The Pumpkin Eater (1964)

JACK CLAYTON

Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5

United Kingdom, 1964.  Romulus Films.  Screenplay by , based on the novel by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

This excellent, provocative drama still has enough intensity to make it daring by today’s standards.  Anne Bancroft gives one of the finest performance of her career as an unhappy British woman who has five children and is on her second husband when she meets writer Peter Finch. She leaves her current marriage for Finch and has another child, all seeming to go well except that her depression leads her to a nervous breakdown and violent tempers.  Bancroft performs what is probably the best British accent done by a non-Brit ever seen on film, her performance surprisingly subtle (especially for her standards) and the direction superb. The film raises many questions about modern relationships that aren’t easy to answer, and wisely chooses not to do anything about them.

Academy Award Nomination:  Best Actress (Anne Bancroft)

Cannes Film Festival AwardBest Actress (Anne Bancroft) (tie)

Golden Globe Award:  Best Actress-Drama (Anne Bancroft)

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