. 5 stars
7/11/00 Ramsay Incredible idea, however its too bulky for 1 movie, 4 1/2 hr TV shows would be better. 4 stars
4/12/00 Sarah Johnson I have been in the documentary. I am glad people have enjoyed looking at how life can be. 5 stars
12/16/99 Jerry Langford A powerful experience, even for an Up "first-timer" like me! 5 stars
11/29/99 Natasha Gonzalez Generalized unrealistic view of peoples lives 3 stars
11/17/99 fred not number one 2 stars
11/13/99 Joseph Szekely This is the 3rd member of this sequence of documentaries I have seen.It is better each time 5 stars
8/11/99 Bill after seeing 42up you start to look at people differently... deeply moving and touching 5 stars
7/02/99 Polly Like catching up with old friends - both fascinating & melancholic 5 stars
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  DVD: 19-Oct-2004



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