IMDb > The Pursuit of Happiness (1971)

The Pursuit of Happiness (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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The Pursuit of Happiness -- An alienated social drop-out accidentally runs over a woman in a rain storm. Though he can prove it was an accident, he refuses to cooperate with "the establishment," and is sentenced to a year in prison. With only a week left to his sentence, he gets involved in a knifing and manages to escape. He looks up his old girlfriend and the two fly off to Canada.


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6.2/10   240 votes »
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Up 33% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Thomas Rogers (book)
Jon Boothe (screenplay) ...
View company contact information for The Pursuit of Happiness on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 May 1971 (Japan) See more »
"I don't want to run anymore..."
A young college student is sent to prison as much for killing a pedestrian with his car as for not paying his parking tickets... See more » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Interesting and mildly compelling. See more (7 total) »


  (in credits order)

Michael Sarrazin ... William Popper

Barbara Hershey ... Jane Kauffman
Arthur Hill ... John Popper

Ruth White ... Mrs. Popper

E.G. Marshall ... Daniel Lawrence

Robert Klein ... Melvin Lasher

Sada Thompson ... Ruth Lawrence

David Doyle ... James Moran

Barnard Hughes ... Judge Vogel

Peter White ... Terence Lawrence
Tom Rosqui ... District Attorney Keller

William Devane ... Pilot
Gilbert Lewis ... Convict George Wilson
Albert Henderson ... Convict McCardle

Ralph Waite ... Detective Cromie
Joseph Attles ... Holmes
Beulah Garrick ... Josephine
Jack Somack ... Judge Palumbo
Maya Kenin ... Mrs. Conroy

Rue McClanahan ... Mrs. O'Mara
Ed Kovens ... 1st Guard

Charles Durning ... 2nd Guard

Ed Setrakian ... Policeman
Ted Beniades ... Traffic Cop
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Philip Larson ... Student (uncredited)

Jay Morran ... Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Mulligan 
Writing credits
Thomas Rogers (book)

Jon Boothe (screenplay) and
George Sherman (screenplay) (as George L. Sherman)

Produced by
Ronald H. Gilbert .... producer
Alan Shayne .... associate producer
David Susskind .... producer
Original Music by
Dave Grusin 
Cinematography by
Richard C. Kratina  (as Dick Kratina)
Film Editing by
Folmar Blangsted 
Art Direction by
George Jenkins 
Set Decoration by
Ben Rutter 
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
Makeup Department
Robert Laden .... makeup artist
Production Management
Terence A. Donnelly .... unit production manager (as Terence Donnelly)
Hal Schaffel .... production manager
Hal Schaffel .... production supervisor
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Peter R. Scoppa .... assistant director (as Peter Scoppa)
Dwight Williams .... dga trainee (uncredited)
Art Department
John Jay Moore .... assistant art director
Sound Department
Dennis Maitland .... sound
Arthur Piantadosi .... sound

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for sexuality, nudity, drug content and brief violence
93 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Australia:M | Finland:K-12 | Sweden:11 | USA:PG-13 (certificate #22563) | USA:GP (original rating)

Did You Know?

This was the last film performance of actress Ruth White who was famous for among other things playing Sally Buck, mother to Jon Voight's Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy.See more »
Daniel Lawrence:Your behavior from here on in will be as much on trial as the details of the accident.See more »
The Pursuit of HappinessSee more »


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7 out of 11 people found the following review useful.
Interesting and mildly compelling., 25 February 2001
Author: Matt..377 from United States

Sympathetic account of a young man sentenced to an unjust prison term for inadvertently hitting a pedestrian with his car.

Holds attention, though of interest mainly for an early performance (and nude scene) by Barbara Hershey, and to see an obscure piece from director Mulligan.

**1/2 out of ****.

MPAA: Rated PG for some violence, language, and brief nudity.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (7 total) »

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