The Strawberry Statement

book by James Simon Kunen

The Strawberry Statement is a 1970 film about the Columbia University protests of 1968 through the eyes of Simon, a student who joins the takeover of Hamilton Hall - initially to attract passioned female students, but later to make a real change.

Directed by Stuart Hagmann. Written by Israel Horovitz, based on the book by James Simon Kunen.
Their dream was to go to college.


  • [on the phone in jail] Dad, what do you mean "Simon Who?" Yeah. Good. How's mom? Good. Got arrested. Yeah, jail. Uh. Well, yes, well, uh, if, well, it has been growing for two months, I mean, it's gotta be longer, right? Well, some people have bad associations when they see long hair, and some have them when they see long Cadillacs. Oh, I solved my identity crisis. Yeah. Hey, lemme - I'll - I'll call you later, OK? Bye-bye.


Simon: How many kids will show, do you think?
Charlie: It's worth taking a look. I mean, a lot of kids'll show because of that strawberry statement.
Simon: What?
Charlie: The dean. He said our telling him we had an opinion is like telling him we like strawberries.
Simon: Oh, I love straw - I love strawberries!
Charlie: Oh, schmuck.
Simon: Strawberries? What's he got against strawberries?
Charlie: Must be their color.

[after Simon gets beat up by George the rightist jock, but gains popularity by cunningly faking it as an injury by police brutality]
Elliot - Coxswain: Simon.
Simon: Yeah?
Elliot - Coxswain: There's a girl looking for you.
Simon: Yeah?
Elliot - Coxswain: Do you remember that...National Geographic you have in your back room?
Simon: [laughs] Yeah.
Elliot - Coxswain: Yeah, well this one is a white version of page 43.
Simon: Ah.
[cut to a smiling large breasted woman standing alone with Simon in the filing room]

Girl in Filing Room: [about his injured lip] I bet it feels sour, doesn't it?
Simon: soars.
Girl in Filing Room: [Puts his hand over her large right breast] Does that feel better?
[Simon hums]
Girl in Filing Room: Did you know Lenin loved women with big breasts?
[Simon mumbles]
Girl in Filing Room: Well, he did. [goes to the mirror to take off her shirt] Do you like them? [shows him her large breasts]
Simon: It's the most moving thing I've ever seen.

Girl in Filing Room: Come here, I wanna show you something. [takes Simon between some filing cabinets and takes off his belt]
Simon: Ah...
Girl in Filing Room: Ah ha...
Simon: Ah...that's my belt.
Girl in Filing Room: I know.
Simon: Did you lock the door?
Girl in Filing Room: Sure. [ducks down and opens the filing cabinets to hide Simon's lower body]
Simon: You did?
Girl in Filing Room: Yeah, the lock slides automatically. And you closed it. [close up to her face] I don't know what you're so nervous about. Nobody's going to find out.
Simon: I'm not nervous. I'm excited.
[Meg hums]
Simon: Now I'm nervous.
Girl in Filing Room: I'm gonna give you something a hero like you deserves.
Simon: Fine.
Girl in Filing Room: [kisses her way down his body] Relax. [reaches below the camera view while Simon leans back and stares at the air. The camera then zooms up on Che Guevara's famous poster staring in the air in its implacability expression]

Linda: You're not really serious about this.
Simon: I am, too.
Linda: The university is burning babies and killing men, and you're on the rowing team.
Simon: Rowing crew. Linda...
Linda: It's a waste. This strike is part of something real. That's better than being a rowing jock.
Simon: Now, look, most of the guys on the crew aren't jocks. I mean, uh, crew doesn't even have as many WASPs as it should have, according to the population percentage of WASPs in the nation.
Linda: Maybe it should be shut down.
Simon: Now, look, I mean they have uh, mustaches and everything.
Linda: Simon, if you wanna row a boat, row a boat.
Simon: Look, you don't understand what it's like. I mean it's, uh... it's erotic. I mean, you should try it. I mean it's a commitment. It's real.
Linda: It's not real. It's a game. The movement is real.
Simon: Linda...
Linda: What?
Simon: I am so incredibly confused.
Linda: So am I.

Linda: What are you doing?
Simon: I wanna feel... what it feels like to... litter from the back of a paddy wagon.
Linda: So how does it feel?
Simon: Nice. Not terrific, not fantastic, but... but nice.


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