6.3/10
187
5 user 7 critic

Desperate Characters (1971)

Marriage of a midlife, middle-class, childless couple is in a rut. Sophie has become depressed, frigid and slightly paranoid and Otto is stuck in optimistic denial. Things escalate at their summer cottage, but no one dares call it quits.

Director:

Writers:

(novel),
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Ask Any Girl (1959)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Sales girl falls for the younger of a company run by two brothers. The elder falls for her but plans to help her get his brother because he doesn't know he's in love.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: David Niven, Shirley MacLaine, Gig Young
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Wife is cheating her husband and the husband is cheating her back with her lover's girlfriend. The two cheating couples decide to go to a resort but they unintentionally pick the same one. Hilarity ensues.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, James Coburn, Susan Sarandon
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A woman begins to suspect that her brother is possessed by a voodoo spirit.

Director: Waris Hussein
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Perry King, David Elliott
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Colonel Ryder, the publisher of a magazine, dies while on vacation. Tony, his swinging nephew, inherits the magazine and takes over. Presently, the magazine is planning to expand and to do ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Anthony
Stars: Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Cliff Robertson
Certificate: M Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Harriet Blossom, the lonely wife of a workaholic brassiere manufacturer, breaks her sewing machine and ends up in bed with the repairman, a mechanic from one of her husband's factories. The... See full summary »

Director: Joseph McGrath
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Richard Attenborough, James Booth
Two Loves (1961)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Out on a Limb, not out on a Leash.

Director: Charles Walters
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Laurence Harvey, Jack Hawkins
Hot Spell (1958)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A housewife is doing her best to keep her family together as it's slowly falling apart, a fact she's trying to ignore. Her cheating husband's birthday party is approaching and many lines will be crossed after that event.

Directors: Daniel Mann, George Cukor
Stars: Shirley Booth, Anthony Quinn, Shirley MacLaine
My Geisha (1962)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An actress disguises herself as a geisha in order to land the lead role in her director husband's film version of 'Madam Butterfly'.

Director: Jack Cardiff
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Yves Montand, Edward G. Robinson
Career (1959)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

More than anything in the world, Sam Lawson wants to be a successful actor. Is he willing to sacrifice his wife, happiness and personal reputation to achieve his goal?

Director: Joseph Anthony
Stars: Dean Martin, Anthony Franciosa, Shirley MacLaine
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

During the Cold War, John Goldfarb (Richard Crenna) crashes his spy plane in the Middle East and is taken prisoner by the local government. His captor, King Fawz (Peter Ustinov), soon ... See full summary »

Director: J. Lee Thompson
Stars: Shirley MacLaine, Peter Ustinov, Richard Crenna
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A father will do anything to protect his family's reputation when his unmarried teenage daughter becomes pregnant because she was raped by her brother's friend.

Director: William Fruet
Stars: Donald Pleasence, Carol Kane, Doris Petrie
Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Thornton Wilder's tale of a matchmaker who desires the man she's supposed to be pairing with another woman.

Director: Joseph Anthony
Stars: Shirley Booth, Anthony Perkins, Shirley MacLaine
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sophie Bentwood
...
Otto Bentwood
...
Claire
Jack Somack ...
Leon
...
Charlie
Chris Gampel ...
Mike Holstein
Mary Alan Hokanson ...
Flo Holstein
Robert Bauer ...
Young Man
...
Young Girl
...
Francis Early
Michael McAloney ...
Raconteur
Wallace Rooney ...
Man on Subway
Rose Gregorio ...
Ruth
Elena Karam ...
Saleslady
Nick Smith ...
The Caller
Edit

Storyline

Sophie and Otto Bentwood are set in their ways. And unsettled in their hearts. They're Desperate Characters, trapped in a marriage that no longer works... yet unable to break free. In a performance widely cited as a career breakthrough, Shirley MacLaine portrays Sophie in this compelling grown-up drama that, in its own jolting way, is a love story. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

22 September 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hova tűnt szép napok  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$400,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Shirley MacLaine won the Silver Bear award and the New York Film Critics Circle award for Best Actress. Her role as Sophie Brentwood was acclaimed by critics at the time and is known as one of the finest performances of her career. See more »

Connections

Referenced in An American Family: Episode #1.11 (1973) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Not a ray of sunshine
18 December 1999 | by (Austin Tx) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most depressing films I have ever seen and I loved every moment of it. It follows a couple through a somewhat ordinary but also traumatic day in their lives. They are staying together because they are used to each other, not because they really still love each other. Shirley MacLaine and Kenneth Mars give great performances!


15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?