MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 6,688 this week

The Pumpkin Eater (1964)

 -  Drama  -  9 November 1964 (USA)
7.4
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,174 users  
Reviews: 35 user | 5 critic

Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb Picks: October

IMDb's editors share the movies and TV shows they are excited to see in October.


Related News

Oswald Morris (1915-2014)
| FilmExperience
Oswald Morris obituary
| The Guardian - Film News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 35 titles
created 26 Apr 2011
 
a list of 373 titles
created 01 Jan 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 25 Jan 2013
 
a list of 39 titles
created 5 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Pumpkin Eater (1964)

The Pumpkin Eater (1964) on IMDb 7.4/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Pumpkin Eater.
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An ambitious young accountant schemes to wed a wealthy factory owner's daughter, despite falling in love with a married older woman.

Director: Jack Clayton
Stars: Laurence Harvey, Simone Signoret, Heather Sears
Nowhere to Go (1958)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Paul Gregory is sprung from jail in London by his accomplice after getting a stretch as expected for robbing a woman who falls for his charms. Only he knows how to get to the money, but his... See full summary »

Directors: Seth Holt, Basil Dearden
Stars: George Nader, Maggie Smith, Bernard Lee
The V.I.P.s (1963)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Fog delays a group of travelers headed for New York. They wait at the V.I.P. lounge of London Airport, each at a moment of crisis in his or her life.

Director: Anthony Asquith
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Louis Jourdan
The Honey Pot (1967)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Inspired by a performance of his favorite play, "Volpone," 20th-century millionaire Cecil Fox devises an intricate plan to trick three of his former mistresses into believing he is dying. ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Stars: Rex Harrison, Susan Hayward, Cliff Robertson
Georgy Girl (1966)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A homely but vivacious young woman dodges the amorous attentions of her father's middle-aged employer while striving to capture some of the glamorous life of her swinging London roommate.

Director: Silvio Narizzano
Stars: James Mason, Alan Bates, Lynn Redgrave
Othello (1965)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A general's marriage is destroyed when a vengeful lieutenant convinces him that his new wife has been unfaithful.

Director: Stuart Burge
Stars: Laurence Olivier, Frank Finlay, Maggie Smith
Hot Millions (1968)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A Cockney con-artist just out of prison replaces an insurance company's computer programmer and sends claim checks to himself in various guises at addresses all over Europe. Meanwhile, he ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Till
Stars: Peter Ustinov, Maggie Smith, Karl Malden
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When her daughter joins a ballet company, a former dancer is forced to confront her long-ago decision to give up the stage to have a family.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Anne Bancroft, Shirley MacLaine, Mikhail Baryshnikov
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A college volunteer at the crisis phone gets a call from a suicide caller.

Director: Sydney Pollack
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Anne Bancroft, Telly Savalas
Agnes of God (1985)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When a naive novice nun is discovered with a dead newborn in her convent quarters, a court appointed psychiatrist investigates her case.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Jane Fonda, Anne Bancroft, Meg Tilly
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A headstrong young teacher in a private school in 1930s Edinburgh ignores the curriculum and influences her impressionable 12 year old charges with her over-romanticized world view.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Maggie Smith, Gordon Jackson, Robert Stephens
Go to Blazes (1962)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

After yet another smash-and-grab goes wrong, a bungling trio of small-time crooks flash an idea of using a fire engine as a getaway vehicle. But they keep being mistaken for genuine firemen and it starts to become a flaming nuisance.

Director: Michael Truman
Stars: Dave King, Robert Morley, Daniel Massey
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jo Armitage
...
Jake Armitage
...
Bob Conway
Janine Gray ...
Beth Conway
...
Mr. James - Jo's father
Rosalind Atkinson ...
Mrs. James - Jo's mother
Alan Webb ...
Mr. Armitage - Jake's father
...
Giles
...
Philpot
Eric Porter ...
Psychiatrist
Cyril Luckham ...
Doctor
Anthony Nicholls ...
Surgeon
John Franklyn-Robbins ...
Parson
John Junkin ...
Undertaker
Yootha Joyce ...
Woman at Hairdressers
Edit

Storyline

Film screenwriter Jake Armitage and his wife Jo Armitage live in London with six of Jo's eight children, with the two eldest boys at boarding school. The children are spread over Jo's three marriages, with only the youngest being Jake's biological child, although he treats them all as his own. Jo left her second husband Giles after meeting Giles' friend Jake, the two who were immediately attracted to each other. Their upper middle class life is much different than Giles and Jo's, who lived in a barn in the English countryside. But Jo is ruminating about her strained marriage to Jake, with issues on both sides. Jo suspects Jake of chronic infidelity, she only confronting him with her suspicions whenever evidence presents itself. And Jo's psychiatrist believes that Jo uses childbirth as a rationale for sex, which he believes she finds vulgar. These issues in combination have placed Jo in a fragile mental state. They both state that they love the other, but neither really seems to like ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

How many others? Six...a dozen...what does the number matter? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

9 November 1964 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Amartolos gamos  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(TCM Print)

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film never explains its title, which refers to a traditional child's rhyme: "Peter, Peter, pumpkin eater/Had a wife, but couldn't keep her;/So he put her in a shell/And there he kept her very well." This serves as the epigraph of Penelope Mortimer's original novel. See more »

Goofs

The long tracking shot near end of film (in which camera begins on Jo smoking in bed, then winds through closeups of mementos in her living room) was shot backward; at beginning of shot smoke is going into her cigarette, not out of it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Killed Teddy Bear (1965) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Virtuoso film-making highlights a brutally satiric examination of modern marriage
15 March 2000 | by (Fairfield, Iowa) – See all my reviews

The Pumpkin Eater, which for many years was my favorite movie, is a neglected masterpiece of the British New Wave. I'm not sure whether its lack of recognition is attributable more to its misanthropic point of view or to Jack Clayton's sparse filmography (he never developed the immediately recognizable personal style required for elevation to the auteur pantheon). It didn't help that initial reviewers badly misunderstood the film -- Dwight Macdonald thought it was a typical "women's film", meant to provide erotic titillation! On the other hand, feminist critics probably weren't eager to defend a film that could be interpreted as anti-abortion propaganda (also a misreading). Perhaps a more mature feminism will reclaim this film.

Admittedly, the movie is difficult to understand on a first viewing -- both because of its intricate flashback structure and its complexities of tone and attitude. It took me several viewings to fully sort out the plot, and several more to realize what I was actually seeing -- a very, very black comedy. In this respect it's worth placing with the darkest works of Evelyn Waugh or Henry Green.

The film catches its participants at the top of their form: Pinter never wrote a better screenplay, Anne Bancroft (arguably) never gave a better performance, Peter Finch certainly didn't, and Maggie Smith and James Mason are deliciously evil in supporting roles. There are too many marvelous moments to list them all, but watch especially for the zoo scene between Bancroft and Mason (who are clearly having a great time) and for the slyly-written scene where Finch learns that his wife is pregnant -- again.

So why is it no longer my favorite movie? My admiration for its technique is unabated, but as I get older I find the film's nasty tone harder and harder to take. There's not an admirable human being in the whole movie -- they're all foolish, duplicitous, or vindictive. I can't live with these people, much as I've enjoyed eavesdropping on them over the years.


59 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Title RodReels-2
Questions...... alzena317
'off liquids' Nikro03
UK DVD coming in October! mr-dan-hunter
Discuss The Pumpkin Eater (1964) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?