|Between the Lines|
|Directed by||Joan Micklin Silver|
|Written by||Fred Barron|
David M. Helpern Jr.
|Produced by||Raphael D. Silver|
|Starring|| John Heard |
Michael J. Pollard
Raymond J. Barry
|Cinematography||Kenneth Van Sickle|
|Edited by||John Carter|
|Music by|| Michael Kamen |
Steve Van Zandt
|Distributed by|| Midwest Films |
Between the Lines is a 1977 ensemble romantic-comedy-drama  from Midwest Films. It was directed by Joan Micklin Silver and produced by her husband Raphael D. Silver.  The film was nominated for three awards at the 27th Berlin International Film Festival, winning two of them.   Micklin Silver won the 1977 Los Angeles Film Critics Association New Generation Award as writer and director of Between the Lines. 
The story revolves around a group of people who work at The Back Bay Mainline, an alternative newspaper in Boston,  as it is bought out by a major corporation. This involves Harry Lucas (Heard), a disillusioned lead reporter with an on-and-off again girlfriend in Abbie (Crouse), flaky music critic Max (Goldblum), writer/author Michael (Collins) who plans to move to New York, an eager cub reporter in David (Kirby), and Frank, a beleagured editor in chief (Korkes). 
A series of loose thread occur throughout the film, such as Laura struggling with her relationship to self-involved Michael, who is using the sale of a forthcoming book to move to New York and take her there. A party celebration only results in Laura going to Harry's house and sleeping before Michael eventually arrives to pick a fight. Laura decides to go along with Michael to New York. David, a youthful reporter who rides a bike to work, tries to hitch a big and potentially dangerous story. Max, Harry, and Abbie try to chase him down from meeting up with a source (they arrive right as he gets a bloody nose). The purchase of the paper by a corporation (specifically a communications empire) had been rumored through the film, but only near the end does it come through that a group headlined by Roy Walsh (Smith) plans to buy and run the paper. One meeting spurs Walsh to ask Frank to fire Harry, citing him as a "moving force in the wrong direction." Lynn the secretary is the first to quit. Harry responds to his firing by walking to Walsh's office and shooting him with a suction cup dart toy pistol.
Fred Barron, who had written for both The Phoenix and The Real Paper , used his and Harper Barnes'  alternative newspaper experiences as the basis for his Between the Lines screenplay. The director Silver once had worked for The Village Voice .  Doug Kenney, co-founder of the National Lampoon, has a cameo role. Robert Costanzo makes a brief appearance as a hired goon, his second film role.
It was filmed largely on location in Boston, for two weeks,  in pawn shops, record stores, bars, porn theatres, strip clubs, and derelict apartments.  The rest of the filming was done in New York City.  No scenes are set in New York City.
John Heard, Joe Morton, and Marilu Henner make film debuts. 
The Real Paper , Boston Phoenix Los Angeles Free Press , SoHo Weekly News , and the Village Voice are thanked in the end credits. 
The success of the film led to a unsold 1980 TV sitcom pilot, with Sandy Helberg, Adam Arkin, Gino Conforti, and Kristoffer Tabori, also titled Between the Lines. 
"Joan Micklin Silver's second feature, Between the Lines, an episodic romantic comedy about the staff members of the Back Bay Mainline, a prospering "underground" weekly in Boston, is the most likable and encouraging American movie to be release so far this year." — Gary Arnold, Washington Post 
The film received positive reviews at the time  and is still regarded as an excellent 'snapshot' of the alternative newspaper era.  Matthew Monagle of Film School Rejects writes:
What makes Between the Lines such a timely film even decades later is its depiction of the diminishing space offered journalism in a world of corporate takeovers. Pages of copy are cut to make way for more advertisements; writers are asked to choose between walking out and compromising their integrity. The film makes it clear that the Back Bay Mainline, even in its diminished capacity, still has its finger on the pulse of the Boston community in a way no major newspaper could. When that is gone, something vital goes with it...
Those looking for the newspaper industry’s answer to Broadcast News will find a welcome film in Between the Lines. The film has countless moments of insight into the struggle of the American journalist, from the staff’s shabby living conditions — the film offers perhaps the most realistic look at big city apartments ever committed to film — to how well-meaning writers navigate the competing interests of truth and financial trendlines. With an all-star cast and some great comedic bits — enjoy watching Goldblum engage in a battle with a local performance artist at the Back Bay Mainline headquarters — Between the Lines is a late addition to the already impressive canon of essential 1970s cinema. 
"There’s not much by way of story in Between the Lines and a great deal of the dialogue feels spontaneous and improvised, which only adds to the film’s authenticity" — thirdcoastreview.com 
"The most memorable scenes work better as stand-alone episodes than as part of storylines" — hollywoodreporter.com 
"the rare (and perhaps only) alt-press movie" — Rob Nelson, Film Comment  
"a fond but not uncritical portrait of the disaffected staff at a formerly radical, fictional alt-weekly Boston newspaper, from the street-corner hawker all the way up to accounts, editorial and the much-despised incoming corporate boss...Silver’s sympathy for radicalism, and her deft cutting between different pockets of action unfolding in the same space, lent the film an Altmanesque feel" — Ryan Gilbey, The Guardian 
"This lively ensemble comedy-drama traces the workplace and bedroom conflicts among the staff of a Boston alt-weekly newspaper as it faces a corporate takeover. Silver provides a nuanced view of the declining counterculture, with an astute take on its marginalization of women who balk at being camp-followers in their boyfriend's career arcs." — The Gene Siskel Film Center 
"There's no way for us to modestly skirt this film's effect: This story of an underground paper in Boston facing corporate buy-out was the inspiration for starting the newspaper you hold in your hand." — Margaret Moser, Austin Chronicle  
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Between the Lines may refer to:
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