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 »
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
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 »
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 »
A fabulous study of of a marriage breakdown and infidelity.
Anne Bancroft shines in this movie as an isolated woman with 5 children trying to cope with lonliness and an unfaithful husband. Her acting in The pumpkin Eater is second to none. You can feel her depression in her every facial expression.
Peter Finch is also superb as the misunderstood husband who in his own way also feels isolated and lonely. He just feels his wife is a baby machine who cares more for bearing children than she doe's for him. But alas the both of them just accept their lot and try to get on with it in their own way. With disastrous results.
A movie spectacular without any fancy special effects or gore. The Pumpkin Eater is just old fashioned movie making at its best. You could not watch this film without feeling profoundly affected by it.
What a masterpiece.
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