Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.
[In Blue Collar, one feels that Paul Schrader] has a distinctive imagination and eye without as yet a sure directorial instinct. The discordant elements in the film—comedy, melodrama, social message—are imperfectly fused. But Blue Collar's vitality and drive generally prevail over technical flaws. It is continuously fresh, surprising, and absorbing….
Blue Collar, for all its documentary verve, does have two grievous faults. There is a grave disjunction in its internal logic. The key message, uttered mid-film by the wise ex-con and repeated behind a freeze finish, is straight out of the Thirties: The company's purpose, as the old black warns his comrades, is to preserve its...
(The entire section is 457 words.)