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351 Ratings

Taking Off

Directed by Miloš Forman
United States, 1971
Comedy, Drama, Cult


In this dark, affectionate, and rarely seen satire (Miloš Forman’s first feature made in the US), a husband and wife embark on a wild goose chase after their runaway daughter and wind up experimenting with the wild habits of youth counterculture.

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Taking Off Directed by Miloš Forman

Awards & Festivals

Cannes Film Festival

1971 | Winner: Grand Prize of the Jury

BAFTA Awards

1972 | 6 nominations including: Best Actress

Writers Guild of America

1972 | Nominee: Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen (Screen)

Bodil Awards

1972 | Winner: Best Non-European Film

Critics reviews

Milos Forman’s first American film is one of his best, a hilarious satire of intergenerational strife, post-Woodstock counterculture, and middle-class conformism.
October 26, 2018
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The effect is that of a big, bustling world, speaking and singing through many voices. Taking Off feels like a movie made by a man who is both delighted and terrified by the mad, cacophonous country he’s come to.
April 15, 2018
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What are people saying?

  • El Biffo's rating of the film Taking Off

    1970's New Hollywood! Milos Forman's first American feature is a gem. "Squares" get begrudgingly assimilated into counterculture and the hippies get absorbed by capitalism. It's fiction, but it's real and it's funny. Fabulous cast led by Buck Henry. Vincent Schiavelli pays himself in a scene which is priceless. Cameos by Carly Simon, Cathy Bates and Allen Garfield, and a knockout performance by Ike & Tina Turner!

  • josé neves's rating of the film Taking Off

    35mm. In 71, Forman looked to North-American society, contextualized in a peculiar space - that of New York, a social laboratory of immense changes - as he looked at the Czech society in times of family and cultural dismemberment. Adopting a very similar structure and playing with a sharp parallel editing, he was responsible for a key piece of the cinema that came from that city in that decade. Superiorly fun.

  • Daniel S.'s rating of the film Taking Off

    Interesting to see how the concept of Liberty is differently understood if you are a Czech director who's had to live in an authoritarian state or if you are an American citizen deprived of nothing. Let us learn our lesson. And don't miss Kathy Bates singing! Recommended.

  • Samuel T.'s rating of the film Taking Off

    Just re-watched. Hilarious. Brilliant editing. Lynn Carlin is absolutely splendid, already having loved her from Deathdream and of course Faces. I'd really love to have a drink with her... And while this IS hilarious, it's also incredibly moving in the most subtle way, in the way that the photos of Rineke Dijkstra's youth are so striking: innocence, vulnerability, perfect imperfections of youth, bittersweet nostalgia

  • Wee Hunk's rating of the film Taking Off

    This was the generation gap defined by hair. I thought the intercuts with the auditions were brilliant. While the pot smoking scene seems timeless, the poker game drunkenness seemed over the top. Drunks being funny stopped being funny after 'Arthur' (1981), and maybe a bit earlier than that.

  • Brotherdeacon's rating of the film Taking Off

    2 and a half anti-authoritarian sanctimonious yuks. These bell-bottom movies date poorly for me, but Buck Henry was once a god.

  • ebabehh's rating of the film Taking Off

    A riot. "You can fuck the Astros and all nurses in white. You should fuck the uglies just to be kind and polite. You can fuck the Moon and June and the Sea. But before you fuck them first you must fuck me."

  • redux's rating of the film Taking Off

    Gutsy of Forman to continue where he left off in Prague, but the same gaze, looking for the awkward and the grotesque, applied to a different society, poses the question of validity. At its best, this is a series of American portraits drawn by a stranger, similar to Steinberg's. At worst, it's like compulsively cracking old jokes in company, in a bid to be accepted.

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