review for Adam at 6 a.m. on AllMovie

Adam at 6 a.m. (1970)
by Craig Butler review

Adam at 6 a.m. wants to be a penetrating character study about a young man at a crossroads, and of the people and the society he encounters while trying to decide which path to take. Unfortunately, for all its good intentions, what it ends up being is a fairly dull look at a not particularly interesting person. Adam is essentially a cipher, a device which tends to work better in a novel than in a film; worse, there are times (too many of them) when he's an unpleasant cipher, causing his constant presence in the film to become wearying. This is primarily the fault of the writers rather than of Michael Douglas; he does a decent enough job with the material at hand. If he then possessed the inner spark that he would develop later in his career, it would have made things a bit better, but not really that much. What gives Adam the strengths it has is its supporting cast, in particular Lee Purcell and Joe Don Baker. Purcell is a lovely, engaging presence throughout, adding little touches of grace to scenes in unexpected ways. Even better is Baker, who is totally convincing and adds fire whenever he appears. Adam at 6 a.m. on the whole is slow going, but these two give it life.