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 »
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 <email@example.com>
The original New York production of "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds" by Paul Zindel with Sada Thompson as Beatrice opened off-Broadway on April 7, 1970 at the Mercer Arts Center and ran for 819 performances. Mr. Zindel received the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for the work. Ms. Thompson was succeeded in the role by Joan Blondell, Carolyn Coates, Cathryn Damon and Mary Hara. A subsequent Broadway production with Shelley Winters as Beatrice opened on March 14, 1978 at the Biltmore Theater and ran for 16 performances. See more »
I've got to go to school. I'm late already. I've got a science test second period.
Pshh. Science, huh? Well, you tell Mr. Goodman there's a lot of work to be done around here, so he'd better not count on you spending your days with half-life. Tell him if he wants to find out about half-life, he can come and ask me; I'm the original half-life. I've got one daughter with half a mind, the other who's half a test tube, a house half-full of rabbit crap and half a corpse. That's a half-life, all ...
See more »
I have only seen this film once, at the Tyneside Cinema, an early arts house independent cinema in the UK. I saw the film in the year of its release. I still treasure memories of Joanne Woodward's performance as the tragi-comic loudmouth of a mother, who is desperate to do things right, but also has little time for the opinions of others. I would dearly love to see it again, but on the few occasions that I have enquired, I have been greeted by bewildered expressions from folk who plainly think that I am having them on when I mention the title. Perhaps this is an apt result, given the way that the star of the film played such an alienated role that fans of the film should now find themselves being looked at in a somewhat dubious way! To those who have not seen it, grab this powerful performance with both hands. It truly is a gem, with a fine range of emotions, and a cast that works fully together. Thank you for giving me the chance to write this.
32 of 40 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?