6.5/10
793
20 user 12 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
...
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:

Once upon a time: boy, girl, love, marriage, and then... 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

Features Smilin' Through (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

The Pause That Refreshes
Written and Performed by Michel Legrand
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User Reviews

 
Jean Simmons gives a funny and thoughtful performance in The Happy Ending
7 September 2012 | by (Baton Rouge, LA) – See all my reviews

Jean Simmons portrays a woman feeling trapped in a routine marriage to John Forsythe as she depends on drink, drugs, and the romanticism of classic movies to keep her sanity. I'll stop there and just say that I found this quite a compelling drama full of cynical humor addressing the personal problems of many middle-aged women feeling restless during the late-'60s concerning their desirability and satisfaction of their lot in life. And many of the supporting roles of the fairer sex like those of Nanette Fabray, Teresa Wright, Tina Louise, and especially Shirley Jones hit the right notes in their respective characterizations. And while those roles of Forsythe, Lloyd Bridges, and Robert (Bobby) Darin seem to be afterthoughts compared to the ladies, they also provide some fine moments when showcased. And I loved the way Michel Legrand's score provides a mix of musical genres at the beginning as they overlap and also his song with Alan and Marilyn Bergman, "What are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?" being sung during some parts. In summary, Richard Brooks' The Happy Ending is a powerful examination of the way certain women start to feel stifled after a certain age.


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