6.5/10
683
20 user 13 critic

The Happy Ending (1969)

R | | Drama | 22 May 1970 (Ireland)
A middle-aged woman walks out on her husband and family in an desperate attempt to find herself.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 3 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mary Wilson
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Fred Wilson
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Flo Harrigan
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Sam
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Mrs. Spencer
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Harry Bricker
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Agnes
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Franco (as Robert Darin)
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Helen Bricker
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Marge Wilson
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Divorcee
Gail Hensley ...
Betty
...
Ethel
William O'Connell ...
Minister (as Wm. O'Connell)
Barry Cahill ...
Handsome Man
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Storyline

The triumphs and failures of middle age as seen through the eyes of runaway American housewife Mary Wilson (Jean Simmons), a woman who believes that ultimate reality exists above and beyond the routine procedures of conscious, uninspired, everyday life. She feels cheated by an older generation that taught her to settle for nothing less than storybook finales, people who are disillusioned and restless and don't know why, people for whom life holds no easy answers. Great supporting cast includes John Forsythe, Teresa Wright, Lloyd Bridges, Shirley Jones, Bobby Darin, Tina Louise, Dick Shawn, and Nanette Fabray. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Marriage is a 30 billion dollar business! And that's just to get married. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some substance abuse and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

22 May 1970 (Ireland)  »

Also Known As:

Amar Sem Amor  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Teresa Wright was just 11 years older than Jean Simmons, who was playing her daughter. See more »

Goofs

During opening credit sequence, many late model 1960's cars can be seen in flashback scene supposedly set 15 years earlier. See more »

Quotes

Mary Wilson: What's the secret formula? Why do you look 28, and I'm afraid to look in the mirror?
Flo: Power, baby. There's white power, green power, black power, electric, horse, and man-power!
Flo: [they both laugh] I've got staying power. I've been massaged, barraged, creamed and reamed with every slop and goo on the market. I've tried the Yogi bit. Ying and yang, biff and bang, the works. You name it, I've done it. All in the name of youth and beauty. God knows, I've even prayed for it.
Flo: Baby, there's one big ...
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Connections

Referenced in Dampot... Pukol... Salo! (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Whistle While You Swing
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand
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User Reviews

 
In typically ironic '60s fashion, nobody here has the capacity for happiness
3 April 2001 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Pauline Kael, film critic for the New Yorker, quipped about this film, "It's the kind of liberation movie that never liberated anyone." That's a clever line, but it isn't exactly true. Writer-director Richard Brooks shows the upwardly mobile as stiff dullards with drinks in their hands, the upper middle class as stifling bores. There's wry wit in these vignettes, but the trouble with Brooks' film is the central character. As played by Jean Simmons, she's one of those bored and lonely housewives who desires MORE! Simmons is repressed of her emotions, yet even when she makes her escape, she's still a pinchy drag. The supporting characters aren't written any better, but the performers themselves are more interesting: Bobby Darin is terrific as a phony gigolo, Tina Louise excellent as an acerbic society wife, Shirley Jones lovely as a single woman trying to remain casual about her married lover. John Forsythe gives his standard controlled performance as Simmons' confused spouse (he doesn't know how to reach her, which is a sympathetic quality since we don't either). The title means to tell us that we make our own happy endings--that we can't find them through other people--and the final scene between husband and wife is a tricky little chess-move that leaves us up in the air. I liked many things in "The Happy Ending", but its parts are better than the sum. **1/2 from ****


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