Between the Lines: Joan Silver’s Tale of Underground Press, Starring Jeff Goldblum, John Hurt, Lindsay Crouse

Joan Silver’s follow-up to “Hester Street,” “Between the Lines,” served more as a showcase for talented performers than as a critical view of the underground press, where the story is set.

Between the Lines is also not compelling as a study of disenchantment among 1960s radicals, a topic addressed much more effectively in John Sayles’ feature debut, “Return of the Seacaucus Seven,” several years later.

Even so, “Between the Lines” offers a tentative exploration of the conflicts between writers’ vanity and their public spiritedness, and the interplay of careerism and carnality. Though drawing on his own journalistic experience, screenwriter Fred Barron constructs for the film an editorial staff that’s too likeable and too uniform in age, taste, and outlook to generate genuine dramatic interest

The movie’s major merit is a terrific cast that includes Jeff Goldblum, John Hurt, Lindsay Crouse, all of whom would leave their mark on the emergent indie cinema of the late 1970s and 1980s.