IMDb > The Sandpiper (1965)
The Sandpiper
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

The Sandpiper (1965) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 24 | slideshow) Videos (see all 2)
The Sandpiper -- Trailer for this love story


User Rating:
6.2/10   1,762 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Up 10% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Martin Ransohoff (story)
Irene Kamp (adaptation) ...
View company contact information for The Sandpiper on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
23 June 1965 (USA) See more »
A free-spirited single mother forms a connection with the wed headmaster of an Episcopal boarding school in California. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won Oscar. Another 3 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The Golden Couple of the Sixties See more (43 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Elizabeth Taylor ... Laura Reynolds

Richard Burton ... Dr. Edward Hewitt

Eva Marie Saint ... Claire Hewitt

Charles Bronson ... Cos Erickson

Robert Webber ... Ward Hendricks
James Edwards ... Larry Brant
Torin Thatcher ... Judge Thompson
Tom Drake ... Walter Robinson
Douglas Henderson ... Paul Sutcliff (as Doug Henderson)
Morgan Mason ... Danny Reynolds
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Abbey ... (uncredited)
Jan Arvan ... Trustee (uncredited)
Mary Benoit ... Trustee's Wife (uncredited)
Shirley Bonne ... Celebrant #9 (uncredited)
Dusty Cadis ... Trooper (uncredited)
Joan Connors ... Celebrant #7 (uncredited)
Tom Crane ... Walter Robinson (uncredited)
Tom Curtis ... Trustee (uncredited)
Jeff Davis ... Administrator (uncredited)
Colin Drake ... Administrator (uncredited)
Fred Fisher ... Administrator (uncredited)
Mel Gallagher ... Celebrant #4 (uncredited)
Kelton Garwood ... Celebrant #2 (uncredited)
Paul Genge ... Architect (uncredited)
Max Gulak ... Administrator (uncredited)
Ginger Hall ... Administrator's Wife (uncredited)
Harper ... (uncredited)
John Hart ... Trooper (uncredited)
Rex Holman ... Celebrant #1 (uncredited)
April Hyde ... Administrator's Wife (uncredited)
Peter Jackson ... (uncredited)
Peggy Adams Laird ... Celebrant #8 (uncredited)
Pamela Mason ... Ellie (uncredited)
Jimmy Murphy ... Celebrant #3 (uncredited)
Nico ... Dancer at the Party (uncredited)
Jo O'Toole ... (uncredited)

Peter O'Toole ... (voice) (uncredited)
Jean Peaslee ... Administrator's Wife (uncredited)
Douglas Read ... (uncredited)
Diane Sayer ... Celebrant #6 (uncredited)
June Shelley ... Administrator's Wife (uncredited)
Shelly Sidney ... (uncredited)
Eric Sinclair ... Beatnik (uncredited)
Barbara Sommers ... Dancer at the Party (uncredited)
Roscoe Stallworth ... (uncredited)
Anthony Stuart ... Administrator (uncredited)
Carl Studer ... Harold (uncredited)
Olga Valéry ... Administrator's Wife (uncredited)
Sophie Veneck ... Administrator's Wife (uncredited)
Ron Whelan ... Celebrant #5 (uncredited)
Tom White ... Beatnik (uncredited)

Directed by
Vincente Minnelli 
Writing credits
Martin Ransohoff (story)

Irene Kamp (adaptation) &
Louis Kamp (adaptation)

Dalton Trumbo  and
Michael Wilson 

Produced by
John Calley .... associate producer
Martin Ransohoff .... producer
Original Music by
Johnny Mandel 
Cinematography by
Milton R. Krasner (director of photography) (as Milton Krasner)
Film Editing by
David Bretherton 
Art Direction by
George W. Davis 
Urie McCleary 
Set Decoration by
F. Keogh Gleason  (as Keogh Gleason)
Henry Grace 
Costume Design by
Irene Sharaff 
Makeup Department
Sydney Guilaroff .... hair stylist
William Tuttle .... makeup supervisor
Production Management
Ben Kadish .... supervising production executive
Lindsley Parsons Jr. .... assistant production manager: MGM (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
William McGarry .... assistant director
Lynn Guthrie .... second assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Elizabeth Duquette .... painter: Laura's paintings
Edmund Kara .... sculptor: redwood sculpture
Sound Department
Franklin Milton .... recording supervisor
Camera and Electrical Department
Richard Borden .... wildlife photography
Bernie Abramson .... still photographer (uncredited)
Music Department
Robert Armbruster .... conductor
Billy Byers .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Gene Cipriano .... musician (uncredited)
Jack Sheldon .... musician: trumpet (uncredited)
Other crew
Herb Rosenthal .... title art
Eduardo Tirella .... coordinator of "Big Sur" scene
Kaffe Fassett .... choreographer: dancing sequence (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
117 min | Argentina:118 min
Color (Metrocolor)
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Argentina:18 | Australia:PG | Finland:K-16 | Iceland:L | Netherlands:18 (orginal rating) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:15 (video rating) (1986) | USA:TV-14 | USA:Approved (cut) | West Germany:16 (f)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Average Shot Length = ~8.5 seconds. Median Shot Length = ~8.1 seconds. (Quite fast for a Vincente Minnelli film.)See more »
Continuity: The tie of the judge, as he stands talking to Laura, is straight inside his jacket. As the camera angle changes, the bottom of his tie is shown crumpled and protruding outside his jacket.See more »
Dr. Edward Hewitt:What would you do, in my shoes?
Claire Hewitt:Wear them.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Trumbo (2007)See more »
There's a Wideness in God's MercySee more »


What is Grappa?
How does the movie end?
Is 'The Sandpiper' based on a book?
See more »
11 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
The Golden Couple of the Sixties, 19 November 2010
Author: James Hitchcock from Tunbridge Wells, England

"The Sandpiper" was the second in a number of films ("The VIPs" was the first) made together by Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. Their romance, which had begun on the set of "Cleopatra", had both enthralled and scandalised the public, and the studios wanted to make the most of their notoriety. The public perception of Dick and Liz as a glamorous but scandalous couple can only have been increased by the subject-matter of "The Sandpiper". At one time a film about a clergyman engaged in an adulterous affair would have been an unthinkable violation of the Production Code. By 1965, however, the Code, although not quite dead, was no longer in robust health, and a film on this subject, although still highly controversial, was no longer impossible.

Taylor's character, Laura Reynolds, is an unmarried mother who works as an artist and lives with her nine-year-old son Danny in an isolated California beach house. (The film's title derives from an injured sandpiper which she rescues and nurses back to health thereafter and becomes a symbol of freedom). Danny's behaviour, however, has got him into trouble with the law, and a judge orders her to send the boy to a local boarding school. Laura is reluctant to do this; she is a free spirit who distrusts any form of institutionalised education. To make matters worse from her point of view, the school is run by the Episcopalian Church, and she is an atheist whose attitude to religion is one of positive hostility rather than mere indifference. Nevertheless, she realises that she must comply with the judge's order or risk losing custody of her boy.

Burton plays Dr. Edward Hewitt, an Episcopalian priest and headmaster of the school. Although his values are very different from Laura's, Edward is something of an idealist and is becoming disillusioned with his life at the school, feeling that he is neither a priest nor an educator but merely a fund-raiser. (The school is currently engaged in a major fund-raising drive to build a new chapel, something Edward feels is unnecessary). Edward takes a great interest in Danny's progress and finds himself increasingly drawn towards Laura, possibly because she is so different both from him and from his wife Claire. Claire is attractive and supportive of her husband but rather staid and conventional compared to the bohemian Laura. Eventually Edward and Laura begin an affair, even though he is a married man. (This plot line reminded me of Iris Murdoch's novel "The Sandcastle", published a few years before "The Sandpiper", which also dealt with an adulterous affair between a married older schoolmaster at a boarding school and a young female artist).

Danny himself does not play a major role, being more of a plot device than a character in his own right. I felt that this was a weakness, given that one of the themes of the film is two different philosophies of education. Laura's view is that all formal educational establishments, particularly conservative boarding schools like Dr Hewitt's, are undesirable because they exist in order to turn children into conventional conformists. Her own solution, however, home-schooling Danny in a remote part of the world away from any other children and without a father-figure in his life, struck me as being likely to turn him into a self-centred loner, although the film rather shies away from criticising Laura on this point. The opening scenes in which Danny shoots a deer strike a particularly jarring note. It seemed to me highly improbable that a woman like Laura, whose whole philosophy seems to be one of living in harmony with nature, would allow her young son to have a rifle and then, when he uses it to kill an animal out of wanton curiosity, shrug the whole thing off as a harmless youthful escapade.

Elizabeth Taylor looks stunning, but neither she nor Burton are really at their best here. Burton is certainly not as good as he was as the world-weary spy in "The Spy Who Came in from the Cold", also made in 1965. The relationship between Edward and Laura is not based simply upon sexual attraction, but upon a growing realisation that despite their differences they are kindred spirits. The unbeliever Laura, paradoxically, has more in common with Edward's Christian idealism than does the conventionally pious Claire. The trouble is that one never really senses in Burton's performance the idealistic religious believer hiding behind the mask of the formal and pedantic schoolmaster. Taylor always comes across as slightly too glamorous to be altogether convincing as a proto-hippie.

The film contains some attractive photography of the Californian coastal scenery (although the colours in the indoor scenes are often rather dull) and there is a notable musical score, including the song "The Shadow of Your Smile". As a psychological and emotional drama it has its points of interest, but overall it is a rather dated sixties period-piece, most interesting as a record of that decade's official Golden Couple. 6/10

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (43 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Sandpiper (1965)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Nico nickrogers1969
Where Was 'The Sandpiper' Actually Filmed??? shula1010430
The actual sandpiper (and Oscar for pets) ang-son
'The Sandpiper' - The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack shula1010430
The Sandpiper JFramejr
See more »


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Notes on a Scandal Love Actually Thirteen Conversations About One Thing The Other Boleyn Girl Factory Girl
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.