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Happy Birthday, Wanda June (1971)

A family reacts to the return of the patriarch who abandoned them seven years prior.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Harold Ryan
...
...
Dr. Norbert Woodley
...
Herb Shuttle
...
Looseleaf Harper
...
Paul Ryan
...
Wanda June
Pamela Saunders ...
Mildred Ryan
Louis Turenne ...
Major von Koningswald
C.C. Whitney ...
Mrs. Kestenbaum
Lester Goldsmith ...
Mr. Kestenbaum (as Lester M. Goldsmith)
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Storyline

A family reacts to the return of the patriarch who abandoned them seven years prior.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

9 December 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s Happy Birthday, Wanda June  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Happy Birthday, Wanda June" by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. opened at the Edison Theater on December 22, 1970, ran for 96 performances and closed on March 14, 1971. See more »

Quotes

Penelope Ryan: Doctor Woodley, I would like you to meet Harold, my husband. Harold, I would like you to meet Doctor Woodley, my fiancé. Goodnight dear
[kisses Harold]
Penelope Ryan: goodnight dear
[kisses Dr Woodley]
Penelope Ryan: . Stay or go; talk or sulk; laugh or cry - as you wish. Do whatever seems called for. My mind is gone. Good night.
[she closes and locks door]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: 12 to the Moon (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Truly awful
17 March 2013 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

This is one of those movies that you watch like a car accident, and you can't believe its so bad. I'm surprised it lasted on the stage as a play for 97 performances, or however many there were. Its filled with normally good actors who all overact to the point of absurdity. Susannah York and Rod Steiger are at their worst here. To make matters worse everyone tries to outshout each other, and once Rod Steiger returns from the dead, he shouts the loudest. Its like a particularly bad Here's Lucy episode, where everyone shouts, but without Lucy, and without the laughs...just with her kids overacting. Its truly excruciatingly sexist and racist, and I could add a lot more words where they came from. The problem is as well as the awful acting, I just don't find the jokes funny at all, or why someone would think they were funny in the first place. This film does't even fall into the category of being so bad its good, its just excruciating full stop. You feel like you're watching an amateur play. The son is especially awful, and Don Murray is so hammy I couldn't believe it. Why the director chose to have everyone overact in this way I have no idea. Even if I saw it on the stage I would've walked out. And why would anyone think a little girl in heaven saying she's glad she's dead, and was hit by a truck funny? Then she virtually tells the audience to go and kill a soldier...or anyone they can, because they'd be better off in heaven. Whatever you do, don't keep watching hoping it gets better.... because it will be something you'll never be able to wipe from your mind. It was made to shock, but it truly is just a hateful negative mess. Robert. Australia.


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