Cinema: All in the Family

In Winesburg, Ohio, Sherwood Anderson wrote of "grotesques," people who took a single truth to themselves, called it theirs and tried to live by it. "It was the truths that made the people grotesques," Anderson said. Once embraced so singlemindedly, any truth "became a falsehood."

Anderson would recognize the Stamper family of Sometimes a Great Notion. "Never give a inch" is the clan motto. Their dogged nonconformity takes heed neither of political fashion nor social form. When a general strike is called among the lumbermen of their small Oregon town, the Stampers go right...

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