After 17 years, things have got too predictable and stale. They argue, they visit a marriage counselor, Richard (drunk) visits a prostitute. They split up. After meeting other people, they ... See full summary »
Dick Van Dyke,
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 »
Joseph L. Mankiewicz
The emotional story of a young man in a mental institution for teens who begins to understand his psychosis in the environment of others with mental and emotional problems. He finds ... See full summary »
Howard Da Silva
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
In typically ironic '60s fashion, nobody here has the capacity for happiness
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. Richard Brooks shows the upwardly mobile as stiff dullards with drinks in their hands, the upper middle class as stifling. The trouble with his 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 surely more interesting: Bobby Darin is terrific as a phony gigolo, Tina Louise excellent as an acerbic society wife, Shirley Jones as a normal woman trying to remain casual about her married lover, John Forsythe 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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