MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 433 this week

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)

 -  Drama  -  30 May 1973 (France)
7.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.5/10 from 1,163 users  
Reviews: 30 user | 14 critic

From the Pullizer Prize winning play by Paul Zindel, this is the story of Beatrice Hunsdorfer and her daughters, Ruth and Matilda. A middle-aged widowed eccentric, Beatrice is looking for ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

IMDb: What to Watch - Guardians of the Galaxy

In the latest episode of IMDb: What to Watch, Keith Simanton talks with director James Gunn and actors Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel about their movie Guardians of the Galaxy.


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 1057 titles
created 21 Dec 2011
 
a list of 46 titles
created 29 Feb 2012
 
a list of 1621 titles
created 02 Jun 2012
 
a list of 673 titles
created 25 Sep 2012
 
a list of 33 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972)

The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds (1972) on IMDb 7.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Rita, a middle aged New York City homemaker, finds herself in an emotional crisis which forces her to re-examine her life, as well as her relationships with her mother, her eye doctor ... See full summary »

Director: Gilbert Cates
Stars: Joanne Woodward, Martin Balsam, Sylvia Sidney
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

It's about a five member family. The father is a conservative and traditional person who directs the family. The mother is at home, she tries to hold together the family, while Mr. Bridge ... See full summary »

Director: James Ivory
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Saundra McClain
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Accused barn burner and con man Ben Quick arrives in a small Mississippi town and quickly ingratiates himself with its richest family, the Varners.

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa
The Stripper (1963)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Lila Green is an insecure and aging showgirl for Madame Olga's stage shows. When her boyfriend, Rick, runs off with the shows money, Madame Olga and Ronny let Lila go. Lila goes to stay ... See full summary »

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Joanne Woodward, Richard Beymer, Claire Trevor
Mystery | Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

In a Manhattan psychiatric hospital a man, convinced he is Sherlock Holmes, is treated by a female doctor who happens to be named Watson.

Director: Anthony Harvey
Stars: George C. Scott, Joanne Woodward, Jack Gilford
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

The fashion industry and Paris provide the setting for a comedy surrounding the mistaken impression that Joanne Woodward is a high-priced call girl. Paul Newman is the journalist interviewing her for insights on her profession.

Director: Melville Shavelson
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Thelma Ritter
WUSA (1970)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  

A radio station in the Deep South becomes the focal point of a right-wing conspiracy.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Stars: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Perkins
Crisis at Central High (TV Movie 1981)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Story of the federally-ordered integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1957.

Director: Lamont Johnson
Stars: Joanne Woodward, Charles Durning, Henderson Forsythe
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An immature young man from Middle America grows to manhood after a cross-country journey and his military service in World War I

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Richard Beymer, Diane Baker, Corinne Calvet
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A doctor treats a woman suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder.

Director: Nunnally Johnson
Stars: Joanne Woodward, David Wayne, Lee J. Cobb
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Alex Forrester, convicted of murdering his wife, fails to gain his release after spending 10 years in a British asylum for the criminally insane. Dr. Mark Fleming, Forrester's psychiatrist,... See full summary »

Director: George Englund
Stars: Joanne Woodward, Stuart Whitman, Edward Mulhare
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The marital difficulties of four couples living in a southern California housing development become intertwined. Among the unhappy couples are ne'er-do-well Jerry Flagg and his ... See full summary »

Director: Martin Ritt
Stars: Joanne Woodward, Sheree North, Tony Randall
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Beatrice
Nell Potts ...
Matilda
Roberta Wallach ...
Ruth
Judith Lowry ...
Nanny
...
Mr. Goodman
Richard Venture ...
Floyd
Carolyn Coates ...
Mrs. McKay
Will Hare ...
Junk Man
Estelle Omens ...
Caroline
Jess Osuna ...
Sonny
Ellen Dano ...
Janice Vickery
Lynne Rogers ...
Miss Hanley
Roger Serbagi ...
Charlie
John Lehne ...
Apartment Manager
Michael Kearney ...
Chris Burns
Edit

Storyline

From the Pullizer Prize winning play by Paul Zindel, this is the story of Beatrice Hunsdorfer and her daughters, Ruth and Matilda. A middle-aged widowed eccentric, Beatrice is looking for her life in the classified ads while all about her is the rubble of an unkempt house. All she needs is the right opportunity, she says puffing on a cigarette. Poorly equipped to survive the vagaries of modern life, she has nonetheless always managed to muddle through. Ruth, epileptic and making her way through the rebellious phase of adolescence, seems doomed to make the same mistakes as her mother. Quiet Matilda, on the other hand, seeks refuge in her animals and her schoolwork. "Jesus, don't you hate the world, Matilda?" Beatrice asks her youngest daughter. The title of the film is also the subject of Matilda's science project at school and serves as a metaphor for the way life affects each of us differently -- how some are able to find opportunity in adversity and thrive and how some succumb when ... Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mother of the Year. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 May 1973 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A Influência dos Raios Gama no Comportamento das Margaridas  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The play was originally produced in Houston in 1964. The movie version filmed in 1972, directed by Paul Newman and starred his wife, Joanne Woodward , and his daughter Elinor (Nell Potts). Woodward won the award for Best Actress at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. See more »

Quotes

Beatrice: My heart is full!
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Truly Wonderful Film
6 January 2005 | by (Kentucky) – See all my reviews

"This is an adaptation of Paul Zindel's wonderful but tormented play. This play itself is compelling and has a kind of Tennessee Williams flavor; especially "The Glass Menagerie" and "A Streetcar Named Desire". The adaptation is very successful as the production designer (Gene Callahan) manages to transfer the book's psychologically oppressive ambiance to film; "shame hangs in the air of this house" like a cloud of poison gas.

Director Paul Newman gets performances from his cast that pull together parallel stories of how a "strong, strange, and beautiful" flower can unexpectedly spring from an environmental wasteland. His most difficult task is restraining or masking Joanne Woodward's earthy likability so that we waste little sympathy on her character. But using Woodward as the mother allowed him to get a once-in-a-lifetime performance from their daughter (Nell Potts as Matilda-Tillie in the play). Potts abandoned acting after this movie but her ethereal take on Matilda is right on the money and a big reason why the film works so well.

This is really just a story about Matilda's science fair project in which marigold seeds are subjected to varying amounts of gamma ray radiation (the independent variable in her experiment). Those flowers receiving a moderate amount of radiation bloom in amazing and wonderful ways. However, those flowers subjected to additional radiation either have their growth stunted or whither and die.

Meanwhile Tillie and her older sister Ruth are living an analogous story with their mother Beatrice in an extremely emotionally abusive household. In the play it is stated that Beatrice is insane but not how or why she became this way. In the movie the viewer soon reaches this same conclusion. Older daughter Ruth (an amazing performance by Eli Wallach's daughter Roberta) maintains a fairly normal lifestyle at school, she is a majorette and popular but is very selfish and demanding of attention. Notably she is also an epileptic, which is subtly significant because it is analogous to receiving an excessive amount of radiation. Tillie is very different (analogous to receiving a moderate amount of radiation), seemingly shy and withdrawn, she is actually very independent and has found an outlet from the family in her science projects. This outlet serves as a protective niche in which she can bloom.

A truly great scene is Matilda's acceptance speech at the science fair. She explains the results of her project and really lays out the main theme of the story for the viewer. Watch as she mentions how excessive radiation causes dwarf plants, at that point they cut to a closeup of Ruth in the audience. Both the experiment and the family illustrate that while a reasonable degree of adversity can actually be beneficial, too much of the same adversity will poison life.

While this would be a good film if focused solely on Matilda, it is elevated to extraordinary because Newman chooses to also make Ruth a central part of the story. The conventional "movie-way" to tell this story would be to make it an inspirational tale of triumphing over adversity; of free-will overcoming destiny. But fortunately Newman elects to show both sides of the story, in Ruth he shows someone who never has a chance, who cannot recognize her destiny or ever hope to overcome it.

Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.


27 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
DVD available here Geechee
I am looking jkirklin-2
The Pigman prhowe
atom, what a beautiful word annettaguidotti
Tillie's science presentation varmitydog
Filming Locations repost VelvetVoice

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?