Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1970. Frank Perry Films Inc.. Screenplay by Eleanor Perry, based on the novel by Sue Kaufman. Cinematography by Gerald Hirschfeld. Produced by Ronald H. Gilbert, Frank Perry. Production Design by Peter Dohanos. Costume Design by Ruth Morley. Film Editing by Sidney Katz. Academy Awards 1970. Golden Globe Awards 1970. National Board of Review Awards 1970. New York Film Critics Awards 1970.
Carrie Snodgress is brilliant in this excellent examination of the life of a bored (and, as the title says, ‘mad’) housewife. She is the perfect partner to her successful businessman husband (Richard Benjamin): their beautiful Manhattan condo overlooking Central Park stays in tiptop shape, she is raising two good daughters and always manages to be on the up and up of party throwing. Unfortunately, she is tired of everything in her life being defined by what other people expect of her. To release a little frustration, she starts up an affair with a moody writer (Frank Langella), while slowly learning to respond to the constant attack of criticisms she gets from all members of her family. Performances are all pitch perfect, especially a brilliant, debuting Snodgress who never again managed to recapture the same success on film that she had here. Fans of An Unmarried Woman and Living Out Loud definitely won’t want to miss this film.